Innovative phosporeduc technology for phosporus removal and harvesting from onsite sewage treatment systems – A novel strategy for eutrophication mitigation and control

Drizo, A. – Heriot Watt Univerty; School of Energy, Geosciences, Infrastructure and society & Water and Soil Solutions International Ltd.

Gunes, K. – TUBITAK Marmara Research Center Environment and Cleaner Production Institute.

Picard, H. – Water and Soil Solutions International Ltd



In this paper we present novel PhosphoReduc technology for phosphorus (P) removal and harvesting from onsite septic systems (OSS) effluents in different climatic zones including temperate (USA), Mediterranean (Turkey) and sub-tropical (Taiwan, Brazil).
Over the past 6 years the number of coastal areas experiencing symptoms of eutrophication increased nearly 85% (from 415 to 762) worldwide. As much as 78 % of the assessed continental U.S. coastal area and approximately 65% of Europe’s Atlantic coast exhibit symptoms of eutrophication. The situation is equally alarming for freshwater resources with over 50% of lakes in Asia, Europe and North America currently being identified as eutrophic. The actual magnitude most likely much greater given that in many regions of the world (e.g. Asia, Latin America, Africa) it has just started to be researched.
Between 25 – 55% of rural and suburban population (307.8 – 677 million people) in the North America, Europe and Australia relay on OSS for their household wastewater treatment discharging 400 – 880,000 ton P/year. There has been a number of scientific studies over the past 10-15 years in Europe and North America which revealed that OSS could make significant P loading contribution to surface and ground waters and subsequent eutrophication and harmful algae blooms (HABs). However, despite an increasing evidence, the role of OSS in P loading to surface and ground waters has been ignored by the regulatory agencies worldwide. Scandinavia is the only region in the world that has recognized P discharges from OSS as a problem and developed regulations between 2006 and 2008. For the rest of the world, the absence of recognition of the OSS as P pollution source and ensuing absence of regulatory requirements greatly diminish scientific and engineering aspirations to research and develop new technologies for OSS P treatment.

Phosphorus removal, phosphorus harvesting and re-use, onsite septic systems

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