Scholarly article on topic 'Wastewater Management in Developing Counties: Nutrient Input Control in Coastal Cities'

Wastewater Management in Developing Counties: Nutrient Input Control in Coastal Cities Academic research paper on "Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries"

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{Wastewater / "coastal zone" / "fecal sludge" / "nutrient control" / septage}

Abstract of research paper on Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, author of scientific article — Nicholas Kathijotes

Abstract The management and treatment of sludge in developing countries, from on-site sanitation systems has neither been addressed by problem holders nor by researchers. All septic tanks need to be desludged regularly in order to maintain a certain level of treatment efficiency and minimize ecological and eventual marine pollution incidences. Practices followed in developing countries are discussed and lessons learned are emphasized for promoting a sustainable community development. Stakeholder identification and participation and their cooperation thorough the process, as well as new regulations on service provision and management procedures are addresses in this study.

Academic research paper on topic "Wastewater Management in Developing Counties: Nutrient Input Control in Coastal Cities"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 42 (2012) 259 - 263

AcE-Bs 2010 Kuching

ASEAN Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies, Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak,, Malaysia, 7-8 July 2010

Wastewater Management in Developing Counties: Nutrient Input Control in Coastal Cities

Nicholas Kathijotes*

Cyprus University of Technology, Lemesos Cyprus

Abstract

The management and treatment of sludge in developing countries, from on-site sanitation systems has neither been addressed by problem holders nor by researchers. All septic tanks need to be desludged regularly in order to maintain a certain level of treatment efficiency and minimize ecological and eventual marine pollution incidences. Practices followed in developing countries are discussed and lessons learned are emphasized for promoting a sustainable community development. Stakeholder identification and participation and their cooperation thorough the process, as well as new regulations on service provision and management procedures are addresses in this study.

© 2012 Published by Elsevier 13. V. Selection and/or peer-review underresponsibiliiy of C entre forEnvironment-Behaviour Studies( cE-Bs), Faculty/ ofArchitecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

Keywords: Wastewater; coastal zone; fecal sludge; nutrient control; septage

1. Introduction

On a global scale, approximately 80 per cent of marine pollution arises from land-based activities such as urban development, agriculture, manufacture, transport, energy production and day-to-day domestic activity. Types of pollution include litter and oils, municipal wastewater, nutrients and sediments, radioactive waste, heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants. Once in the marine environment, the

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +357 25 002343; fax: +357 96 716550. E-mail address: nicholas.kathijotes@cut.ac.cy

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies(cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.04.189

pollutants are absorbed by marine life, settle in river mouths and on the ocean floor, or follow currents and eddies to distant locations. The pollutants pay no attention to national maritime boundaries or the sensitivity of the ecosystems they impact upon.

When pollution levels rise to unsustainable levels the impact is felt not only by living marine ecosystems but by the economic sectors depending on them. These can include tourism, fisheries, and hospitality and transport sectors. Public health can also be affected, as can foreshore protection, aesthetics and public amenity. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) parties have a responsibility to protect the marine environment from land-based activities. In 1995 the international community agreed to the non-binding Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) and reaffirmed its commitment in this regard at the 2001 Intergovernmental Review of the GPA. Under the GPA, governments are invited to develop National Programmes of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (NPA). NPAs are intended to be long-term iterative processes that are action oriented and contribute to national sustainable development strategies. Varying legal and social frameworks mean that NPAs must respond to the uniquely specific circumstances and priorities of each country.

In urban areas of developing countries, on-site sanitation (OSS) systems predominate over waterborne, sewered sanitation. OSS comprises nonsewered household and public toilets, aqua privies and septic tanks. In Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta, e.g., in the order of 65 % of the houses served are linked to OSS.

Table 1. Faecal Sludge quality in different cities (GVCS on Sanitation and Hygiene-01/08)

1 2 3 4

Accra Accra Bangkok Manila US

Septage Public toilet Septage Septage EPA

Sludge Septage

COD 7,800 49.000 14,000 37.000 43,000

BOD 600 -1500 7.600 3.800 5.000

TS 11.900 52,500 16,000 72,000 38,800

TVS (%) 60 69 69 76 65

pH 7.6 7.9 7.7 7.3 6,9

COD/BOD 6-12 6.4 9.7 9

COD/TS 0.7 0.9 0.9 0.5 1.1

Helm, eggs 4.000 25.000 5,700

All units except pH and the ratios (COD/BOD, COD/TS) are in mg/1 unless otherwise stated.

Table 1 shows the quality of fecal sludge, but also its great diversity between countries, which should be seriously considered when planning treatment facilities. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 80 % of houses in large cities and up to 100 % in towns are served by on-site sanitation facilities (Strauss et al. 2003). Because of water scarcity and intermittent water supply services, and for financial-economic reasons, area-wide, sewered sanitation is not suitable in most urban settlements. Small-bore or low-cost satellite sewer systems might, prove feasible in some selected urban areas. It is unlikely, though, that sewerage will be the predominant sanitation option-of-choice in developing countries in the foreseeable future. On-site sanitation installations will serve the growing urban populations in developing countries for decades to come. As a consequence, growing quantities of faecal sludge will have to be managed. This document then, analyses the main problems identified along the "FS management path" (collection, haulage, treatment, and reuse or disposal) which prevent effective excreta management. It proposes

institutional, regulatory, economic, financial and technical measures enabling the improved management of faecal sludge.

