Modeling the Extent of Virus Removal in Waste Stabilization Ponds to Support Reuse of Wastewater

K.J. Vannoy1*, M.E. Verbyla1, S.M. Oakley2, J.R. Mihelcic1

1 Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave. ENB 118, Tampa, FL 33620 – USA 2 Department of Civil Engineering, California State University, Chico, CA 95926 – USA


A literature review was used to create a database to determine the overall virus removal efficiency in individual waste stabilization ponds (WSPs).  The database consisted of 340 paired influent and effluent concentrations of enteric viruses or bacteriophages from 141 individual WSPs in 53 different systems. Apparent virus removal rate coefficients (Kv) were calculated for each of the individual WSPs using the following three mathematical models: completely mixed flow reactor, plug flow reactor, and dispersed flow model. Pearson’s correlation analysis was used to determine correlations between estimated Kv values and the following design, operational and environmental variables: solar insolation, air temperature, pond depth, hydraulic retention time (HRT), and virus loading rates. The median Kv values were greater for the anaerobic ponds than for the facultative and maturation ponds. However, the Kv values in facultative and maturation ponds had more significant correlations with design, operational, and environmental parameters such as temperature, solar insolation, HRT, and virus loading rates. These parameters may therefore be useful for generating a simple model to predict virus removal in WSPs for design and planning purposes

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