The report describes why has land treatment been adopted in so few instances. This review was conducted to attempt to determine whether the history of land treatment could assist in explaining the reasons behind the apparent reluctance to use this wastewater treatment option, and to provide a basis of judging its future prospects. The approach to explain the major shifts that have occurred throughout the history of land treatment was to interweave the influences of social-public health concerns, legal issues, and technological developments. In ancient Greek and Roman times, public sanitation, the efficient removal of wastes by running water, and even land application of wastewaters were practiced. Shortly after this time and up until the early 1800's, public sanitation was almost non-existent. Wastewater treatment alternatives in use in Europe were being examined by the authorities in the U.S. in the 1890's. The image which they saw was characterized by increasing debates over the alternatives, numerous overloaded and poorly managed systems, and a rapidly developing water supply treatment technology. Today, over 3000 land treatment systems are in use in the U.S. and some have been effective for more than half a century. Surveys of land treatment system failures have shown that most convert from land treatment to discharge technology because of population expansion around the site, and not because of a failure of the renovation capability of the soil.