Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand)
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TOPIC: Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand)

Reply: Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand) 20 Apr 2014 05:05 #8268

  • Bhaskar
  • Clean technology promoter
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A number of decentralized wastewater management technologies are discussed in this book published by CSE, India:

Reinvent, Recycle, Reuse - Toolkit on Decentralised Wastewater Management

One of the solutions is to use fish ponds to treat sewage. The nutrients and carbon would be converted into fish biomass.

I browsed the Global Wetland Technology website, the fish pond solution would be similar to this except that instead of growing grass or plants on land, you have to grow algae and fish in ponds. The cost of construction and maintenance of fish ponds would be lower and income per hectare and per million liters of sewage, much more.


Clean technology promoter.

I am working on a clean technology product to grow Diatom Algae in large waterways. Diatoms account for about 25% of all photosynthesis on Earth and hence are the best solution to consume CO2, N and P and oxygenate water and feed fish.

I am a Chartered Accountant but am now an entrepreneur focussed on clean technology.
Last Edit: 22 Apr 2014 21:59 by muench.

Re: Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand) 20 Apr 2014 17:09 #8270

  • F H Mughal
  • Senior Water and Sanitation Engineer
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Featured User
Mar 2014
Dear Christoph,

Visiting AIT is no problem. When you land at Suvarnabhumi Airport (New Bangkok International Airport), take "Taxi-Meter" cab for AIT. You can even stay at AIT Center (nominal room charges) and see our wonderful campus, state-of-the-art Environmental Engineering laboratories, and students' pilot-scale and bench-scale research plants. I'm sure, Prof. Thammarat will guide you in visiting some wastewater treatment plants in Bangkok. You can log on to for more information about AIT and the AIT Center.

I bet, that will be the visit of your lifetime!!
Don't forget to make some video recordings. Enjoy!


F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
The following user(s) like this post: christoph

Re: Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand) 20 May 2014 14:28 #8678

  • muench
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer)
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I thought that I should add some further information about the research work at AIT which Thammarat exhibited in March at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair, see page 1 of this thread above (the two videos that he posted above got several hundred views on Youtube each, which is not bad)

Photos of the exhibit and three photos of posters on display are available here in this Flickr album:

Two example photos from this Flickr album:

Solar septic tank prototype by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

Hydroclone toilet prototype (the hydrocyclone is on the left, the toilet squatting pan is on the right) by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

Information taken from the Technical Guides of the fair (p. 11, see here:;type=2&id=2001)

Solar Septic Tank and Hydrocyclone Toilet

Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) is working on two new
technology advancements in their quest to resolve some
of the world’s sanitation needs. First, AIT is developing
a modification of conventional septic tank technology by
establishing thermophilic anaerobic conditions within
the Solar Septic Tank. The thermophilic conditions,
which primarily consist of applying high temperature
(50-60°C) to septic waste, will offer faster degradation
rates and greater disinfection efficiencies compared
to conventional septic tanks. The system consists of
two main components: a top-floor standard flush toilet
system, and a lower-level solar septic system. The
thermal reactor will be heated through heat exchange
device by circulating hot water surrounding the reactor.
This water is itself heated by use of a solar panel, so no
external electrical source is required.

Additionally, AIT is presenting a black water separator
toilet called the Hydrocyclone Toilet. The application of
a solid-liquid separator is a common unit of operation
in many other fields. However, in the case of onsite
sanitation systems its application is limited and
challenging due to the unpleasant characteristics of fecal
materials. In this regard, AIT is endeavoring to develop
an efficient separator and appropriate onsite solid and
liquid disinfection technology. The Hydrocyclone offers
several desirable characteristics, including no energy
and low maintenance requirements.

Separated solids will be treated primarily by heat
application. By a certain degree of temperature and
duration of exposure, the separated solids will be
disinfected and released from the heating unit. Heat will
be produced by solar energy. The separated liquid will be
further disinfected by using electrochemical technology.
The appropriate conditions and specific configuration of
the treatment technology are being investigated.

Thy hydrocyclone concept for solids-liquid separation looks quite appealing, however I fear that in practice it could quickly get blocked with things that people flush down the toilet (like pads, paper, condoms). Unless these households will all be very diligent? Have you actually tried it out in real life yet, Thammarat?


P.S. Christoph (Platzer), have you been on your mentioned trip to Thailand yet? We hear relatively little about sanitation from Thailand even though I am sure that lots of good work is going on there. As child mortality is low in Thailand (only 15 per 1000 live births which is very good), they must be doing quite well with their sanitation efforts. Check out their remarkable journey in reducing child mortality rates in Thailand in recent decades! :


Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Frankfurt, Germany
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Twitter: @EvMuench
Member of SuSanA (
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