Wastewater management techniques from ancient civilizations to modern ages: examples from South Asia

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Wastewater management appeared about 3000 BC in South Asia, and spread on the whole subcontinent with the development of urbanization during its early history. Domestic grey water and black water were canalized through street-side drains, and cesspits was implemented at house outlet level, or at drain crossing, in order to avoid the clogging of the system. Nothing seems to be known about the ultimate place where the drains canalized wastewater. In South India, wastewater was managed previously to the 1st century AD, at the very same period as the presence of Mediterranean population on the subcontinent. But, we cannot confirm a Mediterranean influence on wastewater management, because of the previous development of several techniques in the region. In today rural Puducherry area, traditional techniques are used to manage wastewater, quite similar to the method used to treat wastewater of Puducherry urban zone.

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