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Revista de Ciencias Ambientales

On-line version ISSN 2215-3896Print version ISSN 1409-2158


CENTENO MORA, Erick  and  MURILLO MARIN, Adrián. Typology of Ordinary Wastewater Treatment Technologies Installed in Costa Rica. Ciencias Ambientales [online]. 2019, vol.53, n.2, pp.97-110. ISSN 2215-3896.

This paper presents the profile of municipal wastewater treatment plants in Costa Rica, comparing it with the situation in other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. By collecting data from 47 plants operated by public entities, complemented by the analysis of a sample of 382 projects processed for its construction between 2011 and 2016, it was possible to characterize the wastewater treatment in Costa Rican territory in terms of capacity and technology trends. Results show that more than 90 % of the plants operated by public entities can be considered as small, with 70 % designed for flows of less than 5.0 L/s. Regarding the projects processed for its construction, more than 90 % of the plants were of less than 5.0 L/s and 84 % corresponded to systems for private housing projects. The number of plants that uses activated sludge as its treatment technology is of 57 % for the systems operated by public entities and 98 % for the projects processed for its construction. Costa Rica has a bigger ratio of small capacity plants (Q < 25 L/s) and uses activated sludge more frequently than the other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean that were measured in this study. These 2 conditions can result in higher operating costs, so it is recommended to review this practice in order to promote a universal and more sustainable sanitation.

Keywords : infrastructure for sanitation; sewage stations; sound technologies; sustainability; treatment plant.

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