Waste Stabilization Ponds
Miguel Peña Varón and Duncan Mara (2004)
Waste stabilization ponds (WSP) are generally the wastewater treatment process of first choice in most situations in developing countries. They are suitable for both large and small populations (from a few hundreds to hundreds of thousands). This TOP introduces WSP for both the specialist design engineer and the non-specialist.
WSP have several important advantages for developing countries: low capital costs, simple (but essential) operation and maintenance, and high performance. They can easily be designed to produce high-quality effluents suitable for restricted and unrestricted irrigation and for fish and aquatic vegetable culture. Their principal disadvantage is that, because they are an entirely natural method of wastewater treatment (they obtain all their energy directly from the sun), they require much more land than conventional electromechanical processes such as activated sludge. However, land increases in value over time and its purchase should therefore be regarded as an investment.
This TOP covers the basic design concepts and O&M requirements for WSP. It is well illustrated with photographs of actual WSP systems, with both good and not so good examples, from around the world.