TM 5-814-3/AFM 88-11, Volume III
WASTEWATER TREATMENT PONDS
A wastewater stabilization pond is a relatively shallow body of wastewater contained in an earthen basin
which is designed to treat wastewater. ("Oxidation pond" is a synonymous term.) They are used to treat a
variety of wastewaters, from domestic wastewater to complex industrial waters, and they function under a
wide range of weather conditions, i.e., tropical to arctic. Ponds can be used alone or in combination with
other treatment processes. If sufficient land is available, ponds are a cost-effective means to provide
wastewater treatment. In addition, their operation is easy and their maintenance requirements are minimal.
They are usually the most prefered system in hot climate zones (see appendix D). This chapter presents some
information about ponds; additional design information and detailed sample design calculations are provided
in the EPA Manual 625/1-83-015. Detailed discussion of pond utilization may be found in Rich, 1980;
Dinges, 1984; and Wagner and Lanoix, 1982.
14-2. Types of ponds.
Table 14-1 presents the many different ways that stabilization ponds may be classified. The bases for the
classifications are type of influent, method of effluent flow management, oxygenation method, and type of
biological activity. This last classification scheme is the best because it describes the dominant feature, i.e.,
the type(s) of biological activity occurring in a pond. However; to fully describe the different types of ponds,
the effluent flow management method should also be noted.