Sustainable development in pollution control and the role of anaerobic treatment.

G. Lettinga, J.B. van Lier, J.C.L. van Buuren, G. Zeeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing scarcity of clean water sets the need for appropriate management of available water resources. Particularly regions suffering from a lack of water urgently need integrated environmental protection and resource conservation (EP and RC) technologies in order to enable effective management of the available water resources. EP and RC-concepts focus on pollution prevention and on a maximum of consumptive use of energy, chemicals, and water in pollution prevention and on a minimum of consumptive une of energy, chemicals, and water in pollution abatement and a maximum of re-use of treated wastewater, by-products and residues produced in the treatment of waste and wastewater. Consequently, by implementing these concepts, waste(water)s like sewage and industrial effluents become an important source of water, fertilisers, soil conditioners and (frequently) energy instead of a social threat. In addition, a bridge is made between environmental protection and agriculture practice, stimulating (urban) agriculture in the neighbourhood of large cities. Anaerobic treatment is considered as the core technology for mineralising organic compounds in waste(water) streams. Additional technologies are required to comply with the reuse criteria. Some examples of possible EP and RC concepts, using the anaerobic treatment technology for the reclamation of domestic sewage are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • waste water treatment
  • anaerobic treatment
  • water reuse
  • pollution control
  • environmental protection


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