Module 5: WASTEWATER - Exploring the options

Conventional wastewater management is designed to combine the different urban wastewater streams during collection before applying centralised treatment and discharging the effluent to receiving water bodies. Although capable of protecting human health and the environment, this approach to wastewater management can be inefficient and fails to extract and recycle many of the resources contained within the different streams. The system also lacks flexibility and copes badly with unexpected change such as rapid urbanisation and climatic variation.

Module 5 shows how the separate collection, treatment and reuse of different wastewater streams can recycle resources and improve treatment performance. It also demonstrates the positive impacts that this can achieve, particularly for water security, urban agriculture, environmental protection and energy consumption.

A variety of decentralised options that can replace or complement conventional wastewater management infrastructure is introduced. These include technologies that facilitate wastewater separation and reuse as well as flexible treatment solutions that make use of natural systems such as ponds, wetlands and soils.

Module 5 will assist users to gain a better understanding of:

  • what constitutes a more sustainable approach to wastewater management and how this differs from a conventional approach;
  • the direct and indirect benefits that a city can reap by managing wastewater as a resource rather than as a waste product; and
  • the solutions that are available to put a more sustainable approach to wastewater management into practice, including the use of natural systems.


Click here to open Module 5 (file size - 2.7 MB).