Wastewater Treatment in the Tropics


Systems for the Developing World




Above is a picture of a lagoon created by the daming of a river in Guatemala for the purpose of generating hydroelectric power. Interestingly, this lagoon is made up primarily of sewage. Half of Guatemala City's wastewater is dicharged into this river, and later collected in this reservior. Although this was not meant to be a system of treatment, there are many biological process taking place that reduce the harmful effects of the waste. Click above to learn more about lagoons. (photo taken by Elly Bunzendahl)

This is a photo I took near Ica, Peru. This "oasis" of sorts is actually a wetland fed by the nutrient rich sewage coming from the nearby village. The sign reads "Salida de Aguas Residuales", which can be translated as "exit of wastewater". Like the lagoon to the left, treatment was probably not the primary goal of this setup. However, the vegetation in this system is capable of removing harmful constituents in the waste. Click above to learn more about wetland systems. (photo taken by Danny Hurtado)

Not what you were looking for? Try some related links.

SANDEC (Water Sanitation in Developing Countries) - Oganization that is currently doing some interesting development projects. Links for teaching schools with programs dealing with water, wastewater, and solid waste management in developing countries can be found here.

World Health Organization - This is a water sanitation index.

Water Scanner - This site is "an initiative to help the internet-user find useful sites about the water management industry".


This site was created by Danny Hurtado at Michigan Technological University for FW5710 - Trees in Agricultural Systems. Mr. Hurtado is currently a candidate for a M.S. in Environmental Engineering. He will be leaving to Panama in September to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in the area of water sanitation. He likes to surf (he is from Florida), snowboard and eat good food. At the present time he is thawing out from the coldest winter he has ever experienced.