1. Jane Nester
  2. Water & Wastewater
  3. Wednesday, 05 August 2020
Hi Everyone

I am familiar with wastewater treatment in developed countries. However, I would like to know more about the issues facing the developing world. It is my understanding that in low-income countries only 8% of wastewater undergoes treatment of any kind. Clearly, this is a major problem for both communities and the natural environment.

I have some questions that hopefully some of you can help me with:


  1. Is this issue being taken seriously enough, or has it been put in the "too hard basket"?
  2. Are there any new technologies that might make it financially viable for developing countries to treat their wastewater?
  3. Can you share any resources that might help me to understand the issues and options more clearly?


Thanks in advance for any advice that you can offer!
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The Gates Foundation is funding R&D to "reinvent the toilet". The thinking being that in developing countries it might often be more efficient to treat the wastewater at the home rather than creating the expensive infrastructure necessary for municipal treatment.

References
  1. https://www.gatesnotes.com/development/sanitation-showcase
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/06/business/bill-gates-reinvented-toilet.html
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Water & Wastewater
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Ben Bailey - I like the concept behind the Gates toilet. I just hope that they can get the cost low enough. I have heard that that the current prototypes are quite expensive.
Adam Thyer, Founder at GreenExecutive
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Water & Wastewater
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I read this story about a team from Australia's RMIT University which says it's figured out a cost-effective way to produce hydrogen using sewage. The process not only produces clean H2 gas, it also captures all the carbon in human poop and puts it to valuable use.

I am curious about the economics of this technology. I wonder if the value of the hydrogen and biochar would be sufficient to make sewage treatment plants using this technology a profitable enterprise? If so, this could possibly go a long way to promoting more widespread treatment of wastewater in developing countries.
Adam Thyer, Founder at GreenExecutive
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Water & Wastewater
  3. # 4
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