On-site wastewater treatment systems are approved by the French regulation based on the results of platform tests following the European standard NF EN 12566-3. In addition to this approval for the treatment system, at least 90% of outlet concentrations have to be below 30 mg L−1 for total suspended solids (TSS) and 35 mg L−1 for biochemical oxygen demand. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effluent quality of these treatment systems on site, i.e. under real operating conditions, and to assess their performances. Between 2011 and 2016, 1,286 treated wastewater samples were taken from 231 on-site sanitation facilities in France. Data collected are heterogeneous and a robust statistical methodology (using a generalized log-linear model) was used to study the effects of four explanatory variables (treatment systems, loading rate, aging and sampling methods) on the distribution of treated wastewater concentrations. The model calculates median outlet concentrations depending on the effects identified. Its application allowed studying and comparing the outlet median concentrations of 21 on-site sanitation systems classified into nine categories and three groups. Four treatment systems out of the 21 monitored showed TSS median outlet concentrations below 10 mg L−1 and four treatment systems have TSS medians higher than the regulatory threshold of 30 mg L−1.

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