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Physical, Chemical and Biological Characteristics of Wastewater

Physical characteristics
• Solids are classified into three main types:
1. Total Solids (TS): All the matter that remains as residue upon evaporation at 103oC to
2. Settleable solids: Settleable solids are measured as ml/L, which is an approximate
measure of the sludge that can be removed by primary sedimentation.
3. Suspended solids (SS) and Filterable solids (FS): Suspended solids refer to small solid
particles which remain in suspension in water as a colloid or due to the motion of the water. It is
used as one indicator of water quality. Suspended solids are important as pollutants and
pathogens are carried on the surface of particles. The smaller the particle size, the greater the
total surface area per unit mass of particle in grams, and so the higher the pollutant load that is
likely to be carried. A well-mixed sample is filtered through a standard glass fiber filter. The
filtrate is evaporated in a weighed dish and dried to a constant weight at 180 °C (356°F). The
increase in the weight of the dish after drying is the total filterable solids (total dissolved solids).
Physical characteristics- Odor
Odor is produced by gas production due to the decomposition of organic matter or by
substances added to the wastewater.
Detection of odor: Odor is measured by special instruments such as the Portable H2S meter
which is used for measuring the concentration of hydrogen sulfide.
Almost the same density of water when the wastewater doesn't include significant
amount of industrial waste.
Color is a qualitative characteristic that can be used to assess the general condition of
wastewater. Color in water is primarily a concern of water quality for aesthetic reason. Colored
water give the appearance of being unfit to drink, even though the water may be perfectly safe
for public use. On the other hand, color can indicate the presence of organic substances, such as
algae or humic compounds. More recently, color has been used as a quantitative assessment of
the presence of potentially hazardous or toxic organic materials in water. Wastewater that is light
brown in color is less than 6h old, while a light-to- medium grey color is characteristic of
wastewaters that have undergone some degree of decomposition or that have been in the
collection system for some time. Lastly, if the color is dark grey or black, the wastewater is
typically septic, having undergone extensive bacterial decomposition under anaerobic conditions
Fresh waste water --------------light brownish gray.
With time ------------dark gray
More time ---------------black (septic).
Some times pink due to algae or due to industrial colors.
Turbidity is a measure of the light-transmitting properties of water and is comprised of
suspended and colloidal material and is often measured using Jackson turbidity meter and
nephelometric turbidity meter. It is important for health and aesthetic reasons. For potable water
applications turbidity is a good indicator of water quality
Chemical Characteristics
Points of concern regarding the chemical characteristics of wastewater are:
-Organic matter
-Measurements of organic matter
-Inorganic matter
Organic matter (Ca Hb Oc).
75% SS organic. (Suspended Solids)
40% FS organic. (Filtered Solids)
Organic mater is derived from animals & plants and man activities.
Proteins (40-60%).
Carbohydrates (25-50%).
Fats, Oils, and Grease (10%).
Total organic carbon (TOC)
This method measures the organic carbon existing in the wastewater by injecting a
sample of the WW in special device in which the carbon is oxidized to carbon dioxide then
carbon dioxide is measured and used to quantify the amount of organic matter in the WW. This
method is only used for small concentration of organic matter.
Theoretical Oxygen (ThOD)
If the chemical formula of the organic matter existing in the WW is known the ThOD may be
computed as the amount of oxygen needed to oxidize the organic carbon to carbon dioxide and a
other end products.
Inorganic Matter
The following are the main inorganic materials of concern in wastewater treatment:
1. Chlorides:-
• High concentrations indicate that the water body has been used for waste disposal.
• It affects the biological process in high concentrations.
2. Nitrogen:
TKN = Total Kjeldahl nitrogen.
= Organic Nitrogen + ammonia Nitrogen (120 mg/l).
3. Phosphorus:
• Municipal waste contains (4-15 mg/l).

