A single full-scale primary facultative pond in Sapé, north-east Brazil was monitored for performance and efficiency. The pond had a hydraulic retention time of 61 days and achieved a 95% BOD5 removal efficiency and had no helminth eggs in the effluent. The effluent failed to meet the WHO faecal coliform guideline for unrestricted irrigation. The pond was dominated by the cyanobacterium Microcystis and gave better than predicted orthophosphate removal. Details of how the system could be simply upgraded utilizing the same land are discussed.