Decentralised Wastewater Treatment

December 17, 2008 at 12:09 am Leave a comment

Here’s an excellent article about decentralised wastewater treatment (in this case for 1500 homes):


Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Plant
This decentralized treatment plant
has the capacity to serve 1,500 households.

Editor’s Note: Not quite a year ago we ran a report entitled Decentralized Wastewater Systems, and this update begins where the earlier report ended. Instead of a system to service 150 homes, this report describes a system to service 1,500 homes. Here then, the viability of decentralized solutions to wastewater treatment is being proven at a scale an order of magnitude greater than the earlier example. The vast areas between the simple septic tank that serves a single home, and the massive wastewater treatment plant that services an urban area with millions of homes, is being filled in with solutions at any intermediate scale, thanks to innovative entrepreneurs and continuously improving technologies.

And just as in the example of the single home’s septic system, or a small subdivision’s system to handle 150 homes, at the scale of a 1,500 home small town, the treated water percolates back into the aquifers or provides subsurface irrigation, instead of traveling way downstream to a massive treatment plant – leaking raw sewage into the ground through cracks in the big pipes, mile after mile, often only to then disappear after treatment into river runoff or the ocean. Decentralized solutions not only replenish aquifers and replace irrigation water; they avoid the necessity to install miles of sewage pipe at staggering expense, pipe that ultimately begins to leak.

The libertarian potential of decentralized energy and water solutions is only beginning to be understood, much less implemented, but stories like this, where a new community implements a cost-effective, off-grid solution that is arguably environmentally superior to hooking into the grid, provide inspiration. Often technological solutions auger political changes. Will the powerful vested interests that control our municipalities adapt and embrace decentralized solutions? That they will eventually is a given, but how soon will the public sector easily recognize situations where decentralized solutions to energy and water infrastructure provide the superior option?

What is most encouraging is the prospect of seeing decentralized infrastructure proliferate, allowing existing grid to be upgraded to integrate synergistically – so the public utilities buy and sell water, wastewater services, and energy in a free-market driven, interactive relationship with privately held decentralized installations. – Ed “Redwood” Ring


Link to the article in its original location and interesting looking website:

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Entry filed under: Reticulation vs decentralised systems, Website synopses and links to articles. Tags: .

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