5. Toxic inorganic Compounds:-

Copper, lead, silver, chromium, arsenic, boron.
6. Heavy metals:-
Nickels, Mn, Lead, chromium, cadmium, zinc, copper, iron mercury.
The following are the main gases of concern in wastewater treatment:
N2, O2, CO2, H2S, NH3, CH4
The hydrogen-ion concentration is an important parameter in both natural waters and
wastewaters. It is a very important factor in the biological and chemical wastewater treatment.
Water and wastewater can be classified as neutral, alkaline or acidic according to the following
PH = 7 neutral.
PH > 7 Alkaline.
PH < 7 Acidic.
Biological Characteristics
The environmental engineer must have considerable knowledge of the biological of waste
water because it is a very important characteristics factor in wastewater treatment.
The Engineer should know:
1. The principal groups of microorganisms found in wastewater.
2. The pathogenic organisms.
3. Indicator organisms (indicate the – presence of pathogens).
4. The methods used to amount the microorganisms.
5. The methods to evaluate the toxicity of treated wastewater
Main groups of Microorganisms
The main microorganisms of concern in wastewater treatment are Bacteria, Fungi, Algae,
Protozoa, Viruses, and pathogenic microorganisms groups.
Types: Spheroid, rod curved rod, spiral, filamentous. Some important bacteria:-
Pseudomonas: reduce NO3 to N2, So it is very important in biological nitrate removal in
treatment works.
Zoogloea: helps through its slime production in the formation of flocks in the aeration tanks.
Sphaerotilus natuns:Causes sludge bulking in the aeration tanks.
Bdellovibrio: destroy pathogens in biological treatment.
Acinetobacter: Store large amounts of phosphate under aerobic conditions and release it under an
anaerobic condition so, they are useful in phosphate removal.
Nitrosomonas: transform NH4 into NO2-
Nitrobacter: transform NO2- to NO3-
Coliform bacteria:- The most common type is E-Coli or Echerichia Coli, (indicator for the
presence of pathogens). E-Coli is measured in (No/100mL)
•Important in decomposing organic matter to simple forms.
•Cause eutrophication phenomena. (negative effect)
• Useful in oxidation ponds. (positive effect)
•Cause taste and problems when decayed. (negative effect)
•Feed on bacteria so they help in the purification of treated waste water.
•Some of them are pathogenic.
Viruses are a major hazard to public health. Some viruses can live as long as 41days in water and
wastewater at 20 oC. They cause lots of dangerous diseases.
Pathogenic organisms
The main categories of pathogens are:
Bacteria, Viruses, protozoa, helminthes

Wastewater Treatment Method

Our modern lifestyle provides us the luxury of using various products to make our lives
more comfortable and easy, but it comes at a price. A common byproduct of our current lifestyle
includes wastewater, which can either be in the form of water running down the shower or runoff
from wet roads. This wastewater is unfit for human consumption or use.
Fortunately, we can make the wastewater potable and usable by employing wastewater treatment
technologies that filter and treat the wastewater by removing contaminants such as sewage and
Four common ways to treat wastewater include physical water treatment, biological water
treatment, chemical treatment, and sludge treatment. Let us learn about these processes in detail.
Physical Water Treatment
In this stage, physical methods are used for cleaning the wastewater. Processes like
screening, sedimentation and skimming are used to remove the solids. No chemicals are involved
in this process.
One of the main techniques of physical wastewater treatment includes sedimentation,
which is a process of suspending the insoluble/heavy particles from the wastewater. Once the
insoluble material settles down at the bottom, you can separate the pure water.
Another effective physical water treatment technique includes aeration. This process
consists of circulating air through the water to provide oxygen to it. Filtration, the third method,
is used for filtering out all the contaminants. You can use special kind of filters to pass the
wastewater and separate the contaminants and insoluble particles present in it. The sand filter is
the most commonly used filter. The grease found on the surface of some wastewater can also be
removed easily through this method.
Biological Water Treatment
This uses various biological processes to break down the organic matter present in
wastewater, such as soap, human waste, oils and food. Microorganisms metabolize organic
matter in the wastewater in biological treatment. It can be divided into three categories:
Aerobic processes: Bacteria decomposes the organic matter and converts it into carbon
dioxide that can be used by plants. Oxygen is used in this process.
Anaerobic processes: Here, fermentation is used for fermenting the waste at a specific
temperature. Oxygen is not used in anaerobic process.
Composting: A type of aerobic process where wastewater is treated by mixing it with
sawdust or other carbon sources.
Secondary treatment removes most of the solids present in wastewater, however, some dissolved
nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous may remain.
Chemical Water Treatment
As the name suggests, this treatment involves the use of chemicals in water. Chlorine, an
oxidizing chemical, is commonly used to kill bacteria which decomposes water by adding
contaminants to it. Another oxidizing agent used for purifying the wastewater is ozone.
Neutralization is a technique where an acid or base is added to bring the water to its natural pH
of 7. Chemicals prevent the bacteria from reproducing in water, thus making the water pure.
Sludge Treatment
This is a solid-liquid separation process where the least possible residual moisture is
required in the solid phase and the lowest possible solid particle residues are required in the
separated liquid phase.
An example of this includes dewatering of sludge from industrial wastewater or sewage
plant where the residual moisture in dewatered solids determines the disposal costs and the
centrate quality determines the pollution load returned back to the treatment facility. You need to
minimize both.
A solid-liquid separation device such as a centrifuge is used for removing the solids from
the wastewater.
Wastewater has a lot of impact on the natural world and it is important to treat it
effectively. By treating wastewater, you don't just save the creatures thriving on it, but also
protect the planet as a whole.

