Onsite Reuse of Reclaimed Wastewater in Winter to Determine Potential for Pollutant Runoff


  • Joshua Griffin Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
  • Karen M. Mancl The Ohio State University




ammonia, cold weather, infiltration, sewage treatment, winter irrigation


The objectives of this study were to determine the impact of reclaimed wastewater irrigation in freezing conditions on the quality of runoff and to observe how soils respond to irrigation in freezing temperatures. Onsite irrigation systems were constructed on 6 bermed lots on a hillside in Coshocton County, Ohio. All runoff was collected in gutters at the bottom of the hill. Two lots were irrigated with artificial reclaimed wastewater, 2 with well water, and 2 were unirrigated. Runoff was collected through an average winter (2013) and a severe winter (2014). The infiltrative capacity of the plots was maintained during the average winter and yielded runoff on only one day. During the severe winter, runoff occurred on 11 days; of the regulated pollutants, only ammonia was significantly higher than the control plots. The volumes that ran off were lower than what was applied and the contaminate concentrations were lower than what was applied and did not exceed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) effluent limits. The indication is that even in the worst-case scenario most of the pollutants were assimilated on site.