SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Sun, 28 Aug 2016 07:07:23 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: Lack of knowledge about wastewater. And where did the quotation come from that 90% of the world’s wastewater goes untreated? - by: mwaniki
It’s impossible to measure the amount of untreated wastewater due to many sources that it comes from. From industrial waste to human excreta, rainfall runoff from roads, storm drains, domestic washing water, etc etc

Again as far back as 2009, the UN University was quoted as having reported that “out of 181 countries studied only 55 have information on three key aspects of wastewater: generation, treatment, and reuse. Another 69 countries have data on one or two aspects, 57 countries show no information on any aspect”

It’s also not possible to track amount of wastewater in agricultural reuse due to the rising trend in many countries.

The bottomline is that the world lacks data on wastewater for complete and reliable facts and figures.

Regards / Mwaniki]]>
Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Sun, 14 Aug 2016 23:06:06 +0000
Re: Lack of knowledge about wastewater. And where did the quotation come from that 90% of the world’s wastewater goes untreated? - by: arno
National donor agencies very often fund UN agencies with core funds without requiring rigorous proposals nor do they request accountability reports as to how the funds have been used. This will unfortunately breed this sort of sloppy research and reporting that may misrepresent sincere efforts being made around the world by local stakeholders.

The 90% untreated wastewater superlative is probably just the top of the iceberg.]]>
Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Fri, 12 Aug 2016 19:20:15 +0000
Re: Lack of knowledge about wastewater. And where did the quotation come from that 90% of the world’s wastewater goes untreated? - by: muench
Thanks for pointing this out! I must admit that I've also quoted this statement in the past (I mean this one: "Right now more than 90% of the world's wastewater is discharged untreated into oceans, rivers or wherever else it can go") - I will now think twice before quoting it!

You find the statement also here in the Wikipedia article on sewage, together with the source as that UN report that you also mentioned:

Proper collection and safe, nuisance-free disposal of the liquid wastes of a community are legally recognized as a necessity in an urbanized, industrialized society.[1] The reality is, however, that most wastewater produced globally remains untreated causing widespread water pollution, especially in low-income countries: A global estimate by UNDP and UN-Habitat is that 90% of all wastewater generated is released into the environment untreated.[2] In many developing countries the bulk of domestic and industrial wastewater is discharged without any treatment or after primary treatment only.

Should we change this statement on Wikipedia?

Making such a global estimate must be very difficult anyhow...

By the way, I once tried to find the original source for this often quoted figure:
50% of hospital beds in developing countries are taken up by patients suffering from water-borne diseases due to lack of WASH.

There is no original source for this either, everyone just copied from everyone else, so please don't use it! Speaking to doctors about this figure, they also told me that it would be impossible to estimate this figure and that it's highly unlikely to be anywhere near that.

So just a word of caution about these "popular figures".

Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Fri, 12 Aug 2016 12:22:32 +0000
Activities in Nexus project: co-composting, wastewater irrigation from DEWATS, BSFL, evaluation of soil contamination, vortex, ecological hygiene... - by: Susanne
I'm sending you an update on activities in the Nexus project at CDD Society Bangalore as we are...

...obtaining our second harvest of vegetables grown with wastewater from a DEWATS plant in Beedi Workers Colony, Bangalore

...analyzing the treatment efficiency of a vortex with regard to reuse

...starting the operation of a co-composting plant in Devanahalli (on the outskirts of Bangalore, Karnataka) for the treatment of faecal sludge through thermophilic composting

...evaluating farmers practices of using untreated faecal sludge, e.g. making use of local plants with antimicrobial properties

...exploring the option of using black soldier flies for the conversion of faecal sludge and biowaste into protein

...dealing with a potentially contaminated site for agricultural use where municipal solid waste was deposited

...creating a dialogue between farmers, sanitation and medical professionals

- among many other activities.

The project provides good learning for us and we would be happy to enter into discussion on the topics above, share our experiences and listen to yours.

Please find our newsletters under the following links or on our website

Best regards from CDD Society Bangalore

Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Wed, 10 Aug 2016 06:29:01 +0000
Lack of knowledge about wastewater. And where did the quotation come from that 90% of the world’s wastewater goes untreated? - by: arno .

Quoted by the heads of UNEP and UNHabitat in the 2010 publication “SickWater” “An estimated 90 per cent of all wastewater in developing countries is discharged untreated directly into rivers, lakes or the oceans.” (Corcoran et al 2010).

Quoted in UN Water reports:
“An estimated 90 per cent of all wastewater in developing countries is discharged untreated directly into rivers, lakes or the oceans” (UN Water, 2008).