Levels of Wastewater Treatment

The basic function of wastewater treatment is to speed up the natural processes by which water is
purified. There are two basic stages in the treatment of wastes, primary and secondary, which are
outlined here. In the primary stage, solids are allowed to settle and removed from wastewater. The
secondary stage uses biological processes to further purify wastewater. Sometimes, these stages are
combined into one operation.

Primary Treatment

As sewage enters a plant for treatment, it flows through a screen, which removes large floating objects
such as rags and sticks that might clog pipes or damage equipment. After sewage has been screened, it
passes into a grit chamber, where cinders, sand, and small stones settle to the bottom. A grit chamber is
particularly important in communities with combined sewer systems where sand or gravel may wash
into sewers along with storm water. After screening is completed and grit has been removed, sewage
still contains organic and inorganic matter along with other suspended solids.

These solids are minute particles that can be removed from sewage in a sedimentation tank. When the
speed of the flow through one of these tanks is reduced, the suspended solids will gradually sink to the
bottom, where they form a mass of solids called raw primary biosolids formerly sludge). Biosolids are
usually removed from tanks by pumping, after which it may be further treated for use as a fertilizer, or
disposed of in a land fill or incinerated. Over the years, primary treatment alone has been unable to
meet many communities’ demands for higher water quality. To meet them, cities and industries
normally treat to a secondary treatment level, and in some cases, also use advanced treatment to
remove nutrients and other contaminants.

Secondary Treatment

The secondary stage of treatment removes about 85 percent of the organic matter in sewage by making
use of the bacteria in it. The principal secondary treatment techniques used in secondary treatment are
the trickling filter and the activated sludge process. After effluent leaves the sedimentation tank in the
primary stage it flows or is pumped to a facility using one or the other of these processes. A trickling
filter is simply a bed of stones from three to six feet deep through which sewage passes.
More recently, interlocking pieces of corrugated plastic or other synthetic media have also been used in
trickling beds. Bacteria gather and multiply on these stones until they can consume most of the organic
matter. The cleaner water trickles out through pipes for further treatment. From a trickling filter, the
partially treated sewage flows to another sedimentation tank to remove excess bacteria. The trend
today is towards the use of the activated sludge process instead of trickling filters. The activated sludge
process speeds up the work of the bacteria by bringing air and sludge heavily laden with bacteria into
close contact with sewage. After the sewage leaves the settling tank in the primary stage, it is pumped
into an aeration tank, where it is mixed with air and sludge loaded with bacteria and allowed to remain
for several hours. During this time, the bacteria break down the organic matter into harmless by-
products. The sludge, now activated with additional billions of bacteria and other tiny organisms, can be
used again by returning it to the aeration tank for mixing with air and new sewage. From the aeration
tank, the partially treated sewage flows to another sedimentation tank for removal of excess bacteria.
To complete secondary treatment, effluent from the sedimentation tank is usually disinfected with
chlorine before being discharged into receiving waters. Chlorine is fed into the water to kill pathogenic
bacteria, and to reduce odor. Done properly, chlorination will kill more than 99 percent of the harmful
bacteria in an effluent. Some municipalities now manufacture chlorine solution on site to avoid
transporting and storing large amounts of chlorine, sometimes in a gaseous form. Many states now
require the removal of excess chlorine before discharge to surface waters by a process called
dechlorination. Alternatives to chlorine disinfection, such as ultraviolet light or ozone, are also being
used in situations where chlorine in treated sewage effluents may be harmful to fish and other aquatic

