What are the cheapest wastewater treatment technologies?

Shiva Kumar

Shiva Kumar, Ph.D Civil and Environmental Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (2020)Answered Aug 17, 2017 · Upvoted by Deva JiivaM.tech Environmental Engineering, Anna University, Tamil Nadu, India (2019) · Author has 499 answers and 1.9m answer views

  • The principle behind the wastewater treatment techniques remained same since the early ages.

The concept is very simple — Initially remove the particulates in an orderly fashion (First remove floating solids, then large debris followed by settlement of inorganic matter, then sedimentation of settle-able organic matter). After removing all the settle-able solids, treat the sewage for dissolved organics using microbial organisms.

  • This process is still in use for treatment of domestic wastewater (Of course with higher efficiency)

Ze’ev Fisher, Mapal’s vice president for business development and international marketing once said

We’re not reinventing the wheel here. We just developed a technology that’s more effective and more efficient


Now coming back to the question: What are the cheapest wastewater treatment technologies?

→ The word cheapest means the sum of money sent should be minimum.

Commonly used cheap treatment techniques for sustainable and cost-effective sanitation and wastewater management are—

  • Anaerobic Tanks (as the rate of monetary returns are high. Hence Cheapest);

  • Phytodepuration and Constructed/Natural Wetlands;

  • Waste stabilization pond system (Natural pond-age i.e., facultative pond followed by maturation pond);

  • Lagooning (Anaerobic ponds);

Cheap treatment techniques for specific purposes—

  • For Nutrient removal: Wetlands;

  • For Heavy Metal removal: Acclimatized bio-remediation or Phyto-remediation or wetlands or passing wastewater through adsorbing material like sawdust etc;

  • For treatment at small communities: Imhoff tank followed by wetlands;

  • Reduce acidity: Passing the wastewater over limestone slabs;

  • Pathogen Removal: Sand filtration pits or chlorination.

Note: These methods are the cheapest but not the ones at the top of the efficiency pyramid.

Hope this helps

Author: Gilbert Tan TS

IT expert with more than 20 years experience in Multiple OS, Security, Data & Internet , Interests include AI and Big Data, Internet and multimedia. An experienced Real Estate agent, Insurance agent, and a Futures trader. I am capable of finding any answers in the world you want as long as there are reports available online for me to do my own research to bring you closest to all the unsolved mysteries in this world, because I can find all the paths to the Truth, and what the Future holds. All I need is to observe, test and probe to research on anything I want, what you need to do will take months to achieve, all I need is a few hours.​

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