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Centralised vs Decentralised Wastewater Management Systems for Sustainability

wastewater management
Both centralised and decentralised treatment systems have their advantages, and the choice on which option to go for is informed by many factors. Decentralised water treatment systems are increasingly viewed as a viable solution where the treatment capacity requirements allow for a packaged plant solution and when the site is rural and without conveyance infrastructure. By opening up conversations around the various water and wastewater treatment options made available through decentralised systems, we can realise how the integration of such processes can increase the sustainability of these solutions.

Centralised Wastewater Systems

Centralised water treatment systems have their place and provide for bulk treatment of wastewater in a central location that is easier to control. The treatment facilities are generally large and, in some ways, make the treatment operations easier to control. Resourcing is easier in the urban areas too, with most consumables a phone call away. Centralised wastewater systems are not sufficient as a solitary solution. Centralised systems are taking strain as urban populations increase and housing developments outstrip the capacities of the treatment plants, with more and more people moving from the rural areas to the cities. Although centralised wastewater systems still play a massive role for the management of wastewater, the integration of the packaged plant solution that is deployed as a decentralised system on the site of the bulk wastewater treatment plant provide the perfect hybrid solution for urban areas and communities in creating a more sustainable environment. You augment the capacity on site through the installation of a well-engineered package plants, or package plant modules, saving CAPEX and ensuring quick capacity extensions compared to the conventional approach.

Decentralised Wastewater Systems

Decentralised wastewater treatment systems are deployed in areas where the topography does not allow for gravity flow to a centralised system, or requires a complex and expensive pumping station network. Also, decentralised systems are often the only option in rural areas where there is no reticulation networks transporting sewage to one treatment centre. Decentralised treatment systems often use the same technologies that their larger counterparts use and when properly designed and operated, there is no reason why you cannot get general or special limits discharge.

The Sustainability Dimension

The combination of decentralised wastewater systems with an existing centralised system will create greater sustainability in our urban areas and communities while reducing the cost for repair and disruption. Dynamic decentralised wastewater treatment solutions are available through WEC who can provide expert engineered solutions for small decentralised systems. WEC’s “Model R” range of sewage treatment plants can accommodate flows of up to 3MLD and are implemented in a fraction of the time it takes to build a conventional module. The “Model R” plant provides the highest quality discharge and has been deployed effectively around South Africa and the rest of the African continent with great success. Contact us to learn more about the decentralised, sustainable water treatment systems available for application on your site to meet all of your requirements.