Other Treatment Options

New pollution problems have placed additional burdens on wastewater treatment systems. Today’s
pollutants, such as heavy metals, chemical compounds, and toxic substances, are more difficult to
remove from water. Rising demands on the water supply only aggravate the problem. The increasing
need to reuse water calls for better wastewater treatment. These challenges are being met through
better methods of removing pollutants at treatment plants, or through prevention of pollution at the
source. Pretreatment of industrial waste, for example, removes many troublesome pollutants at the
beginning, not the end, of the pipeline. To return more usable water to receiving lakes and streams, new
methods for removing pollutants are being developed. Advanced waste treatment techniques in use or
under development range from biological treatment capable of removing nitrogen and phosphorus to
physical-chemical separation techniques such filtration, carbon adsorption, distillation, and reverse
osmosis. These wastewater treatment processes, alone or in combination, can achieve almost any
degree of pollution control desired, Waste effluents purified by such treatment, can be used for
industrial, agricultural, or recreational purposes, or even drinking water supplies

Wastewater Disposal
On-site disposal systems

All the liquid waste from the toilet, bathroom, laundry and sink goes into pipes which
carry it to a septic tank. The effluent from the tank is then disposed of through effluent disposal
drains often referred to as leach or French drains. Both of these methods of disposing of liquid
waste are on-site disposal systems. They must be installed and maintained properly.
In these systems, the effluent is soaked into the surrounding soil. Some soils don't allow good
soakage such as clay or similar soils; if there are any problems with this disposal system a local
government should be consulted to talk about the problem

Plan view (top) of an on-site sewage disposal system.

On-site disposal systems cannot be installed in all situations. For example, they cannot be

 in areas that flood regularly

 in areas that have a high water table (that is, where the underground water is close to the
 where the amount of wastewater to be disposed of is large
 near to drinking water supplies

Effluent (wastewater) disposal system

In this method the effluent from the community is carried by large pipes to the lagoon.
These pipes serve all the houses and other buildings in the community. The sewage may be
either be treated in septic tanks at the houses or buildings or at the lagoon. There are no leach or
French drains.

Plan view of a wastewater disposal system.

Full sewage system

All the sewage from the toilet, shower, laundry and other areas enters waste and sewer
pipes directly and is pumped to a lagoon.

 There are three types of full sewage system:

 The sewage enters the lagoon without treatment
 The sewage goes through a series of cutting blades which help break up the solid matter
before it enters the lagoon. These blades are called macerators.

Plan view of full sewage system and macerators.

 The sewage may be treated in a large septic tank just before it enters the lagoon.

Plan view of a full sewage system with a large septic tank.

Septic Tank
A septic tank can be used to treat the sewage from individual buildings at the building
itself or for the whole community, at the lagoon. The sewage will pass through sewer pipes to the
septic tank either at the house or at the lagoon.
The septic tank is a sealed round or rectangular container which is used to break down the
sewage so that it becomes effluent through the action of bacteria living on the waste matter.
A household septic tank usually consists of two round concrete tanks with lids placed
close to each other. They are connected by a pipe. This type of septic tank is designed to be used
by up to 10 people. Round tanks are constructed (built) at a factory and transported to the site
(place) where they are to be used.

