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The nitrogen concentration inside the cesspit is quite high as compared to nitrogen concentration in the influent raw wastewater due to ammonification processes of the particulate nitrogenous compounds that accumulate there (Tables 1 and 5). The nitrogen load from a cesspit either to nature, once disposed in open areas, or to a treatment plant, is clearly of serious concern. The oxygen demand to oxidize this nitrogen load is around 1,500 mg/L.

Table 5

Septage characteristics of individual household septage cesspit in Beit Dajan and in the USA

 Beit Dajan/Palestine
  
Locality/Country
This study
  
Reference Parameters RangeAverageAl Bireh City /Palestine wastewater Hithnawi (2004) USA septageaU.S. EPA (2002) 
BOD5  448–527 504 (29) – 440–78,600 
COD 863–1,240 1,533–1,793 1,681 (107) 1,034 1,500–703,000 
TN 111–322 308–378 340 (27)  66–1,060 
NH4+-N    83  
TSS 304–4,952 352–2,495 1,491(998) 3,068 310–93,378 
TDS  427–580 499 (49) – 353–71,402 
pH  6.7–7.0 6.85 (0.1) 7.2 1.5–12.6 
PO43−-P 5.8–15.2 11.3–16.5 15.1 (2) 12 20–760 
EC (1,143) 891–1,422 1,141 (170) – – 
 19.8–25.6 24.4 (2.3)   
 Beit Dajan/Palestine
  
Locality/Country
This study
  
Reference Parameters RangeAverageAl Bireh City /Palestine wastewater Hithnawi (2004) USA septageaU.S. EPA (2002) 
BOD5  448–527 504 (29) – 440–78,600 
COD 863–1,240 1,533–1,793 1,681 (107) 1,034 1,500–703,000 
TN 111–322 308–378 340 (27)  66–1,060 
NH4+-N    83  
TSS 304–4,952 352–2,495 1,491(998) 3,068 310–93,378 
TDS  427–580 499 (49) – 353–71,402 
pH  6.7–7.0 6.85 (0.1) 7.2 1.5–12.6 
PO43−-P 5.8–15.2 11.3–16.5 15.1 (2) 12 20–760 
EC (1,143) 891–1,422 1,141 (170) – – 
 19.8–25.6 24.4 (2.3)   

All parameters are in (mg/L), except pH (−), EC in μS/cm and T in °C; # of raw wastewater samples is 15, and # of septage samples is 6; Standard deviations are presented between brackets.

aSource: U.S. EPA (2002).

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