What Happens To Sewage In Developing Countries

sewage water treatment

Untreated sewage is one of the major 21st-century challenges faced by the world today. Several factors such as population growth, rapid urbanization, industrialization and lack of innovative sewage water treatment solutions have led to an increase in sewage volume globally.

An extensive amount of sewage water is generated every day from households, industries and agriculture. Raw sewage contains harmful components such as chemicals, dangerous pathogens, toxin substances, debris and heavy metals. Therefore, when the sewage is released into the environment without proper sewage water treatment, it causes water pollution. Consequently, it threatens to impact human health and the environment. 

Sewage in Developing Countries

In developing countries, the sewage situation is more worrisome. No access to improved sanitation facilities, poor infrastructure, water scarcity, bad economic conditions are some of the main sewage-related issues plaguing developing countries. Lack of efficient sewage water treatment plants due to waste overload caused by industrialization and urbanization have escalated the sewage crisis. According to the United Nations World Water Development Report 2017, upper-middle-income countries treat only 38% of municipal and industrial sewage water and lower-middle-income countries only 28%. 

According to recent reports, a single individual generates close to 6 litres of toilet sewage wastewater each day. Lack of proper sewage water treatment solution results in the generation of 14 billion litres of contaminated sewage water every day, which is staggering. The untreated sewage causes different diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, and are responsible for millions of deaths of children every year. Given the global scale of the sewage problem, the poor communities residing in developing as well as third world countries are the most affected. 

Sewage Situation in India

In India, the sewage water is regularly disposed of in lakes, rivers, and seas, polluting water bodies across the country. Millions of people living in rural areas do not have sanitation facilities or sewage disposal methods even today. Open defecation is still prevalent in many areas, which pollutes water bodies and cause innumerable diseases. 

Although large urban cities in India have large scale sewage systems, maintaining its efficiency is a daunting task due to the increasing population. Other challenges such as lack of infrastructure to take sewage to treatment plants, lack of funds and operation problems affect the sewage situation in India.

According to data released in 2015, 62,000 million litres per day (MLD) sewage is produced in urban areas, but the treatment capacity is limited to 23,277 MLD. Another interesting piece of data suggests that out of 816 sewage water treatment plants, only 522 works. Therefore, it can be summarized with the existing data and concurrent reports that 70% of urban sewage is left untreated in India. Due to the under performance of treatment plants, the toxic effluent can be a major risk for workers in the plant. And when the effluent released is below the standards set, it affects human health and the environment.

Various studies have shown that the UASB reactor technology can be the best  option for sewage treatment in developing countries due to its simple technicalities and lower usage costs associated with it. However, it is important to note that sewage is a social as well as an environmental problem that needs urgent solutions. Moreover, in developing countries like India, affordable sewage water treatment solutions are required that also allows the reuse of the treated effluents for industrial and agricultural purposes. Better sewage treatment management in developing countries should reduce the risk of diseases and environmental impact. Therefore, there is an urgent need for advanced, innovative and eco-friendly solutions. 

Organica Biotech is a leader in the development of advanced solutions for sewage water treatment plants. Using biotechnology, the team of scientists and experts have developed Cleanmaxx STP, a consortium of highly adaptable natural microbes that is capable of degrading high organic loads of waste effectively. It boosts plant efficiency and performance and  is well known for powering the biological treatment process in sewage treatment plants. For a developing country like India, Cleanmaxx STP is a cost-effective solution that can help in reducing the sewage problem and meeting the effluent standards. For more information regarding Cleanmaxx STP and sewage water treatment, contact us at any time.

Also read:
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How is Biotechnology Used in Sewage Treatment
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Post by Priyanka Khaire