A round septic tank system.

A septic tank can also be a single rectangular concrete tank with a dividing wall in it. A
rectangular septic tank is designed to be used by more than 10 people and is often used for
sewage treatment at a lagoon. The tank is constructed on the site where it is to be used.

A rectangular septic tank system.

Septic tanks are always divided into two sections, the first being twice the size of the
second. In round septic tanks, the separation into two tanks provides this division. In rectangular
tanks the dividing wall provides the division. This wall will have a hole in it below the level of
the sewage to allow effluent to pass from the first to the second section.
Round septic tanks have concrete bottoms and lids. Rectangular tanks usually have
concrete bottoms and lids, but some may have metal lids. The lids can be lifted off for
maintenance and will have IOs in them.
There are many regulations (rules) which require septic tanks to be constructed,
positioned and installed in a particular way. These rules are controlled by local authorities.

It is very important to find out if the regulations are being followed by contractors or
anyone else installing (putting in place) new septic tanks in the community. It is a good idea to
contact the local Environmental Health Officers to check that the necessary approval has been
given to construct and/or install the septic tank disposal system.
If anyone wants to know anything about septic tanks, including the rules relating to their
construction, or there are any problems with these tanks in the community, contact the EHO or
Environmental Health Practitioner.

Effluent Standard in the Philippines


Pursuant to the provisions of Section 6 (i) of Presidential Decree No. 984, otherwise known as
the "Pollution Control Decree of 1976", and by virtue of Executive Order No. 192, Series of
1987, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources hereby adopts and promulgates the
following rules and regulations:
Section 1. Title. - These rules and regulations shall be known as the "Revised Effluent
Regulations of 1990".
Section 2. Scope. - These rules and regulations shall apply to all industrial and municipal
wastewater effluents.
Section 3. Definitions. - The following words and phrases, as used in these rules
and regulations, shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
a."BOD" means a measure of the approximate quantity of dissolved oxygen that will be required
by bacteria to stabilize organic matter in wastewater or surface water. It is a semi-quantitative
measure of the wastewater organics that are oxidizable by bacteria. It is also a standard test in
assessing wastewater strength.

b."Coastal Water" means an open body of water along the country’s coastline starting from the
shoreline (MLLW) and extending outward up to the 200-meter isobath or three-kilometer
distance, whichever is farther.
c."Department" refers to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
d."Effluent" is a general term denoting any wastewater, partially or completely treated, or in its
natural state, flowing out of a manufacturing plant, industrial plant or treatment plant.
e."Inland Water" means an interior body of water or watercourse such as lakes, reservoirs, rivers,
streams, creeks, etc., that has beneficial usage other than public water supply or primary contact
recreation. Tidal affected rivers or streams are considered inland waters for purposes of these
f."Mixing Zone" is the place where the effluent discharge from a point source mixes with a
receiving body of water. The area or extent of the zone shall be determined by the discharger and
approved by the Department on a case-to-case basis.
g."NPI" means New/Proposed Industry or wastewater treatment plants to be constructed.
h."OEI" means Old or Existing Industry.
i."Primary Contact Recreation" means any form of recreation, where there is intimate contact of
the human body with the water, such as swimming, water skiing, or skin diving.
j."Protected Water" means a watercourse or a body of water, or any segment thereof, that is
classified as a source of public water supply, propagation and harvesting of shellfish for
commercial purposes, or spawning areas for Chanoschanos and similar species, or primary
contact recreation, or that which is designated by competent government authority or by
legislation as tourist zone, national marine park and reserve, including coral reef park and
k."Strong Water" refers to wastewater whose initial BOD value before treatment is equal to or
greater than 3,000 mg/L.
Section 4. Heavy Metals and Toxic Substances. - Industrial and other effluents when discharged
into bodies of water classified as Class A, B, C, D, SA, SB, SC and SD in accordance with
Section 68, as amended, of the 1978 NPCC Rules and Regulations shall not contain toxic
substances in levels greater than those indicated in Table 1.
Table 1 - Effluent Standards: Toxic and Other Deleterious Substance (Maximum Limits
for the Protection of Public Health) (a)
Section 5. Conventional and Other Pollutants Affecting Aesthetics and Oxygen Demand. -
Effluents from domestic sewage and industrial wastewater treatment plants not covered under
Section 6 of these Regulations, when discharged into receiving waters classified as Class A, B,
C, D, SA, SB, SC, and SD in accordance with Section 68, as amended, of the 1978 NPCC Rules
and Regulations shall not contain the following pollutants in concentrations greater than those
indicated in Tables 2A and 2B.
Table 2A - EFFLUENT STANDARDS: Conventional and Other Pollutants in Protected
Waters Category I and II and in Inland Waters Class C (a)

