When conducting a wastewater treatment and reuse/disposal planning study, it is important to evaluate as many alternatives as possible to ensure that the most cost-effective and appropriate system is selected. For new or unsewered communities, decentralized options should also be included in the mix of alternatives (Crites and Tchobanoglous, 1998). The feasibility of the natural treatment processes that are described in this book depends significantly on site conditions, climate, regulatory requirements, and related factors. It is neither practical nor economical, however, to conduct extensive field investigations for every process, at every potential site, during planning. This chapter provides a sequential approach that first determines potential feasibility and the necessary land requirements and site conditions of each alternative. The second step evaluates each site coupled with a natural treatment process based on technical and economic factors and selects one or more for detailed investigation. The final step involves detailed field investigations (as necessary), identification of the most cost-effective alternative, and development of the criteria necessary for the final design.
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