Performance of Residential Wastewater Treatment Technologies under New Stressing Conditions related to Lifestyle Changes

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Courtesy of Premier Tech Aqua

Over the past two decades, major changes in family lifestyles have been observed. People travel more, eat in restaurants more frequently and, in many families, both parents work outside the home. Based on information from Statistics Canada, in 1970, 31% of Canadian families had both parents working outside the home. In 1990, this percentage has risen to more than 70%. As well, the higher divorce rate also impacts house occupancy. In newly formed families, house occupancy may vary from week to week because of issues like shared custody.

These lifestyle changes all have an impact on wastewater flow patterns generated in houses not connected to the municipal sewer system. And now, intermittent and peak flows are not only generated in secondary or seasonal homes, but increasingly in permanent homes as well.

Although the existing testing protocols for technology certification (NSF, BNO and EN in Europe) include stress tests, they do not reflect the new stressing conditions (intermittent flow, overload) related to lifestyle changes. For example, the NSF protocol does not provide for overloading or underloading periods (only design flow). As well, vacation stress (zero flow periods) is limited to eight days.

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