Semi-intensive technologies are a middle term between intensive ones (e.g., activated sludge with a retention time of hours) and extensive ones (e.g., stabilization ponds with a retention time of several weeks). The most common semi-intensive configuration used in Israel is made of anaerobic ponds followed by aerated lagoons. These small low-energy units remove about 75-80% of the BOD and are followed by wastewater reservoirs for storage and complementary treatment. The reduction in loading allows a flexible operation of the reservoirs for the removal of other pollutants, while providing storage capacity to cope with the changes in water demand for irrigation during the year. In schemes for wastewater reuse in irrigation, this lay-out has proved to be low-cost, low-energy, flexible, reliable and efficient. Variations of this basic configuration are the use of UASB reactors instead of anaerobic ponds, aerated lagoons in series or low-rate trickling filters instead of aerated lagoons, constructed wetlands or rock-filters for algae removal, etc. Semi-intensive technologies use less energy than intensive ones, and less land than extensive ones. They can remove as much BOD as intensive ones, and as much pathogens and refractory pollutants as extensive ones. They release no or very small amounts of sludge.

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