PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Field Evaluation: Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Systems

Project Summary

Final Report (PDF) November 2004

Increasingly, state and federal legislation is focused on reducing onsite wastewater nitrogen levels and improving overall quality of septic tank effluent. Approximately 25% of all homes in Anne Arundel County, Maryland use onsite wastewater treatment systems, and most are septic tanks. These homes are part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which is gaining increased public attention for a reduction of nitrogen levels in the bay. Rich Piluk, a public health engineer with Anne Arundel County, is looking at cost effective solutions to reduce concentrations of the elements in wastewater effluent that impact the environment.

Under a cooperative agreement between the NAHB Research Center, Inc. and Anne Arundel County, several innovative onsite aerobic wastewater systems are being installed at residential field sites, and monitored. Effluent samples are taken periodically and evaluated by an independent laboratory.

To-date, two innovative nitrogen reducing systems have been installed. Other sites are also being considered. Each site under evaluation has a different design or configuration. Currently, the aerobic treatment system at Site #2 is providing good results. Based on 6-months of sampling data, Site #2 has shown an average 80 percent reduction in total nitrogen, compared to samples taken prior to installing the aerobic treatment tank.

See the project profile for construction photos and status.

Content updated on 11/20/2006

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