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Ecological Wastewater Management

Waste Water Treatment

  1. Guenter Langergraber

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.ww93

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Langergraber, G. 2005. Ecological Wastewater Management. Water Encyclopedia. 1:675–681.

Author Information

  1. BOKU—University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005


Conventional sanitation concepts are neither an ecological nor an economical solution for rural areas in both industrialized and developing countries. Ecological sanitation (EcoSan) represents a holistic approach toward ecologically and economically sound sanitation. The underlying aim is to close nutrient and water cycles with as small an expenditure on material and energy as possible to contribute to sustainable development. EcoSan is a systemic approach and an attitude. Single technologies are only a means to an end. Therefore, EcoSan-technologies may range from nearly natural wastewater treatment techniques to compost toilets, simple household installations, and to complex, mainly decentralized systems. These technologies are not ecological per se but only in relation to the observed environment. Promotion of EcoSan concepts, therefore, is the strategy for achieving the goal—closing the loop in wastewater management and sanitation.


  • closed-loop system;
  • decentralized;
  • ecological sanitation;
  • EcoSan;
  • nutrient recycling;
  • on-site;
  • urine separation;
  • water reuse