Sewage System Solutions for Emerging and Developing Countries

Preparation of a DWA Topics in working group BIS-11.1

© Christoph Hundertmark

15 July 2020: The German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste e. V. (DWA) would like to compile a volume on "Decentralised Sewage System Solutions for Emerging and Developing Countries" in English.

In many regions of the world, holistic sanitary concepts are needed in which system solutions for "decentralised wastewater management" are developed and implemented in synergy with or as an alternative to conventional "centralised" systems and their operation is organised. Such solutions help to avoid the dilemma of long planning cycles of conventional systems and long life/depreciation periods of infrastructure facilities in the face of high growth dynamics in urban areas (area, population). They make a relevant contribution to meeting the overall demand for wastewater treatment in emerging and developing countries and thus contribute to achieving the UN sustainability goals SDG 6.2 (access to sanitation) and SDG 6.3 (wastewater treatment). Challenges for implementation arise in particular from knowledge deficits and uncertainties among decision-makers and citizens regarding available technologies and their evaluation, operating and maintenance structures, as well as costs, financing and administrative structures of decentralised systems. However, these lead to the fact that such systems are rarely used internationally or are often not operated properly.

The primary objective of the project is a volume on "Decentralised Sewage System Solutions for Emerging and Developing Countries" (working title) in English. This should contribute to the fact that in future decentralised wastewater systems in the water management of emerging and developing countries will be considered as an option for action early in the planning phase and used in synergy with centralised wastewater systems.

The volume is intended to present the system approach "decentralised wastewater management" (in emerging and developing countries) and serve as a decision support and recommendations for action for relevant institutions, public agencies, building owners, financiers, planners, manufacturers and institutions of education and training.

One focus will be the presentation of criteria and procedures of decision-making processes (system/scenario comparisons), taking into account short- and long-term economic aspects as well as questions of business organisation and operational qualification. In addition to technical solutions, the publication will also deal with questions of organisational form, financing, planning and social acceptance of sanitary systems. International experience (e.g. publications of EAWAG, studies of development cooperation organisations) and publications/Set of Rules of DWA (KA-1: New Alternative Sanitation Systems NASS, KA-10: Wastewater Treatment in Rural Areas) will be included.

The project is being prepared by the new working group BIZ-11.1 "Sewage System Solutions for Emerging and Developing Countries" in the BIZ-11 Technical Committee "International Cooperation in Water Management" (Chairman Dipl.-Ing. Edgar Firmenich). The DWA Head Office is happy to receive information on how to process the project and any expressions of interest in participating in the project.

DWA Head Office, Dipl.-Geol. Roland Knitschky, Theodor-Heuss-Allee 17, 53773 Hennef, telephone: +49 2242/872-214, e-mail:

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