And UNESCO has quoted other similar data:
“It is estimated that 70% of industrial discharges in developing countries is dumped untreated”(UNESCO, 2009).

After several hours of searching for the published source I came to a dead end. The earliest source of this quote is an unreferenced 2-page factsheet written for the UN Int’l Year of Freshwater from 2003 containing a bullet point as follows:
About 90 per cent of sewage and 70 per cent of industrial wastes in developing countries are discharged without treatment, often polluting the usable water supply. From

The point to make here is that the knowledge base for this sector especially when it comes to data on wastewater treatment is far from well established. And much greater efforts are required to provide a clearer view of what the status is of wastewater treatment all around the world. Take a look at the UN database Aquastat dealing with municipal wastewater (and operated by FAO with input from CGIAR-IWMI because reuse of wastewater is so widespread in the world)

Global water quality monitoring is not the answer (especially now that UN GEMS/Water was dismantled in 2014). Sanitation may no longer be a top priority for the UN Secretary General since UNSGAB was terminated in 2015
The sector has benefitted from several studies initiated by UNEP but more is necessary.

There’s a major challenge lurking behind the messages from the UN. On the one hand there are statements that most of the developing world’s wastewater goes untreated (whatever that actually means in technical terms). And on the other hand there is a rudimentary database set up by FAO because of the growing need to reuse wastewater to irrigate crops for urban consumption. And as the world goes more and more urban (60% by 2030) this question will become more and more apparent. How then to narrow this gap and make wastewater reuse safer? Sustainable wastewater practices will become a central focus for many decades to come.]]>
Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Fri, 10 Jun 2016 22:21:59 +0000
Nexus reuse project - what is it about? - by: Susanne Project Nexus

Food Production and Settlement Hygiene in Poor Peri-Urban Regions in India

The three-year-project Nexus started in January 2015 with the overall objectives to:

1. Improve health through reduction in undernourishment and safe sanitation
2. Reduce environmental degradation and protect natural resources
3. Improve living conditions for poor peri-urban communities

The project promotes of safe reuse practices of sanitation products in agriculture.

Key component is the establishment of practical demonstration projects that show various ways of safely reusing sanitation products, from treated as well as untreated water and faecal sludge up to urine and dried faeces from UDDT. This process is supported by a knowledge base, created through an extensive literature review, interdisciplinary expert consultation meetings, guest lectures and trainings on topics related to sanitation, health, nutrition, agriculture, policy and community mobilization.

The demonstration projects are to be established under four main concepts:

DEWATS (Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems)
Intervention for enhancing nourishment among children and women in peri-urban communities.

Faecal Sludge Treatment
Intervention for Settlement Hygiene and reuse of treated and co-composted sludge in agriculture

UDDT (Urine Diverting Dry Toilets/”EcoSan”)
Intervention for reuse of EcoSan products in agriculture

Risk Mitigation measures
Intervention in reuse of untreated wastewater in food production

For details on our activities accomplished in 2015, please visit:

Monthly newsletters are up on our webpage (to be found in the bottom of the page):

DEWATS for reuse in Beedi Workers Colony, Kengeri, Bangalore

Within walking distance from CDD Society’s headquarters, a DEWATS now provides irrigation water for 400 square meters of land where vegetables are grown in a peri-urban community. In coordination with the local people’s association and its leader, the infrastructure for agricultural production was created, such as pipelines, storage capacity and a polishing pond to ensure a pathogen die-off prior to irrigation.

The site was designed to answer open questions. One of them is the required retention time for the treated water in the polishing pond under South-Indian conditions to ensure a sufficient pathogen die-off. Another question is about the optimisation of the nutrient content in the water while assuring a reliable hygienization and dealing with limited space for UV-treatment in the pond.

With the CDD’s project partner St. Johns Medical College, the project team was trained on nutrition assessment among children from 0-5 yrs and 6-14 yrs to evaluate the need for food supplements. Furthermore a household survey on nutrition and sanitation has been conducted by students from NIMS College Bangalore.

EcoSan: Reuse of urine and humanure in Tamil Nadu

CDD’s partner organisation EcoPro in Auroville implements UDDT products in. The objective is to ensure the reuse of EcoSan by-products in Tindivanam-Botheri and Kalrayan Hills as an incentive to use UDDT. The potential of these products are is demonstrated against the use of chemical fertilisers.

