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<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>

Structure of the Source Book

Section 1: Toward a framework for wastewater and stormwater management

Wastewater and stormwater management, though important in itself, needs to be placed in the wider context of improving public health and the environment. It needs to be integrated with municipal solid waste management and hygiene promotion to achieve significant overall public health improvement. It also needs to be practised in the context of physical, geographical, economic, institutional, social and historical context of the community provided with the services. The need for all of these is illustrated by considering the problems facing communities without adequate sanitation.

This section touches on the importance of planning, community participation and sound financial planning and management, and suggests a broad framework for wastewater and stormwater management to achieve long term sustainability. These aspects are discussed in greater detail in the UNDP/WB 'Resource Guide' and UNEP GPA 'Recommendations for Decision Making on Municipal Wastewater'

Section 2: Environmentally Sound Technologies and Practices

The aim of the Sound Practices section is to describe major technology options for collection, treatment, reuse and disposal of wastewater and stormwater. Understanding the basis of the technology is important in helping to make the correct technology choice. This understanding, which is derived from an understanding of the physical, chemical and biological bases of the technology, is emphasised, as well as the corresponding processes taking place in nature. In the latter, the cycling of elements is crucial to maintenance of ecosystems, and is the basis for reuse of wastewater and stormwater, and indeed the basis for environmental sustainability.

The choice of technology amongst the options will be governed by local factors. These include existing technology, facilities and services, availability of land, ability to raise fund and pay for the on-going costs of operation and maintenance, as well as climatic conditions, soil type, and social and cultural settings of the locality where the technology is to be used. These factors are discussed, and a community-scale technology is suggested as one possible model to achieve environmentally sound technologies for long term sustainability.

Section 3: Regional Overviews and Information Sources

For each region an overview is presented in 10 sub-topics with the aim of sharing information on experiences and practices. These sub-topics include those covered in Section 2 and additional topics on Policy and Institutional Framework, Training, Public Education and Financing. There is unavoidable overlap between what is covered in Sections 2 and 3. In discussing a technology practice in a region, there may be a need to describe the technology even though it is a variant of a major option. The appropriateness of the technology in the regional context may also be commented. Not all Regional Overviews follow the sub-topics in a strict manner or order, where there is justifiable reason to highlight, for example, a historical approach or current trends in technology covering several sub-topics.

It is not possible to provide all the information required by decision-makers in a single publication. At the end of each Regional Overview, a list of information sources is provided. The names of institutions that can provide additional information are given, covering international, national and local government agencies, professional and industry associations, tertiary educational institutions and some non-government organisations. Private firms providing technology, equipment or consultant services have not been included.
A number of case studies are provided at the end of each Regional Overview to illustrate sound practices that may have applicability in other regions. It should be noted that sound practices are community and locality specific, and application in other community and locality needs to consider local physical, economic and social conditions.

Appendix 1: Public Health Aspects of Wastewater and Stormwater Management

A primary reason for providing wastewater and stormwater management is to safeguard public health. Decision-makers and community members need to be informed about the health implications of not providing adequate sanitation services. One reason for the lack of priority given to the provision of sanitation services is inadequate appreciation of the health impact of human wastes. A public health crisis (e.g. Surat) usually makes a community aware of the importance of wastewater and stormwater management and a high priority is given to it. Information on the health impact of human wastes is available from the World Health Organization (WHO). An extract has therefore been included.

Appendix 2: Costs of Wastewater and Stormwater Management

When evaluating technology for its affordability it is critical to know what it costs and the costs of alternative technologies. Costs vary with local conditions. The Source Book provides information on relative costs of the major technology options.

Appendix 3:maESTro and UNEP Contact Information

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has regional offices as well as other centres that can facilitate contact with organisation active in wastewater and stormwater management. This appendix provides contact information for the relevant UNEP offices.
Information on IETC's maESTro data base on environmentally sound technologies is provided to facilitate contact with organisations providing these technologies.


The Source Book contains references that are cited in the book. Lists of these references are provided at the end of the appropriate sections. These references may be consulted by readers if they are interested in obtaining further information on the subject cited. The Bibliography included here contains a bibliography of selected recent items that may be useful to decision makers and others working in wastewater and stormwater management. It is sourced primarily from international organisations who have worked in these areas for some time.


As a reference for terms used in the book, a glossary of words and phrases relevant to wastewater and stormwater is included.


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