Conventional wastewater treatment systems are expensive in either investment or running costs. On the other hand, waste stabilisation ponds may be unable to meet effluent standards for nutrients. Wastewater treatment using duckweed therefore becomes more significant as an option capable of achieving effluent standards and generating revenue from selling the duckweed. However existing duckweed based wastewater treatment (DWWT) systems have high land requirements despite being able to reduce concentrations of organic compounds and pathogens to acceptable levels. Improved guidelines for the design of DWWT are necessary to obtain a reliable and cost-effective wastewater treatment plant using duckweed. This guideline provides a DWWT design program using spreadsheets for different configurations of wastewater treatment units using duckweed. The design program developed suggests that a combination of anaerobic ponds, DWWT systems and maturation ponds can minimise land requirements and capital costs while achieving specified effluent standards. In order to achieve effluent standards, the land required is typically from 1.5 to 1.8 m2/capita (excluding associated facilities), capital costs are in the range from 7.9 to 9.7 USD/capita, with a retention time from 15 to 18 days. Income generation is dependent mainly on the social and cultural acceptability of duckweed use within the community.

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