Challenges faced till now

a.monitoring and assessing linkages between sanitation, health and nutrition
b.low awareness among public about the topic
a.grey areas in policy and regulations on reuse literature focusing on Indian scenario
c.little research on long term impacts of reuse
3. Planning & Implementation
a.limitations of laboratories that test waste water, sludge, crops
b.operational hurdles in communities and local leaders and institutions due
to low knowledge and therefore interest

For more information, please get in touch under This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]]>
Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Fri, 15 Apr 2016 12:51:58 +0000
CDD Nexus project - linking sanitation to agriculture - Newsletter February 2016 - by: Susanne
next to planning in the project, we are optimizing the polishing pond in one of our demo projects towards aquaculture as complementary use.
Furthermore we organized a training on the practical application of the WHO Safety Sanitation Planning manual held by Biome Solutions from Bangalore.

For more information get in touch with us and visit:

Best regards,
Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Thu, 07 Apr 2016 07:48:26 +0000
Re: CuveWaters: Sanitation & Water Reuse in Namibia - by: milli
Additionally, I want to point out the CuveWaters report with the results of the research project. It was published in December 2015 as the project ended and can be found here:

Further publications can be found at the CuveWaters project website:

Best regards,
Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Thu, 24 Mar 2016 13:23:35 +0000
Re: CuveWaters: Sanitation & Water Reuse in Namibia - by: clint
I want to compliment you on your method of financing with the pre-paid cards. Money up front! Great idea!!

We also share the same philosophy in making our technologies available via a leasing agreement and the compensation being derived on how much water the client utilizes. This includes our technology's ability to totally recycle the greywater into drinking quality water with continuous reuse instead of just once or twice.

We also compost the blackwater resources and utilizing Mother Nature and our vermi-composter we totally transform all of the toilet and kitchen organic scraps into odorless water vapor, carbon dioxide and liquid and fertile soil amendments for agriculture.

Fecal sludge management is best managed by aerobic organisms and redworms in a pre-fabricated, accessible, aerobically designed vessel, in our opinion.

Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Wed, 23 Mar 2016 00:15:11 +0000
Re: CuveWaters: Sanitation & Water Reuse in Namibia - by: CuveWaters
Regarding your questions of O&M costs of the plant. The coverage of the O&M costs is as followed organized:

There are three main sources of revenue creation: First by the payment of water users (water bills for the used water in the settlement with household connections, pre-paid cards to buy water in the settlement with the individual washhouses and admissions/vouchers of the community washhouse). The second source of revenue creation is the selling of the treated waste water to the farmer who uses the nutrient-rich water for irrigation of his crops and third the rent of the municipality land to the farmer. The O&M of the infrastructure and facilities is done by two technicians who are employed by the municipality. At full capacity (90 m³/day of wastewater) the system is self-financed.

Best regards,
Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Sun, 20 Mar 2016 12:45:46 +0000
CDD Nexus project - linking sanitation to agriculture - Newsletter February 2016 - by: Susanne
we are happy to announce that we are successfully harvesting safely grown vegetables from fertigation with treated water, preparing for co-composting faecal sludge and that we could be present at the National Conference on Peri-urban Agriculture and Ecosystems in Delhi.

You will find more on this in our Newsletter:

For any questions, please use the forum or contact us directly: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Best regards,
Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Tue, 08 Mar 2016 11:25:02 +0000
Re: question about optimising compost and irrigation on SuSanA discussion forum - by: NS01RZS

Apologies for the delayed response. I attach a paper that we have published. I am doing some work on this aspect but related to provision of training in Malta and also a research project in Qatar for application in arid conditions. I would be interested to carry this research further with new collaborators. Would you be interested and do you know of any funding sources ?



Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Tue, 01 Mar 2016 06:15:53 +0000
Re: CDD Nexus project - linking sanitation to agriculture - by: Susanne
the Nexus project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development within the scope of a special feature “One world – no hunger” of its contribution to achieve food security (BMZ Sonderinitiative „Eine Welt ohne Hunger“).

It was proposed by Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA e.V.), CDD's project partner, who are managing the funds of 600.000 EUR. The project started in January 2015 and continues until the end of 2017. Thank you for asking, Elisabeth.

Under the following links you can find the 2015 annual newsletter

...and the monthly newsletter from January 2016.

Best regards,

Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Tue, 16 Feb 2016 09:30:29 +0000
Key documents for the sub-category on greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse and irrigation - by: muench For more information about why I am creating this new thread, please see here:


This thread is a "sticky thread" which means it will always remain at the top of this sub-category.
It contains a recommendation and orientation for newcomers regarding the most important five documents in the thematic area of "Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation".

The selection of documents is based on my searches in the SuSanA library and looking through previous forum threads.
I am open to feedback if others think that another document should be selected here.