(a) Except as otherwise indicated, all limiting values in Tables 2A and 2B are 90th percentile
values. This is applicable only when the discharger undertakes daily monitoring of its effluent
quality, otherwise, the numerical values in the tables represent maximum values not to be
exceeded once a year.
(b) Discharging of sewage and/or trade effluents is prohibited or not allowed
Table 2B - EFFLUENTS STANDARDS: Conventional and Other Pollutants in Inland
Waters Class D, Coastal Waters Class SC and SD and other Coastal Waters not yet

(c) Discharge shall not cause abnormal discoloration in the receiving waters outside of the
mixing zone
(d) For wastewaters with initial BOD concentration over 1,000 mg/L but less than 3,000
mg/L, the limit may be exceeded up to a maximum of 200 mg/L or a treatment reduction of
ninety (90) percent, whichever is more strict. Applicable to both old and new industries.
(g) Not more than 60 mg/L increase (dry season)
(f) Not more than 30 mg/L increase (dry season)
(h) If effluent is the sole source of supply for irrigation, the maximum limits are 1,500 mg/L
and 1,000 mg/L, respectively, for old industries and new industries.
NOTES for Table 2A and Table 2B:
1.In cases where the background level of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in freshwater rivers,
lakes, reservoirs and similar bodies of water is higher than the Water Quality Criteria, the
discharge should not increase the level of TDS in the receiving body of water by more than ten
percent of the background level.
2.The COD limits in Tables 2A and 2B generally apply to domestic wastewater treatment plant
effluent. For industrial discharges, the effluent standards for COD should be on a case to case
basis considering the COD – BOD ratio after treatment. In the interim period that this ratio is not
yet established by each discharger, the BOD requirements shall be enforced.
3.There are no effluent standards for chloride except for industries using brine and discharging
into inland waters, in which case the chloride content should not exceed 500 mg/L.
4.The effluent standards apply to industrial manufacturing plants and municipal treatment plants
discharging more than thirty (30) cubic meters per day.
Section 6.Effluent Standards for BOD for Strong Industrial Wastes. -
a)Interim Requirements for Old or Existing Industries. - For strong industrial wastewaters with
high BOD and where the receiving body of water is Class C, D, SC and SD in accordance with
Section 68, as amended, of the 1978 NPCC Rules and Regulations, the interim effluent
requirements for old industries which will be applicable within the period indicated in Table 3A.

(i)Not present in concentration to affect fish flavor or taste or tainting.

(j)If effluent is used to irrigate vegetable and fruit crops which may be eaten raw, Fecal
Coliforms should be less than 500 MPN/100 mL.
Table 3A - Interim Effluent Standards for BOD Applicable to Old or Existing Industries
Producing Strong Industrial Wastes, (1990-1994)

Note: *
1.Use either the numerical limit or percentage removal whichever is lower (or whichever is more
2.Starting January 1, 1995, the applicable effluent requirements for old or existing industries are
indicated in Table 3B.
3.For parameters other than BOD, Table 2A and Table 2B both under Section 5 shall apply.
b)Requirements for New Industries. - Upon the effectivity of these regulations, new/proposed
industries, or those old/existing industries that are yet to construct their wastewater treatment
facilities, which are producing or treating strong wastewaters shall comply with the requirements
in Table 3B below. By January 1995, this Table shall be applicable to all industries producing
strong wastes.
Table 3B - Effluent Standards for New* Industries Producing Strong Wastes upon
Effectivity of these Regulations, and for All Industries Producing Strong
Wastes starting January 1, 1995.

