Two PC-based waste stabilization pond design procedures, based on parameter uncertainty and 10,000-trial Monte Carlo simulations, were developed for a series of anaerobic, facultative and maturation ponds to produce ≤1000 E. coli per 100 ml for both 50% and 95% compliance. One procedure was based on the classical Marais equations and the other on the modern von Sperling equations. For the range of parameter variations selected the classical design procedure required less land area and had a shorter hydraulic retention time than the modern design procedure. For both procedures the design for 90% compliance required substantially more land and a longer retention time than the design for 50% compliance. Regulators and designers should seek a balance between system reliability (as set by the percentage compliance specified or adopted) and system costs, especially (but not only) in developing countries. It is recommended that new waste stabilization pond (WSP) systems be designed for compliance with a given E. coli effluent requirement by the classical procedure and that existing overloaded WSP systems be upgraded using the modern procedure.

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