10 Jan 2012

Bleg: Water and sewage treatment in the developing world?

AM asks:
I was curious to hear your thoughts on water and sewage treatment in the developing world. Any suggested readings on the issue of treatment would be much appreciated.
My first impression is that there are more opportunities for decentralized treatment solutions in developing countries that lack proper treatment networks. These opportunities can be thwarted by laws that give the incumbent water/sewerage provider a monopoly over an area they may not be able to serve, but those cruel laws are not so common.

I also think that development aid (money and technology) tends to affect this sector -- for better or worse.

Also read the archives of this LinkedIn group.

Can you readers give AM some more ideas or insights?


  1. This is a huge issue -- and I guess a conspiracy of the large equipment producers does exist. Please check the story how GE bought and then killed Zenon wastewater treatment technology.

  2. Decentralized wastewater systems are pushed by EPA but really need some central management functions to get them into more mainstream use. Especially as source separation becomes more common, we'll see this happen.

  3. Anonymous: Zenon had/has issues. It was overprescribed for many applications where it didn't belong.


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