Short Courses

Short Course 1: ‘The Good Enough Guide to Onsite Sanitation’ 

The ADB is currently implementing a multi-year regional technical assistance (TA 5661) programme “Strengthening WASH Practices and Hygiene Behavioral Change in the Pacific”. This TA focuses on improving WASH practices in households and communities and on strengthening the capacity of WASH enabling environment, including capacity of service providers. The ADB TA has identified the sustainable and safe management of onsite sanitation as a key area in need of further research and support to reduce the transmission of disease transmission in the Pacific.

Multiple overlapping climatic, hydrogeological, social and economic considerations in the Pacific militate against the standard application of sanitation technologies. Although a range of onsite and offsite sanitation systems exist, but a lack of maintenance, poor technology selection or quality, insufficient consideration of socio-cultural issues and climatic extremes (droughts & floods) mean that these systems often fail to deliver their intended health benefits. Managing the faecal exposure risks posed by different technology options is challenged by the gaps in the knowledge of WASH practitioners’ in understanding of the processes occurring within those sanitation technologies.

ADB is seeking to expand and foster research and ‘knowledge partnerships’ in the principles underpinning the to improve management of on-site sanitation in challenging contexts. Overall the purpose to bring together existing knowledge and principles to progress and possibly expand the suite of accepted, affordable, safe, low-cost and ‘good enough’ sanitation options. The purpose of this training is threefold:

  1. To share the ‘known knowns’ in the management of on-site sanitation options in a manner that is applicable to WASH practitioners in challenging contexts.
  2. To share some ‘known unknowns’ in the management of ‘on-site sanitation’ options for the future deployment of academic and practical research partnerships.
  3. To identify previously ‘unknown unknowns’ that may affect the risks posed by different ‘on-site sanitation’ options.


This short course is suited to both academics and practitioners interested in furthering our collective understanding on the principles that underpin sanitation technology trade-offs in sub-optimal socio-economic, climatic and hydrogeological contexts.

Proposed Schedule
The training session will include presentations by leading specialists (practitioners and academics) in the field. Topics that will be covered during this half-day short course include:

- Principles of anaerobic and aerobic digestion, and the impact of different onsite technology options on treatment
- Principles of horizontal and vertical set-back distances (generally and in atolls)
- Greenhouse gas emissions from different onsite sanitation technologies and their management
- Regulation of onsite septage / sewage treatment

This will be a participatory training session with opportunities for attendees to share their knowledge and expertise and learn from specialists and peers through interactive activities. By exploring what is known and as yet unknown, this session will assist knowledge partners and ADB identify potential areas for future research to improve the trade-offs in the management of on-site sanitation risks.

This session will be run by:
- Mark Ellery - Local governance and sanitation specialist, ADB Consultant
- Bronwyn Powell - WASH specialist working as ADB Consultant and with International WaterCentre, Griffith University
- Assoc Prof. Cara Beal, School of Engineering & Built Environment, Griffith University
- Dr Miller Alonso Camargo-Valero, Associate Professor of BioResource Systems, University of Leeds

Short Course 2: Emerging topics for decentralised wastewater management in India

This short course will present various emerging topics of high relevance for wastewater management in India. It will cover the following topics:
New wastewater/sludge treatment technologies: The project Saraswati 2.0 has piloted and tested various innovative technologies for the Indian context and based on those results, this short course will present the following technologies: Anaerobic digestion with phototrophic bioreactor; Anaerobic digestion with electrically conductive biofilter; Ultrasonic sludge treatment; IEMB reactor for nitrate removal. Various aspects such as benefits, costs, design will be discussed.

Emerging contaminants and bacterial resistance: Emerging contaminants and ARG (Antibiotic resistance genes) are of increasing concern in India. This short course will present the resulting challenges for India and discuss possible ways to mitigate their impact.

Disinfection: Many existing STPs in India do not treat water to such an extent that it is suitable for reuse. Such STPs may be upgraded by post disinfection systems. This short course will present experiences with various disinfection technologies such as ozonisation, chlorination, UV, electro-chemical disinfection) which may be used to upgrade such STPs.

Automation and control: Operation of wastewater treatment plants depending on the presence or not of operators and their level of knowledge and expertise is a key challenge for developing countries such as India. Automation and control can help to overcome these challenges, and the lecture "Modelling of treatment plants: form plant-wide to MPC design" will discuss the stages of designing an advanced automated control system by focusing necessities and possibilities for modelling of treatment plants from “plant-wide process understanding and design” to “model predictive control systems”.

Sustainability and LCA: Lacking sustainability has been a major problem of investments in wastewater technologies. As experience has shown, project failures in the sanitation sector often occurred during the implementation phase due to negligence of context-specific economic, social and institutional sustainability aspects. This short course will discuss key aspects of sustainability relevant for India such as economic and social aspects, and further discuss potential barriers for up-scaling of innovative technologies. Further, this short course will discuss experiences with LCA in an Indian context to assess and compare the environmental impact of different technologies.

Short Course 3: An introduction to Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment

Constructed Wetlands are a Nature-Based Solution for reliable and robust wastewater treatment and water quality improvement, with several advantages over conventional treatment technologies, including the ability to avoid reliance on electro-mechanical equipment and the consumption of chemicals and electricity. They are also constructed using local materials and labour, and are relatively simple to operate and maintain. This short course will provide attendees with an introduction to the various types of wetland technologies, their main applications and benefits/limitations. We will then focus on the main types of constructed wetland designs which are appropriate for treatment of sewage, septage and sludge, especially with a view to the developing country context, with some insights into the basic principles of design and construction.

This course will be given by leading experts in the field of constructed wetland design and implementation, including: