Appropriate and Sustainable Wastewater Management in Developing Countries by the Use of Constructed Wetlands

H. Brix (Denmark), T. Koottatep (Thailand), O. Fryd (Denmark), and C.H. Laugesen (S. Africa)


Constructed wetlands, tsunami, wastewater management, developing countries, ornamental flowers.


Constructed wetland systems for wastewater management may have great potential in developing countries as robust and decentralized solution. A case study from Koh Phi Phi island in Thailand where a constructed wetland systems was established after the destructions by the tsunami in 2004 is described. The project includes a wastewater collection system for the main business area of the island, a pumping station, a multistage constructed wetland system, and a system for reuse of treated wastewater. The wastewater is treated to meet the Thai effluent standards for total suspended solids and nitrogen, but because of inadequate pre-treatment and removal of oil and grease prior to the system, the standards for oil and grease and BOD are not met. The experiences from the project illustrate, that despite the appropriateness of the system, and the fact that safeguards were prepared beforehand, the system is only partly a success, mainly because no key‐person or key‐authority took responsibility for managing the system.

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