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Municipal wastewater treatment in China: Development history and future perspectives

  • Jiuhui QuEmail author
  • Hongchen Wang
  • Kaijun Wang
  • Gang Yu
  • Bing Ke
  • Han-Qing Yu
  • Hongqiang Ren
  • Xingcan Zheng
  • Ji Li
  • Wen-Wei Li
  • Song Gao
  • Hui Gong
Review Article
  • 8 Downloads
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Issue—China Urban Water Environment and Water Ecology

Abstract

China has the world’s largest and still growing wastewater sector and water market, thus its future development will have profound influence on the world. The high-speed development of China’s wastewater sector over the past 40 years has forged its global leading treatment capacity and innovation ability. However, many problems were left behind, including underdeveloped sewers and sludge disposal facilities, low sustainability of the treatment processes, questionable wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent discharge standards, and lacking global thinking on harmonious development between wastewater management, human society and the nature. Addressing these challenges calls for fundamental changes in target design, policy and technologies. In this mini-review, we revisit the development history of China’s municipal wastewater management and identify the remaining challenges. Also, we highlight the future needs of sustainable development and exploring China’s own wastewater management path, and outlook the future from several aspects including targets of wastewater management, policies and technologies, especially the new concept WWTP. Furthermore, we envisage the establishment of new-generation WWTPs with the vision of turning WWTP from a site of pollutant removal into a plant of energy, water and fertilizer recovery and an integrated part urban ecology in China.

Keywords

China Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) Process Management Policy New Concept WWTP 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the CSD (Beijing) Environmental Protection Development Co. and the Secretariat of Expert Committee for China’s Concept WWTPs for supporting this work.

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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiuhui Qu
    • 1
    • 10
    Email author
  • Hongchen Wang
    • 2
    • 10
  • Kaijun Wang
    • 3
    • 10
  • Gang Yu
    • 3
    • 10
  • Bing Ke
    • 4
    • 10
  • Han-Qing Yu
    • 5
    • 10
  • Hongqiang Ren
    • 6
    • 10
  • Xingcan Zheng
    • 7
    • 10
  • Ji Li
    • 8
    • 10
  • Wen-Wei Li
    • 5
  • Song Gao
    • 9
  • Hui Gong
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Environment and Nature ResourcesRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of EnvironmentTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Administrative Centre for China’s Agenda 21Ministry of Science and TechnologyBeijingChina
  5. 5.CAS Key Laboratory of Urban Pollutant ConversionUniversity of Science & Technology of ChinaHefeiChina
  6. 6.School of the EnvironmentNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  7. 7.North China Municipal Engineering Design & Research InstituteTianjinChina
  8. 8.School of Environment and Civil EngineeringJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina
  9. 9.Jiangsu (Yixing) Institute of Environmental IndustryYixingChina
  10. 10.Expert Committee for China’s Concept WWTPsBeijingChina

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