What is the best decentralized treatment solution for a city which is already built without a centralized sewage system?


Most of the cities in Afghanistan are built without a proper sewage system, for example Kabul is a metropolitan city with only 3% of the houses connected to sewage and treatment plant.

97% of the city do not have sewage systems and treatment plant for wastewater, they only collect the toilet wastewater by septic tank 18%, pit latrine/cesspit 65%, and dry toilets 14%.

All other domestic wastewater flows to the open channel which are connected to the river, therefor in dry season the river becomes a sewage channel, most of the time people illegally drop the sludge of cesspits, septic tank and dry toilet to the river and landfill. 

What is the best decentralized household wastewater treatment solution? Any case studies of cities who have successfully implemented such a solution? All experiences much appreciated. 



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Ahmed Baraka
Dear Qasem,
I think that the drying beds...are a great solution for Areas like Kabul..then you can use the sludge as a fertilizer...........and then you can use the proper technology for the treatment..such as oxidation ditches..or activated sludge.....Don't be stick to a specific technology..you can add or remove stages of treatment according to your case...but try to unify the teatment technology all over the country
DEWATS is one of the best decentralized sewage treatment. Very low maintenance and can work for any required size and easy to construct. One can generate Bio gas also from the same. Recycled water can be used for flushing, gardening or farming. There is no mechanized part in system unless one required for feeding sludge or pumping the recycle water. We have worked on up to 1 MLD in size.
lyseconcept jean Marius
To answer the final question of the presentation
There is no situtation any country any city whose sanitation wastewater soity performance. The purification performance of public sanitation is almost zero, near zero cost for proébitif
The question that we are entitled to ask: Why?
All siemplement because the principle of collective and individual sanitation and elsewhere is to transform feces into mud.
More than 40 million tons of human waste are transformed into mud annually.
The Biological Remediation ELIMINATES him fully feces without sludge production. The elimination process produces a liquid that can fertilize all agricultural land in abundance.
lyseconcept jean Marius
French English
L'Assainissement Biologique correspond entièrement à la problématique du sujet.
Son premier objectif est de supprimer tout système d'assainissement collectif avec une station d'épuration. Trop couteux et totalement inefficace.
Ce document démontre que l'urbanisme comme de partout dans le monde entier est totalement incapable d'assurer l'assainissement urbaine. Les constructions s'implantent avec un assainissement ou pas d'assainissement.
De par ce fait , l'administration doit prendre à sa charge cette partie importante de la salubrité urbaine.
C'est l'administration qui implante systèmatiquement un système d'assainissement pour toute nouvelle construction. Les utilisateurs remboursent mensuellement le montant de cette implantation sous la forme d'une taxe d'assainissement jsuqu'à concurence du complet remboursement de la somme investie.
Pour les habitations déjà en place
Quand le terrain privé permet une implantation individuelle, l'état l'installe et se fait rembourser
Quand le terrain privé est trop faible, l'état installe un assainissement semi collectif
Une partie du système est privé sur le terrain, l'autre partie est sur le terrain de la communauté.
The Biological Remediation fully corresponds to the problem of the subject.
Its primary objective is to remove any sewerage system with a treatment plant. Too expensive and totally ineffective.
This paper demonstrates that urban planning as from all over the world is totally incapable of providing urban sanitation. The buildings are implanted with a sanitation or no sanitation.
Because of this, the administration must take charge of this important part of urban sanitation.
It is the administration that implements prompted systematically a sanitation system for new construction. Users monthly repay the amount of the settlement in the form of a sanitation tax jsuqu'à concurence full refund of the amount invested.
For homes already in place
When private property allows individual locations, the state installs and is reimbursed
When private property is too low, the state sets up a semi sewerage
Part of the system is private on the ground, the other part is in the field of community.
Jawad Habib
Dear Qasem,

I am so glad you asked that question. Like many of the people have already mentioned, decentralized sewage treatment is very common in Europe and has worked well. We have been doing this in Dubai as well as in Karachi for the past several years using very good SBR type Sewage Treatment Plants, and have had excellent results. I will be happy to share our experiences with you.

I do go to Kabul from time to time, so please let me know if you're interested and we can meet when I am there next. Please write to me directly at; jawad@claritywater.ae.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kattrina Nikulina
Excellent discussion thread going on here. Its a crucial issue which needs to be addressed. @Jawad as you said I would like to read your experience about Dubai plant. It will be a good insight.
We suggest modular decentralized sewage treatment plants ranging from capacities of 5 kl to 100 kl batch processed and return treated waste water for non potable uses like irrigation etc which run on need based requirements....soak pit / septic tank being the lift station.....
Madan Iyengar
Khaled Mokhtar Alturabi
Same situation here in Sudan, in my country the govenment have not any willness to do it so because they realized it will need a lot of money and there is no immediate benefits of it so they just ignored although the coming generations will suffer due to complexity of problem taking into accout the increase of population.
Edwin Colyer
Check out the Integrated Rural Sanitation System (SISAR) in the Brazilian state of Ceará and the ‘condominial sanitation’ system in the city of Recife. You might also want to contact the EU-funded FP7 project DESAFIO which is looking into low tech sanitation solutions and community-led sanitation too.
Steven Trinkaus
Consider the installation of a low pressure sewage system. these system utilize a small pump chamber with a high pressure pump. A common force main, generally less than 3" in size is installed in the ground below frost depth (42" below grade commonly). Individual lines from the septic tank to the common force main is 1.25" or 1.5". the pumps are grinder pumps so the raw sewage is converted to a slurry and pumped to a treatment plant. these systems can be used in flat or hilly terrain. Please contact me if you have any additional questions about these types of systems.
Chetan Shukla
We need to know the total volume of sewage generated? Also why is there consideration for a decentralized system? An answer can be given after studying the topography, land availability and presumably availability of energy.

If I presume right Afghanistan is a low per capita energy producer and consumer. If that is the case none of the activated sludge systems will be successful. There will be a need for low energy need technologies to deal with the Wastewater. MAST Technology would be a good way to go about it.

If you wish to get more information about MAST please send me an email at advenvtech@gmail.com.
Patrick Rambosson
moved to the answer section
Patrick Albert Grimaud
Implement satelite SBR wastewater treatment plants, use the treated water to irrigation and the dried sludge as fertiliser.
Sivasankara Pillai
Dear Quasem,
In hilly terrain decentralized treatment is feasible. Local culture, availability of water, facility for safe disposal of treated water etc pose challenges. Try to minimize use of water for sanitation. Depending on soil type, ground water level and availability scientifically designed pit latrines and dry toilets are also to be welcomed. Focus on developing such devices on scientific lines instead of going for conventional water intensive systems
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