Innovative Technologies for Decentralised Wastewater Management in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas

Innovative decentral wastewater systems can change the current ways of water management dramatically. They can be designed for almost full recovery of water and nutrients in an economic way.

by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralf Otterpohl, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Oldenburg

Introducing source separation concepts in municipal wastewater management does allow adequate treatment of the different flows according to their characteristics. This is the key to technical solutions for the efficient reuse of water, energy and fertiliser. As applied in industrial wastewater management low dilution and collection at the source is necessary to achieve economic systems. Separate collection and treatment of toilet waste in households, which contain almost all pathogens and nutrients, is the first and major step. The range of toilets with very low dilution is from vacuum- over urine sorting to dry toilets. Innovative sanitation systems have been introduced in several projects and have proven feasibility. Fresh water consumption can be reduced by 80% while nutrients can be recovered to a large extent. Source control can be advantageous also for hygienic reasons: low volumes are far easier to sanitise. There are experiences with urine-sorting systems, vacuum-biogas systems and many more available. New ideas as the black- and greywater cycle system are presently researched at the Technical University Hamburg. Such modular integrated systems do have the potential to be installed in densely populated urban areas without the need for central water and wastewater infrastructure. Only recent advances in membrane technologies allow this development.

Get full article here [external link]

published: TU München - Lehrstuhl für Siedlungswasserwirtschaft, 2002 - Water - The Essence of Life, But Elusive to Many
Symposium Firma Huber (September 2002), 9|2002
Keywords: Collection, Landfilling, Material Recovery, Policy Tax Instruments, Biomass, Hazardous Waste