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Open Access Promoting Sanitation in South Africa through Nutrient Recovery from Urine

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The water utility of Durban, eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS), installed urine-diverting dry toilets to provide sanitation to under-served communities in rural and peri-urban areas. While faeces was treated by dehydration, urine was discharged into a soak away in the ground. EWS teamed up with the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) and other partners in Switzerland and South Africa to valorise this resource. The VUNA project developed a sanitation system which produces a valuable fertiliser from urine, reduces pollution of water resources and promotes the acceptance of dry toilets.

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Keywords: fertiliser; nutrient recovery; source separation; urine diversion

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2016-01-01

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

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