On the other hand, environmental threats from tourism include severe limitations in terms of land and space resources, damage from the construction of roads, pressures on the terrain, flora and fauna, damage to archaeological sites, visual pollution, congestion, and activities which may diminish the value and image of tourist sites and the marine environment.

Sustainable agricultural development must take account of such critical issues as allocation of production factors in sustainable agriculture, sustainable use of water, risks to sustainable agriculture, and prudent use of pesticides.

2. Lessons Learned

Together with reviews of relevant projects, some lessons learned are expressed below:

• Treated or untreated wastewater effluents, agriculture and aquaculture together with human wastes are the major sources of eutrophication with the Cladofora macro alga causing nuisance to the shoreline.

• The occurrence of endangered species and the presence of well preserved habitats in coastal waters are evidence that a marine environment is still in good state.

• Sludge collection, hauling and treatment are top management issues in developing countries

• In the absence of governmental support, initiative and policy, moving in of small enterprises and NGO's set up satisfactory sludge management

• Municipalities in development countries should take a responsible role in the overall planning implementation and enforcement of sludge management regulations. Whenever they did, their involvement gave considerable positive results.

• Sewerage systems offer tremendous improvements to sea eutrophication.

• Strict regulations as to wastewater management including all other effluent disposals around the coastal zone are necessary and should be enforced.

All septic tanks need to be desludged regularly in order to function efficiently. The current practice in many developing countries is to desludge the septic tank when it is full or blocked. There is also no proper septic sludge treatment facility. The sludge collected from the septic tanks is usually being discharged to unauthorized drying beds which penetrates water bodies and eventually provides nutrient enrichment of marine ecosystems which leads to eutrophication events, the extent of which depends largely on the functionality of the marine ecosystem. Eutrophication, in general, is an excessive increase in primary production caused by the load of excess nutrients (i.e. nitrogen, phosphorus) from human activities

In order to improve the situation that creates various environmental problems (Kathijotes N. 2009). The Sarawak Sewerage Service informs us on a designed "Wastewater Treatment Plant for 100,000 PE (population equivalent). The site has sufficient land for future expansion of up to a total of 4 modules that will achieve the final capacity of 400,000 PE. Completion Date of the project is given as the 14th October 2012.Capacity building measures however should be taken, in order to create an efficient fecal sludge handling system, where sewerage is not available, as well as sludge application on land after conditioning.

In general, fecal sludge biosolids should find a secure market, in order to avoid uncontrolled disposal, and be useful to agriculture and soil conditioning. A high organic load will, independently of the source, affect the dissolved oxygen levels, thus impairing aquatic organisms. Additionally, the nitrogen or phosphorous washed into water bodies leads to eutrophication, and subsequent oxygen depletion, facilitating the growth of toxin-produced algae (Chorus & Bartram, 1999).

In order to avoid negative effects of using excreta in agriculture, the following should be considered (Foster et al., 2004): a. improved agricultural practices; b. establish criteria (safe distances, depth of extraction, appropriate construction), to operate wells used for water supply around the area of application and c. routinely monitor groundwater and eventually coastline water.

Identified capacity building needs include: Wastewater Re-use (potential, acceptance); Qualities, Characteristics, Sampling and Analysis of Sludge or fecal sludge (FS); Design of Inexpensive Treatment Facilities-Design know-how; Training of Unskilled Operators; Basic Strategic Solutions for Improved Sludge Management for Decision Makers; Institutional Infrastructure Organization, and others.

3. Recommendations

Adaptive management as well as Preparation of Best Practice Guides should be embedded. Training is necessary, in on site sanitation and sludge management in appropriate Institutions and at all professional levels.

The International Ocean Institute (IOI) offers the following approaches and experiences to interested parties: Constructed wetland models and their effective design, operation and implementation; Capacity Building and on-site actual training and tailor made projects on wastewater and sludge treatment and applications (Larnaca and Lemesos Sewage Boards are ready to offer training). Research and Consultation on Wastewater Reuse as Related to Coastal Protection - Nutrient Control (Cyprus Univ. of Technology); Strategic Planning for stakeholders consultation approach, community based participatory approach and knowledge based capacity building for governmental function levels on learning by doing basis (adaptive management); The International Ocean Institute offers these training programmes on adaptive management to meet public consensus and agreement, through scientific advice from national experts; and Ocean Learn : Capacity Building and Training: Opportunities through IOI's partnerships and International Cooperation, WMO,IMO, IOC, UN University, etc; The Expertise and Support of IOI's World Network should also be noted.

4. Conclusions

Promising initiatives to establish improved FS management are under way, from which lessons can be learnt. An array of tools from which stakeholders can choose has been identified. They comprise systematic planning based on stakeholder identification and their cooperation (integrated with urban sanitation planning); regulations on services provision and management procedures; fee structuring and money fluxes (flux reversal!); devolvement of emptying services to private entrepreneurs; rules to secure a competitive market; appropriate treatment options; securing the market for biosolids sale. Potential solutions suiting local conditions and needs, such as the ones discussed in this document, should be further developed and tested in pilot/demonstration projects. They should be monitored and evaluated in order to establish practical, action-oriented recommendations complemented by capacity building programmes.

References

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