Comparative treatment effectiveness of conventional trench and seepage pit systems

J. P. Field, Kathryn L Farrell-Poe, James L Walworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


On-site wastewater treatment systems can be a potential source of groundwater contamination in regions throughout the United States and other parts of the world. Here, we evaluate four conventional trench systems and four seepage pit systems to determine the relative effectiveness of these systems for the treatment of septic tank effluent in medium- to coarse-textured arid and semiarid soils. Soil borings were advanced up to twice the depth of the trenches (4 m) and seepage pits (15 m) at two horizontal distances (30 cm and 1.5 m) from the sidewalls of the systems. Soil samples were analyzed for various biological and chemical parameters, including Escherichia coli, total coliform, pH, total organic carbon, total dissolved solids, total nitrogen, ammonium-nitrogen, and nitrate-nitrogen. Most soil parameters investigated approached background levels more rapidly near the trenches than the seepage pits, as sampling distance increased both vertically and horizontally from the sidewalls of the systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-319
Number of pages10
JournalWater Environment Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Seepage pits
  • Septic systems
  • Trenches
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative treatment effectiveness of conventional trench and seepage pit systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this