Recommended top five documents in the thematic area of "Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation", in reverse chronological order:

WHO (2016). Sanitation safety planning. Manual for safe use and disposal of wastewater, greywater and excreta. World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland, ISBN 978 92 4 154924 0

Sanitation Safety Planning is a tool to help sanitation system operators maximise health benefits and minimise health risk of their system. It guides operators to prioritize and target risk management efforts to where it will have the most impact and to improve over time. The outputs can be used to provide assurance to the public and authorities of the system performance based on sound risk based management.

This document is based on the WHO Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater from 2006, which consists of four volumes; the two most relevant volumes for this sticky post are:
Volume II: Wastewater Use in Agriculture,
Volume IV: Excreta and greywater use in agriculture,

HLPE, 2015. Water for food security and nutrition. A report by the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security, Rome, Italy

This report explores the relations between water and food security and nutrition, from household level to global level. It investigates these multiple linkages, in a context of competing demands, rising scarcities, and climate change. I t explores ways for improved water management in agriculture and food systems, as well as ways for improved governance of water, for better food security and nutrition for all, now and in the future.

Huhn, L. (2015). Greywater Treatment in Sand and Gravel Filters - Low Tech Solution for Sustainable Wastewater Management - Manual for Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance. Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF)

This manual provides the background of greywater characteristics and gives guidance how to construct and operate a low-tech sand filter for onsite greywater treatment. It describes all aspects to be considered in the process of planning, construction and maintenance of greywater filters on the household level in rural areas. This manual is made for practitioners, technicians and interested households who want to design, construct and operate a low-tech greywater filter.

Drechsel, P., Scott, C. A., Raschid-Sally, L., Redwood, M., Bahri, A. (eds.) (2010). Wastewater Irrigation and Health - Assessing and Mitigating Risk in Low-Income Countries. International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Earthscan, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), ISBN 978-1-84407-795-3

This book is written for practitioners, researchers and graduate students in environmental and public health, sanitary and agricultural engineering, and wastewater irrigation management in developing countries. It helps to assess and mitigate health risks from the use of wastewater and faecal sludge in agriculture, under conditions where wastewater treatment is absent or inadequate to safeguard public health.

Morel, A. and Diener, S. (2006). Greywater management in low and middle-income countries, review of different treatment systems for households or neighbourhoods. Sandec Report No. 14/06. Sandec (Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries) at Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), Dübendorf, Switzerland

This report compiles international experience in greywater management on household and neighbourhood level in low and middle-income countries. In urban areas of LMIC, greywater is commonly discharged untreated into drainage channels, use untreated greywater for agricultural purposes, thereby leading to environmental degradation and exposing the population to health risks. Though greywater is generally less polluted than domestic or industrial wastewater, it may still contain high levels of pathogenic microorganisms, suspended solids and substances such as oil, fat, soaps, detergents, and other household chemicals.

Actually I am a bit undecided. Perhaps this one should replace the one that I have currently selected as Number 3?

Alternative for (3)
EPHC, NRMMC, AHMC (2006). Australian guidelines for water recycling: managing health and environmental risks (Phase 1). Environment Protection and Heritage Council, Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, Australian Health Ministers Conference

Pressure on freshwater supplies is increasing in many cities and regional areas of Australia, due to widespread drought and movement of population to large centres near capital cities. Several reports have suggested to use water more efficiently; for example, by reusing water that has traditionally been seen as wastewater. In response to this situation, the Environment Protection and Heritage Council and the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council developed these national guidelines on water recycling. An important feature of these guidelines is that they use a risk management framework, rather than simply relying on post-treatment testing as the basis for managing recycled water schemes.

You can find further important documents and website links dealing with this topic here:

Please provide your feedback. What do you think of this selection? We can update it from time to time, too. It's a broad topic and therefore not easy to pick out the most important documents and links for newcomers.

Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Fri, 12 Feb 2016 04:18:55 +0000
Re: Different urban scenarios for Wastewater Treatment and Recycling - NaWaTech project in Pune and Nagpur, India - by: secretariat
4 of the 5 NaWaTech case studies are now available in the SuSanA Library.

Find them here:

Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in Dayanand Park, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India (NaWaTech)

Wastewater Treatment and Reuse at the Ordnance Factory Ambajhari, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India (NaWaTech)

Wastewater Reuse in an Urban College Hostel, Pune, Maharashtra, India (NaWaTech)

Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in Indradhanushya Center, Pune, Maharashtra, India (NaWaTech)

Jasmin (on behalf of the SuSanA secretariat)]]>
Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:09:40 +0000