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Factors Determining Community Support Leading to the Success of Communal Self-Managed Wastewater Treatment System: A Case Study of Low-Income Communities in Bangkok

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Most of the existing large-scale central wastewater treatment plants in developing countries provide services to only small, but densely populated catchment areas. Communities located outside these service areas need to establish and manage their own treatment systems. In the Bangkok metropolitan area, the privately built communal plants serving outside areas are usually off-site and small-scale systems, constructed by real estate developers, and handed over to community organizations to operate and maintain. Due to inadequate education and training of the community organizations and the absence of community support for proper management, these decentralized treatment systems rarely operate well and are sometimes abandoned.

To improve the management of these decentralized plants, the concept of “self-management” needs to be developed in order to involve the local community in the delivery of its own services and to reduce their reliance on local government. For success under these conditions, local support is among the crucial factors contributing to the success of communal wastewater management. This study thus examines two major factors influencing wastewater treatment plant design and operation, namely the local residents' ability to pay for the wastewater treatment services and the extent of community participation. The study hypothesizes that ability to pay and community participation, as part of the community support factors, heavily depend upon the socio-economic attributes (i.e. income and education) and perception of the local residents towards their living environment and quality of life. Using the Rom Klao housing projects at the eastern segment of Bangkok as a case study, the study collected data by a survey of more than 300 residents during the month of July and September 2005.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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