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Socio-Economic Criteria for Wastewater Treatment System Selection: a Case of Municipality Contextual Determinants in Thailand

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Socio-economic factors have been proved to be crucial determinants in the selection of wastewater treatment plants in developing countries, provided that their local needs and constraints are closely connected with the technical remedy. This paper thus aims to establish an analytical approach for locally appropriate technology, treating socio-economic factors as part of the decision making process. Three principle variables—land requirement, affordability, and social (public) acceptability are evaluated towards a decision making model for alternative wastewater treatment systems—activated sludge (AS), oxidation ditches (OD), aerated lagoon (AL), and waste stabilization ponds (WSP). Utilizing Thailand as a case study, information from plant survey and secondary data are used to evaluate the existing municipal treatment plants, to be used as database to develop a decisionmaking model in the later state. Resultant from the land usage and cost models is then used to identify an appropriate wastewater treatment system for a wide range of scenarios in suburban Bangkok. The study demonstrates the possibility to include such socioeconomic factors as part of the water treatment planning process, viable to the developing countries focusing on land requirements, construction cost, and O&M cost. These factors are proved to be effectively tabulated with technical and environmental criteria as well as local conditions to form a decision making model for identifying the appropriate wastewater alternatives in Thailand.

Keywords: appropriate technology; developing countries; socio-economic factors; wastewater technology selection

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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