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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Affordable wastewater treatment technology to treat 100% liquid waste (faecal sludge) for a value of less than €45 per capita and less than €10 per capita/year supply cost

Pureco Ltd. (
Private sector

    If the EU WFD model for water infrastructure development is expected to be put in place in countries, and regions where no sewer network exists, the cost of this (20+ thousand Billions USD) is non-financeable from the available resources due to the affordability limitations (3% of the family income). Developing collection pipeline networks would make up 80-90% of a given project. In these cities where the construction of sewer network is not possible (due to financial and other reasons), but the generated wastewater must be treated to avoid environmental and health problems, near-to-consumer technologies (Septopure® technology) can be the solution to treat 100% liquid waste in a safe but affordable and sustainable way. Septopure® technology can be constructed from an investment value of less than €45 per capita instead of €1,000 – 4,500 per capita for the EU standard “nearly full scale” sanitation utility infrastructure. The technology can offer a return on investment and operating costs of less than €10 per person per year instead of the €50-100 per person per year operating costs in the case of “nearly full scale” solutions. This solution will be sustainable through the complete and orderly collection of the liquid waste concentrate and its treatment for reuse as a living water catchment and for reuse as process water and/or irrigation water. There is another issue to mention, and this is the strict effluent requirement that is set in these developed countries as well. If a developed country would like to fulfil these requirements, biological wastewater treatment should be applied. With the application of Septopure® technology, the expected treatment parameters are provided. The advantage of the technology is that it is a robust but highly flexible treatment technology with high pollutant removal efficiency and disinfection of the treated wastewater. The Pureco Group of Companies has successfully provided Septopure® solutions in Ghana in three towns: Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale. In these towns, there are no sewerage networks and only 7-10% of the generated wastewater was adequately treated. From an environmental and public health point of view, the urgent development of new wastewater treatment facilities was indispensable for the cities. The solution we provide solves the treatment of the collected septic water in a self-manageable way. In line with the local conditions and needs we designed and built a tailor-made wastewater treatment plant in these settlements not only providing optimal technological solutions for the city but giving priority to training programs as well in order to build capacity and help the local people to operate and maintain the system, offering not only treated wastewater but jobs and educational supports for the citizens.

    Expected Impact

    Even in Europe water utility infrastructure management and development are facing profound financing gaps. The reconstruction of the ageing water infrastructure is underfinanced and underperforming. Capital costs are not or are just partly included in tariffs, nor covered by public spending. The yearly reconstruction rate of the existing infrastructure is less than 1%-0,1%, which is presuming an unrealistic life expectancy of up to over 1.000 years. The non-refundable grant-based EU public funding for the “new accession countries” requires only the inclusion of the depreciation of the assets, (which equates to a bank finance with 50 years payback period and interest-free loan of 2% of the invested capital/year), but even this is not provided due to affordability limitations. There is a financing gap in the investment of water-related sectors. Mobilization of private investment is expected to complement public funding in this area. This requires sustainable and profitable water-related investments. If the EU WFD model for water, sewerage and wastewater treatment and sanitation infrastructure is expected to have in developing countries, the cost of this (20+ thousand Billion USD) is non-financeable and non-affordable at all. Not to mention the time factor, an EU WFD model-related project can take several years to complete, but the challenges are urgent. To accelerate SDG implementation in the field of wastewater treatment and to avoid environmental and health problems, without these extra costs and extra work, the treatment of 100% liquid waste is the answer to solve the existing problem in a financially viable, sustainable and affordable way. And this is provided by the Septopure® technology. With this technology no sewerage network systems are expected to construct, the technology can offer a return on investment and operating costs of less than €10 per person per year instead of the €50-100 per person per year operating costs in the developed world. And this can be quite attractive to private investors, and water-related project financing gaps can be reduced. This is the first aspect of accelerating SDG implementation. Moreover, the technology solution includes not only the development itself but also professional training programs focused on retaining the local workforce and preparing them to operate the designed and built systems. To provide not only technological solutions but sustainability from a public health point of view. Groundwater and surface water contamination will be eliminated, and the impact on the environment as well as hazards to health will be remarkably reduced. On the basis of economic calculations and the experience with our Ghanaian project, it can be reasonably stated that this solution is the most cost-effective and sustainable method for the treatment of 100% liquid waste, both from a development and operational costs-related point of view if we take into consideration the fact that construction of sewerage networks is not possible, and if we have to fulfil the strict environmental-related effluent requirements.


    Hungarian Water Partnership, Hungarian Water Association, Pureco Africa Ltd., Jospong Group of Companies, Sewerage System Ghana Limited, local people of the given regions

    Goal 6

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    Goal 6


    By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all


    Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services


    By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations


    Proportion of population using (a) safely managed sanitation services and (b) a hand-washing facility with soap and water


    By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally


    Proportion of domestic and industrial wastewater flows safely treated


    Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality


    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

    Change in water-use efficiency over time


    Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources


    By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate


    Degree of integrated water resources management 


    Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation


    By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

    Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time


    By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

    Amount of water- and sanitation-related official development assistance that is part of a government-coordinated spending plan


    Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management


    Proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management

    Name Description

    Kumasi WWTP (Ghana) In-line with the local conditions and needs we designed and built Septopure® wastewater treatment plant providing healthier environment for more than 3 million people

    Takoradi WWTP (Ghana) Untreated wastewater, which is discharged untreated into surface waters and into the environment, causes many environmental and hygiene problems. We built Septopure® wwtp in Takoradi, solving the environmental challenges of the city.

    Tamale WWTP (Ghana) The Septopure® technology we built includes not only the development itself but also professional training programmes focused on retaining the local workforce and preparing them to operate the designed and built systems

    Other, please specify
    Professional economic planning services to facilitate successful investments and efficient operation in the field of wastewater treatment.
    Other, please specify
    Designing communal wastewater treatment plants with Septopure® technology
    Other, please specify
    We also undertake the construction of communal wastewater treatment plants with Septopure® technology. We provide project management, and training programs for the local people as well
    Other, please specify
    Awareness raising program within the framework of Septopure® projects
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    Action Network
    SDG Acceleration Actions
    Pureco Ltd.
    1. Africa
    Other beneficiaries

    local (rural) communities, settlements where no sewerage network exists, schools, health centres

    Website/More information
    Contact Information

    Bálint, CEO