Monitoring and validation of decentralised water and wastewater systems for increased uptake

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Decentralised water and wastewater systems are being implemented to meet growing demand for municipal services either in combination with centralised systems or as standalone systems. In Australia, there has been increased investment in decentralised water and wastewater systems in response to the capacity constraints of existing centralised systems, an extended period of below average rainfall, uncertainly in traditional water sources due to potential climate change impacts, and the need to reduce the environmental impact of urban development. The implementation of decentralised water systems as a mainstream practice at different development scales is impeded by the knowledge gaps on their actual performance in a range of development types and settings. As the wide-spread uptake of these approaches in modern cities is relatively new compared to centralised approaches, there is limited information available on their planning, design, implementation, reliability and robustness. This paper presents a number of case studies where monitoring studies are under way to validate the performance of decentralised water and wastewater systems. The results from these case studies show the yield and reliability of these decentralised systems, as well as the associated energy demand and ecological footprint. The outputs from these case studies, and other monitoring studies, are important in improving decentralised system design guidelines and developing industry wide management norms for the operation and maintenance of decentralised systems.

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