Mixed-Media Filtration and Solar Pasteurization for Wastewater Reuse

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


This report encompasses the design of a system to treat wastewater lagoon effluent into reusable standards in the Southwest United States. The research aims to provide additional treatment to the effluent from an existing wastewater lagoon, to be repurposed as Class 1A or 1B reclaimed wastewater within a rural community in New Mexico. Areas in the Southwestern US are experiencing increased water scarcity, and the design will reduce the demand for freshwater supplies. A proposed trickling filter and solar pasteurization treatment decreases the parameters of total suspended solids (TSS), total coliform, turbidity, and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of the lagoon effluent. After laboratory testing, BOD values were reduced to 0.5 mg/L, turbidity values were reduced to 24.83 NTU, and TSS values were reduced to 10.66 mg/L after treatment. Total coliform could not be accurately counted, but the system was found to reduce coliform. BOD and total coliform values were below Class 1A levels, proving the system is effective. The elements of economic impacts and environmental resources, such as gravity and sunlight, along with ease of construction and footprint, were considered to design a low-waste and low-maintenance process to treat up to 100,000 gallons of wastewater daily.

Publication Title

2023 Waste-Management Education Research Conference, WERC 2023