How to establish treatment system performance requirements in WWTP?
The regulatory body and/or management entity for the onsite Wastewater Treatment systems define performance requirements to assure future compliance with the community's public health and environmental goals. These are based on broad objectives such as reducing health risks from contact with wastewater or intake of effluent pollutants directly or indirectly.
They can be quantitative or qualitative and are used to meet water quality and public health criteria. A specified performance boundary, which might be a physical border or a property boundary, is used to measure compliance with performance standards.
1: Performance requirements for onsite treatment systems should be established based on receiving resource water quality standards and the environment's assimilative capacity between the point of wastewater released to the receiving environment and the management entity's or regulatory authority's performance boundary!
Typically, the receiving environment's assimilative capacity is considered part of the treatment system to keep costs down while meeting the intended performance requirement or water quality standards.
2: OWTSs serving high-density housing or those near sensitive receiving waters may face more onerous restrictions than those serving lower-density housing further away from critical water resources.
Risk evaluations of each potential contaminant in the wastewater to be treated, its movement and fate, potential exposure opportunities, and estimated effects on humans and natural resources should be used to develop performance criteria for onsite systems.
3: Water quality standards have already been set by a number of government entities for a variety of surface water uses. Standards for preserving recreational waters, aquatic life support, shellfish propagation and habitat, and drinking water are among them. These criteria are generally based on risk assessment processes and procedures that take into account the specified uses of receiving waters, the hazard and toxicity of the pollutants, the potential for human and ecological exposure, and the projected repercussions of exposure.
4: When establishing performance requirements, local demands or goals must be taken into account.Lower pollutant discharge concentrations or mass pollutant limitations than those needed by existing water quality standards may be warranted due to watershed or site-specific factors. Estimating the mass of cumulative OWTS pollutants released to receiving waters and determining the assimilative capacity of the receiving waters can be used to determine the mass of pollutants that should be eliminated by onsite treatment systems. In a ground water aquifer or watershed, mass pollution loads are often distributed among onsite systems and other loading sources (e.g., urban yards and landscaped areas, row crop lands, and animal feeding operations).
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