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1.1   Background of the Study

Human waste or more technically referred to as ‘excreta’ is defined by Chamber’s Concise 20th Century Dictionary as “useless matter discharged by animal alimentary”, animals being humans in this context. Excreta is made up of a solid matter, feces, and a liquid matter, urine and is essentially an organic compound. The constituents making up the compound are carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, sulphur and hydrogen. Also present are fats, carbohydrates, enzymes, proteins, trace elements, pathogens and many different bacteria.

Sewage is a type of wastewater that comprises domestic wastewater and is therefore contaminated with feces or urine from people's toilets, but the word sewage is also used to mean any type of waste water.Sewage is the physical infrastructure, including pipes, pumps, and screens, channels etc. used to convey sewage from its origin to the point of eventual treatment or disposal. Wastewater can come from (indicates likely inclusions or contaminants)

·           Human waste (feces, used toilet paper, urine or other bodily fluids) also known as black water usually from lavatories.

•            Cesspit leakage

•            Septic tank discharge

•            Sewage treatment plant discharge

•            Wasting water (personal, clothes, floors, dishes etc) also known as greywater or sludge.

•            The home Rainfall   collected   on   roofs,   yards,   hard-sandugsetc (generally clean with traces of oils and fuel).   

•            A Groundwater infiltrated into sewage.

•            Industrial waste.

•            Toxic waste (metal plating, cyanide production, pesticide manufacturing; etc)

The composition of wastewater varies widely. This is a partial list of what it may contain.

·        Water  (more than 95  percent),  which is  often  added during flushing to carry waste down a drain

·        Pathogens    such   as   bacteria,   viruses,   proteins   and parasitic worms.

·        Non pathogenic bacteria.

·        Organic   particles   such   as   feces,   hairs, food, vomit, paper, fibers, plant materials, humans etc,

·        Inorganic particles such as sand, grit, metal particles, ceramics, etc.

·        Gases    such    as   hydrogen    sulfide,    carbon    dioxide, methane etc.

·        Pharmaceuticals  and  hormones 

1.1.1        Waste Water Quality Indicators

Anti-oxidizable material present in a natural waterway or in an industrial wastewater will be oxidized both by biochemical (bacterial) or chemical processes. The result is that the oxygen content of the water will be decreased. Basically, the reaction for biochemical oxidation may be written as.

Oxidizable material + bacteria +nutrient + O    CO2 +H20 +

Oxidized   inorganic   such   as   NO3   or   SO2.

Oxygen consumption by reducing chemicals such as sulfides and nitrites is typified as follows:

S2 + 202           SO42-

NO2- + I/202        NO3-

Since all natural waterways contain bacteria and nutrients, almost any waste compounds introduced into such waterways will initiate biochemical reactions (such as shown above).

Those biochemical reactions create what is measured in the laboratory as the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). Such chemicals are also liable to be broken down using strong oxidizing agents and these chemical reactions create what is measured in the laboratory as the chemical oxygen demand (COD). Both the BOD and, COD tests are a measure of the relative oxygen-depletion effect of a waste contaminant. Both have been widely adopted as a measure of pollution effect.

The BOD test measures the oxygen demand of biodegradable pollutants whereas the COD test measures the oxygen demand of oxidizable  pollutants.

Wastewater treatments are numerous processes that can be used to clean up wastewaters depending on the type and extent of contamination. Wastewater can be treated in wastewater treatment plants which include. Physical, chemical and biological treatment processes. Municipal wastewater is treated in sewage treatment plant (which may also be referred to as wastewater treatment plant), Agricultural wastewater may be treated in agricultural wastewater treatment processes, whereas industrial wastewater is treated in industrial wastewater   treatment processes.

Treated wastewater can be reused as drinking water in industry (cooling towers), in artificial recharge of aquifers, in agriculture and in the rehabilitation of natural ecosystems (for example in Florida's everglades).

There are numerous benefits of using recycled water for irrigation, including the low cost when compared to other-sources, particularly in an urban area, consistency of supply (regardless of season, climatic conditions and associated, water restrictions) and general consistency of quality. Irrigation of recycled wastewater is also considered as a means for plant   fertilization and particularly nutrients supplementation. (CSL London Olympics waste preview).

1.2 Objectives of the study

The main objective of this study includes the following;

1.     Determination of acidity, alkalinity and pH contents in a waste water

2.     Determination of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in wastewater

3.     Determination of chemical oxygen demand (COD) in


4.     Determination of chemical constituents in a wastewater

5.     Modern management of wastewater

1.3   Significance of the study

This project aims at determining the anaerobic processes taking place in the septic tank as a wastewater treatment option. Also to determine if septic tank is a reliable waste water treatment plant.

1.4   Scope of the Study

This project is based on the determination of the anaerobic processes taking place in the septic tank. Also to determine if the waste water treatment is really treating the waste water well. And also to check the level of contaminants present in the septic tank and soakaway pit on the following parameters through physical and chemical analysis. Physical analysis: temperature, pH, Conductivity and Turbidity. Chemical analysis: biochemical oxygen demand (B.O.D), chemical oxygen demand (C.O.D), acidity, alkalinity,  Total Solid, Dissolved solid, Suspended Solid, Total Hardness, Copper, Iron, Lead, Chloride, Sulphate, Calcium/ magnesium and Phosphorus present in wastewater.


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