Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Kaushik, Venkiteshwaran, Ph.D.


In many rural, low-income communities such as the Black Belt of Alabama, there is a lack of wastewater infrastructure and solutions leaving homeowners non-compliant to state and federal law and with potential health risks on their property. New regulations have allowed for onsite, surface discharge for single family homes that are not connected to a centralized sewer or large flow development. These new regulations also contain strict disinfection criteria for the treated wastewater that will be discharged. A low-cost and low-maintenance treatment system that provides adequate disinfection is necessary to allow homeowners to take advantage of the new opportunity for surface discharge while complying with federal and state environmental regulations and positively contributing to the overall sanitation of their property. A pilot-scale shallow gravel conveyance trench was built and tested to determine the E. coli removal capabilities of the system, the optimal hydraulic retention time, and to recommend sizing for a full-scale system. The pilot-scale gravel conveyance system provided disinfection via passive treatment to secondary treated wastewater. Various hydraulic retention times ranging from 0.57 days to 1.14 days were tested and shown to provide 88.3% to 100% E. coli Removal.