Wastewater treatment technologies suitable for serving large populations are generally reliable and reasonably cost-effective, yet they are almost always financially inappropriate for small communities (<2,000 p.e.). Comparative cost data suggests that waste stabilization ponds should be an attractive option for small communities, yet perceptions relating to land costs, climate and effluent quality have limited their application in the UK. This paper details typical UK land costs, climate and winter performance data for a pilot-scale waste stabilization pond with various upgrading technologies: system A, two tertiary maturation ponds in series; B, two tertiary maturation ponds in series followed by a reed bed channel; C, a control rock filter; D, an aerated rock filter; and E, a constructed wetland. System D was found to perform best, closely followed by system B.

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