Event Title

Waste Water Treatment Evaluation for Effect of Antibiotics on Septic Systems

Location

CSU 243/4/5

Start Date

5-4-2010 10:00 AM

End Date

5-4-2010 12:00 PM

Student's Major

Mechanical and Civil Engineering

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Stephen J. Druschel

Mentor's Department

Mechanical and Civil Engineering

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

Septic systems utilize microbiological degradation to treat waste water, so it is important to investigate the effects of antibiotics passing through humans into septic systems. Residual antibiotics entering a septic system may kill enough microbes during the course of a prescription to limit the system’s ability affectively treat waste. This loss of treatment by microbial degradation may cause a septic system to become clogged by the undegraded organic waste leading to hydraulic failure.

Our project involved designing and building a scale model septic system which was used to replicate the microbiological treatment which takes place in real septic systems. One model was used as a control, and a model was used for the experiment. Both models have septic tanks and drainfields, with an influent simulating the flow from of a residence into a septic tank. The experiment involved dosing the septic system with the antibiotic amoxicilin, then monotoring the treatment ability of the system as well as the health of the microbe population. The treatment quality was monitored using pH, turbidity, and DO (dissolved oxygen) testing methods. The microbial population’s health was monitored using flow cytometry which compared the number of living verse dead organisms. We ran three experimental trials at three different antibiotinc levels and corrilated the results to approximate the level amount of antibiotics that would cause failure in a residential septic system.

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Apr 5th, 10:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Waste Water Treatment Evaluation for Effect of Antibiotics on Septic Systems

CSU 243/4/5

Septic systems utilize microbiological degradation to treat waste water, so it is important to investigate the effects of antibiotics passing through humans into septic systems. Residual antibiotics entering a septic system may kill enough microbes during the course of a prescription to limit the system’s ability affectively treat waste. This loss of treatment by microbial degradation may cause a septic system to become clogged by the undegraded organic waste leading to hydraulic failure.

Our project involved designing and building a scale model septic system which was used to replicate the microbiological treatment which takes place in real septic systems. One model was used as a control, and a model was used for the experiment. Both models have septic tanks and drainfields, with an influent simulating the flow from of a residence into a septic tank. The experiment involved dosing the septic system with the antibiotic amoxicilin, then monotoring the treatment ability of the system as well as the health of the microbe population. The treatment quality was monitored using pH, turbidity, and DO (dissolved oxygen) testing methods. The microbial population’s health was monitored using flow cytometry which compared the number of living verse dead organisms. We ran three experimental trials at three different antibiotinc levels and corrilated the results to approximate the level amount of antibiotics that would cause failure in a residential septic system.

Recommended Citation

Sorensen, Carl J.; Jacob D. Moser; Mark Origer; and Adam Nix. "Waste Water Treatment Evaluation for Effect of Antibiotics on Septic Systems." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 5, 2010.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2010/poster-session-A/5