The World Health Organization defines the term “sanitation” as follows:
“Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and feces. The word ‘sanitation’ also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and wastewater disposal”.
Changes in human population have caused corresponding proportional changes in demand for sanitation. As population grew in the Western industrialized nations demand was outstripping [nature’s] capacity until a German engineer by the name of Karl Imhoff developed and patented processes to deal with effluents more effectively. The next big step in sanitation for the industrialized nations was the advent of ‘cheap energy’.
‘Cheap energy’ enabled smaller footprint community wastewater treatment facilities based on forced air controlled aerobic micro-biological processes.
The basic objectives of human wastewater sanitation have remained the same over the millenia: Kill pathogens and clarify the water before it re-enters the environment. The primary goal was and still is to aid in the prevention of disease. That we also need to take care – as population density increases – to prevent nutrient overloads of the environment is largely ignored.
To make matters worse, in some cases, because of convenience, human [settlement] wastewater is simply ‘dumped’ into an existing body of water and nature is left to deal with it… This practice of leaving it to nature is unfortunately still found in even the most developed industrial nations. Examples include coastal cities along the seaboard of North America as well as cities and settlements along major rivers and waterways. In the tropics and subtropics settlements and entire islands either let their wastes drain directly into the sea or – to keep the beaches ‘clean’ – pump their effluent offshore – very much to the detriment of marine life and coral reefs in particular.
In all cases, irrespective of whether systemic sanitation exists or not, the dissolved nutrient loads of [clarified] effluent, while invisible to the naked eye, are significant contributors to downstream eutrophication.
The Ellenbach Foundation takes a holistic approach to human [settlement] wastewater sanitation and looks at the bionomic wastewater resource potential of the solid organic suspended particles as well as the dissolved nutrients. Pathogen kill and water rehabilitation are achieved en passant.
We call our holistic process “BionomicTM wastewater processing” – in accordance with nature’s principles because we process wastewater along the same pathways as nature would process it. The major difference is that bionomicsTM in this case harvest the entire resource potential for economic and financial gain. Making Ellenbach bionomicTM sanitation systems the only wastewater processing infrastructure in the world that can pay for itself without having to rely on user fees.
The Ellenbach Foundation bionomicTM wastewater processing and sanitation systems are designed to deal with human as well as agricultural excrement, urine, feces and organic surpluses for their inherent biological resource values.
Whether the objective is to upgrade an existing installation or establish a new facility, when Ellenbach bionomicTM technologies are developed and implemented correctly, in accordance with our expertise and technologies, they become revenue positive and can provide the self-sustaining backbone for sound sustainable economic community development – without the need for user fees.
Our article on BionomicTM Wastewater Processing Algorithm Basics provides an overview on how economic potentials can be estimated.