Note: *Including old or existing industries producing strong waste whose wastewater treatment
plants are still to be constructed.
1. Use either numerical limits or percentage removal whichever is lower (or whichever is more
2.For parameters other than BOD, Tables 2A and 2B shall apply.
Section 7. Mixing Zone Requirements.- The following general conditions shall govern the
location and extent of the mixing zone:
a. No mixing zone or combination of mixing zones shall be allowed to significantly impair any
of the designated uses of the receiving body of water.
b. A mixing zone shall not include an existing drinking water supply intake if such mixing zone
would significantly impair the purposes for which the supply is utilized.
c. A mixing zone for rivers, streams, etc., shall not create a barrier to the free migration of fish
and aquatic life.
d. A mixing zone shall not include a nursery area of indigenous aquatic life nor include any area
designated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for shellfish harvesting,
tourist zones and national marine parks and reserves, coral reef parks and reserves and declared
as such by the appropriate government agency.
e. In general, the length of the mixing zone or plume in rivers or similar waterways shall be as
short as possible and its width shall be preferably not more than one-half of the width of the
f. In discharging hot effluents from power plants, mineral ore milling and similar generators of
large volume of liquid wastes the permissible size of the mixing zone shall be determined
through modeling taking into consideration the size, hydraulic and hydrological data of the
receiving body of water and the design
and siting of the wastewater outfall.
g.For the protection of aquatic life resources, the mixing zone must not be used for, or be
considered as a substitute for wastewater treatment facility.
Section 8.Additional Requirements.
a. In addition to fulfilling the above-stated requirements in Sections 4 to 6, no effluent shall
cause the quality of the receiving body of water to fall below the prescribed quality in
accordance with its classification or best usage.
b. Where the combined effect of a number of individual effluent discharges causes one or more
water quality parameters to exceed the prescribed limits, the maximum permissible
concentrations of such parameters shall be reduced proportionately so as to maintain the desired
c. When discharging effluents into coastal waters, the location and design of the submarine
outfall shall be based on prevailing oceanographic and wind conditions so that discharged
materials shall not find their way back to the shore and that there shall be minimum deposition of
sediments near and around the outfall.
d. Effluents discharged into protected inland and coastal waters Category II, such as Class A, B,
and SB, shall meet the requirements of Section 4 and 5 above.
e. Starting January 1, 1995, old or existing industries shall comply with the standards set for new
industries in these regulations.
f. For a period to be determined by the Department Secretary and provided that the resulting
effect on receiving waters does not pose an immediate threat to life, public health, safety or
welfare or to animal or plant life or property, any existing industry that produces strong wastes
which cannot meet the limits for BOD in Tables 3A and 3B, maybe allowed to operate and be
issued a temporary permit to operate on condition that it pays first a penalty fee for polluting a
receiving body of water in the amount equivalent to five pesos (PhP 5.00) per kilogram of BOD
discharged per day in exceedance of the allowable effluent limit provided further that the
calculated fine shall not exceed PhP5,000 per day in accordance with PD 984 and its
implementing rules and regulations. (Conversion Factor: 1 mg/L = 1 g/cu.m.)
g. Each discharger covered under these regulations shall monitor its effluent and its effect on the
receiving body of water regularly in order to ensure compliance with Sections 4, 5 and 6 hereof
and Section 69, as amended, of the 1978 NPCC Rules and Regulations.
Section 9.Prohibitions.
a. No industrial or domestic sewage effluent shall be discharged into Class AA and SA waters.
b. In order to avoid deterioration of the quality of the receiving body of water, no new industrial
plant with high waste load potential shall discharge into a body of water where the dilution or
assimilative capacity of said water body during
dry weather condition is insufficient to maintain its prescribed water quality according to its
usage or classification.
c.No person shall discharge, wholly or partially, untreated or inadequately treated industrial
