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Sustainable decentralized wastewater management in developing countries: design, operation, and monitoring

2011 - 2017 • Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)


Reinventing innovative decentralized systems and technologies for full or partial treatment, and disposal of human excreta and wastewater from dwellings and businesses in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.


The project seeks to reinvent technologies for decentralized wastewater management that is Naturally Acceptable and Technological Sustainable (NATS). The project focuses on innovation in decentralized systems and technologies using a market-led approach for full or partial treatment and disposal of human excreta and wastewater from dwellings and businesses.

Targets: The project has quantifiable targets, which includes among others development of thermal septic tank, microwave and microbial fuel cell, nano-disinfection and solid-liquid separation devices. Besides, technology identification of odor-free and pathogen-free effluent, with a 50 per cent reduction of fecal sludge, and production of ready-to-reuse market-friendly products is the other main target. Other targets include peer-reviewed publications, and identification of market factor, market and technology landscape analysis, identification of target buys, analysis of unmet needs and compilation of dataset of performance of existing systems.

Countries of activity

Location of main activity


1. Invention and prototyping of Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS) technology that treats and discharges a pathogen-free domestic effluent, and ready for reuse products.
2. Field testing of prototype technologies for single families and apartment blocks or for community wastewater management.
3. Securing commercial ventures with industries for mass production and commercialization.
4. Increase regional academic expertise in innovative DEWATS technologies.

Further information

Research or implementation partners: Thammasat University, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, and Ramkhamhaeng University.

One of the project components was the "Solar septic tank and hydro-cyclone toilet". See the link to the discussion forum thread below for more information on this hydrocyclone system.

Filter tags

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Decentralised wastewater treatment (e.g. DEWATS) East Asia & Pacific Market development Operation, maintenance and sustainable services Product design and engineering Specific to one or several countries Technology comparisons Treatment of wastewater or greywater University, education or research institution


Asian Institute of Technology
Pathum Thani

The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) is an international postgraduate institute of higher education based in Thailand. Established in 1959 as the first postgraduate school in the region, it boasts of over 21,000 alumni in 101 countries and territories. Ranked world's Number "1" in international orientation (by UMultirank), AIT works with nearly 200 partners all over the world.

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Trevor Surridge (tmsinnovation)

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