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
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.
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
SDGS & Targets
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
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
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
Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time
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
SDG 14 targets covered
Deliverables & Timeline
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
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