A pond system consisting of two lines each of an anaerobic followed by facultative and maturation ponds is used to treat site sewage from oil and gas production operations in an arid coastal environment. The performance of the pond system was evaluated together with the suitability of treated effluent for reuse in local irrigation. Effluent from the pond system by-and-large satisfies criteria for irrigation of non-food crop plants with respect to chemical parameters. The primary problem is coliform bacteria levels which are an order of magnitude higher than preferred values. First-order decay rate constants for each pond were calculated from a mass balance model that assumes complete mixing and incorporates the considerable evaporation that occurs in this setting. While the anaerobic ponds of both lines exhibit suitable performance, rate calculations indicate that the facultative and maturation ponds of the East Line are performing better than the West. A tracer study of the facultative and maturation ponds indicates that some short-circuiting is occurring in the West Line. A field experiment of coliform transport in irrigated soil gives indications of short- and long-term risks associated with reuse of the effluent.

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