A new semi-decentralised wastewater treatment plant has recently been implemented in the urban area of the Cliza municipality, Cochabamba in Bolivia. Due to the great results, similar treatment plants are being installed in other areas of the country.
According to the Bolivian Basic Sanitation Sector Development Plan for 2008 - 2015, 70% of the wastewater collected by existing sanitation systems in the country is dumped into rivers or streams without being treated, posing contamination risks for the water, soil and groundwater. In the municipality of Cliza, the wastewater collected by the central sewer system was being disposed into the Cliza River.
Due to the successful results of the Sustainable Sanitation Project project, the initiative has been scaled up to other parts of the country, addressing wastewater treatment problems through decentralised technology.
Based on the experience, a report has been put together to outline the lessons learned from managing wastewater treatment plants in Cliza, Retama, Ucureña, San Isidro, Retama, Surumi and Huasacalle. By systematising the learnings, a set of adoption guidelines has been released and the possibility of a sustainable management model that ensures the functioning of the sanitation system throughout the jurisdiction of the Municipality has been shown.
The report is aimed at other municipalities interested in the design and implementation of management models that ensure the sustainability of sanitation systems. It does not only seek to implement a technology that prevents human contact with contaminated waste, but also to promote the social acceptance of waste as a valuable resource for the community and the environment.