Septic Tank Effluent Treatment using Hydroponic System: A Successive Way to Improve Effluent Efficiency

IJEP 43(10): 905-919 : Vol. 43 Issue. 10 (October 2023)

Anand Lali Neera1*, Ayoob Sulaiman2 and Lea Mathew3

1. Government Engineering College, Department of Civil Engineering, Thrissur – 680 009, Kerala, India
2. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technological University, Thiruvananthapuram – 695 016, Kerala, India
3. College of Engineering, Departmnet of Civil Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram – 695 016, Kerala, India


Population growth around the world has led to a major rise in housing densities. Since many of these homes lack proper sewer services, waste from them will combine with surface water run-off, making it extremely contaminated before it enters natural waterways. The ability of farmers on every continent to generate adequate food for the world’s growing population is increasingly being hampered by the lack of water available for the production of agriculture. In India, particularly in the areas of urban and peri-urban where centralized wastewater collection and treatment systems are frequently unaffordable, the concept of decentralized wastewater management concept has real potential. The traditional septic tank is the most popular on-site wastewater treatment technology in metropolitan settings. This manuscript proposes a novel approach to increase the effectiveness of septic tank treatment. The goal is to sustainably surface irrigate the gardens using treated wastewater. This is possible if excessive pollutants do not permeate and contaminate the groundwater and if pathogen concentrations are almost negligible, such that people playing or working in the treated effluent-sprayed gardens are not sickened. According to statistical findings, treatments with and without plants significantly differed in terms of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total phosphorus (TP) and chemical oxygen demand (COD). The outcomes suggested that household toilet effluent may be effectively treated using a reactor that combined a septic tank with a floating vetiver system. In terms of COD, BOD, total suspended solids (TSS) and other parameters, treatment efficiency of 80–90% could be averaged. The effectiveness of growing vetiver hydroponically to treat residential wastewater after primary treatment in septic tanks has been tested in a number of trials. Results of laboratory and pilot-scale studies on floating vetiver systems reveal that, when compared to a traditional septic tank, removal efficiency significantly rises at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 21 days.


Vetiveria zizanioides, Floating vetiver system, Biological oxygen demand, Domestic wastewater, Root mats, Nitrification, pH value, Dissolved oxygen


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