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United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
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Newsletter and Technical Publications
<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>

8. Sound Practices

8.1 Technology choice

Environmentally sound practices in wastewater and stormwater management are practices that ensure that public health and environmental quality are protected. A range of technologies exist that can achieve this objective (Section 2 (2) to (7)). A summary is shown in Table 2.5. Even though this table does not cover all available technologies, they represent major technologies for situations that are likely to be encountered. The Regional Overviews include technologies that are modifications or variations of the listed technologies or represent practices or advances in the regions.

Common to all sound technologies is that there is a scientific basis for the physical, chemical and biological processes for the removal of pathogens and pollutants from the water. These processes are largely akin to the purification and recycling processes taking place in nature (Section 2 (2.2)). Properly designed, constructed, maintained and operated these technologies can achieve protection of public health and the environment, and can recycle water and nutrients, which are beneficial to sustaining ecosystems and life.

Associated with each technology hardware is a philosophical basis or approach, e.g. separation of waste components (dry conservancy), or conveying all wastes away with water (water based conveyance) minimising capital cost, minimising maintenance requirement; or maximising reuse maintenance and operational requirements, which are the software associated with the technological hardware, and therefore level of skills required to operate the hardware and software, and consequently training requirements for personnel.

The choice of technology is determined by environmental, economic and social factors.

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