effluents directly into bodies of water or through the use of bypass canals and/or pumps and
other unauthorized means except upon prior approval of the Department Secretary.
d.Other Restrictions:
1. All water pollution control facilities/installations shall be properly and consistently maintained
and correctly and continuously operated in order to maintain an effluent quality that complies
with Sections 4 to 6 of these regulations.
2. No industrial or manufacturing plant shall be operated without the control facilities or
wastewater treatment system in good order or in proper operation except with the permission of
the Department Secretary when special circumstance arise.
3.No industrial or manufacturing plant or source of pollution shall be operated at capacities
beyond the limits of operation or capability of the wastewater treatment facility in order to
maintain the effluent quality within the standards or pertinent conditions required by law and/or
stipulated in the permit to operate.
4.No person shall build, erect, install or use any equipment, contrivance or any means the use of
which will conceal and/or dilute an effluent discharge and which otherwise constitute a violation
of any provisions of these regulations or the 1978 NPCC Rules and Regulations, as amended.
Section 10. Methods of Analysis for Effluents. - For purposes of these Regulations, any domestic
or industrial effluent discharged into any body of water or watercourse shall be analyzed in
accordance with the latest edition of the "Philippine Standard Methods for Air and Water
Analyses", the "Standard Method for the Examination of Water and Wastewater" published
jointly by the American Public Health Association, the American Waterworks Association and
the Water Pollution Control Federation of the United States, or in accordance with such other
methods of analysis as the Department may prescribe. The approved methods of analysis are
given in Table 4.
Table 4 - Approved Methods of Analysis
Note: Other methods found in the Philippine Standard Methods for Air and Water Analysis, the
"Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Waste Waters", published jointly by
American Public Health Association, the American Waterworks Association and the Water
Pollution Control Federation of the U.S. or in accordance with such other method of analyses as
the DENR may prescribe.
Section 11. Maximum Quantity to be Discharged. - For the protection of public health and the
aquatic resources of the country and in cases where the volume, strength and nature of one or
more pollutants, enumerated in, or not otherwise covered in the preceeding Sections, are
expected to cause a serious deterioration of a receiving body of water or cause harm or injury to
aquatic life and resources, the Department Secretary shall promulgate guidelines for the use of
the concerned line agencies, providing for the maximum quantity of any pollutant or contaminant
that maybe allowed to be discharged into the said body of water or watercourse, including the
maximum rate at which the contaminant may be so discharged.
This Section particularly applies, but is not limited to industrial effluents covered under Section
6 of these regulations, specifying in kilograms per day the BOD that may be discharged
considering the classification and dry weather flow of the receiving body of water.
Section 12. Penalties. - Any person or group of persons found violating or failing to comply with
any Order or Decision of the Department and/or the Pollution Adjudication Board or any
provision of these Regulations, shall be liable under Section 9 of the Pollution Control Law (PD
No. 984) and/or Section 106 of the 1978 NPCC Rules and Regulations, as amended.
Section 13. Separability Clause. - Any Section or provision of these regulations declared to be
unconstitutional or invalid by a competent court, the other sections or provisions hereof shall
remain to be in force.
Section 14. Repealing Clause. - Any provision of the 1978 Rules and Regulations, as amended,
the Effluent Regulations of 1982, and other existing rules and regulations of the Department
which are inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
Section 15. Amendments. - This Regulation may be amended and/or modified from time to time
by the Department.
Section 16. Effectivity. - This Regulation shall take effect thirty (30) days after publication in the
official gazette or any newspaper of general circulation.
Republic of the Philippines
R. A. 9299 June 25, 2004
Main Campus II, Bajumpandan, Dumaguete City 6200


CHAPTER 9: Wastewater Treatment and Disposal


Rushed A. Alama

Carl Angelo Amatong

2nd Semester

T TH 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM

SY 2018-2019


Engr. Irismay Jumawan