Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Septic tanks, viruses, water reuse


A field study to examine the Stanford Onsite Wastewater Treatment System's ability to remove bacteriophage from wastewater was conducted. MS2 Coliphage was Injected Into the low pressure pipe (LPP) distribution system to achieve an Influent concentration of 1.6 x 106 plague forming units per milliliter (PFU/ml). The bacteriophage was Injected Into the system three times during the day, and samples were taken from drainage tiles of the treatment system. Tile drainage was assayed on conform bacteria host cultures for MS2 phage. The treatment system removed two to three logs (99% to 99.9%) of the phage. During the past two years, the treatment system has also reduced total organic carbon from 55 mg/1 to 5 mg/1. The system also reduced the ammonium-nitrogen concentration from 41 mg/1 to 1 mg/1. The nitrate-nitrogen concentration rose from less than 1 mg/1 1n the Influent to 4 mg/1 1n the effluent. Over the past two years, the geometric mean fecal coliform concentration was 18 colony-forming units per ml (CFU/ml). The effluent water quality meets the Arkansas Department of Health, Standards for Outdoor Bathing Places.

Report Number