Facultative pond

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Terms & Synonyms

Official WHO Definition

Aerobic pond used to degrade organic matter and inactivate pathogens; usually the second type of pond in a waste stabilization pond system (WHO 2006).A waste stabilization pond in which the upper portion is aerobic, while the bottom layer is anaerobic, which promotes nitrogen removal (WHO 2001). 

Other Definitions


Interpretations and Explanations

The most common type of waste stabilization pond in current use, the facultative pond is designed to remove organic contaminants by natural biodegradation. The upper portion of the pond is aerobic, while the bottom layer is anaerobic which promotes nitrogen removal. Algae supply most of the oxygen to the upper portion (WHO 2006).Waste stabilisation ponds have proved to be a low-cost, sustainable method of wastewater treatment, particularly suited to the socioeconomic and climatic conditions prevailing in many developing countries. No input of external energy or disinfectants is needed (WHO 2006).


WHO (2001) Water quality: Guidelines, standards and health: assessment of risk and risk management for water-related infectious diseaseWHO (2006) Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater 


WHO Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

External Resources


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