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SSWM University Course

University Perspective cover image

In this perspective you can find all the cases, lectures, exercises, support material, etc. from the UMB course. Moreover, this material has been completed with factsheets on planning and implementation tools for software and hardware approaches in order to support students to deepen the gained knowledge and to work on the course’ case studies as well as in their professional daily life.

Module 1: Sustainability in Relation to Water and Sanitation

Module 2: Centralised and Decentralised Systems for Water and Sanitation

Module 3: Ecological Sanitation and Natural Systems for Wastewater Treatment

Module 4: Sustainable Water Supply

Module 5: Health and Hygiene

Module 6: Disaster Situations: Planning and Preparedness

Module 7: Socio-Economic Aspects

Module 8: Water and Sanitation for Future Challenges

Training of Trainers

Module 1: Sustainability in Relation to Water and Sanitation

Sustainability can be defined as: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet…
23 Factsheets
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Module 2: Centralised and Decentralised Systems for Water and Sanitation

The history of modern water and wastewater handling started with the health challenges in large cities and towns. To provide safe water supply when…
91 Factsheets
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Module 3: Ecological Sanitation and Natural Systems for Wastewater Treatment

Ecological engineering for wastewater treatment or ecological sanitation (ecosan) implies that principles of ecology are applied to design and…
69 Factsheets
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Module 4: Sustainable Water Supply

Sustainable water supply means to find reliable and resilient approaches to various human needs for water for that does neither exhaust the water…
92 Factsheets
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Module 5: Health and Hygiene

Lack of provision of safe water and proper sanitation is the major cause of outbreak of water borne diseases (see also [7673-water sanitation and…
17 Factsheets
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Module 6: Disaster Situations: Planning and Preparedness

Water and sanitation are, in addition to power supply, considered as the three top critical areas when a natural disaster hits. Decentralised water…
68 Factsheets
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Module 7: Socio-Economic Aspects

While planning and designing water and sanitation system for a community both technical and socio-cultural aspects should be taken into account.…
12 Factsheets
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Module 8: Water and Sanitation for Future Challenges

The climate is changing and whether this is man-made or natural it will affect water and sanitation (see also [7610-climate change]). Some areas will…
15 Factsheets
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Training of Trainers

IntroductionThis chapter completes the STEP University, a web-based course offered by the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (IPM) of the…
7 Factsheets
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Leach Field

A leach field, or drainage field, is a network of perforated pipes that are laid in underground gravel-filled trenches to dissipate the effluent from…

Waste Stabilization Ponds (WSP)

Waste Stabilization Ponds (WSPs) are large, man-made water bodies. The ponds can be used individually, or linked in a series for improved treatment.…

Soak Pit

A soak pit, also known as a soakaway or leach pit, is a covered, porous-walled chamber that allows water to slowly soak into the ground. Pre-settled…

Aquaculture (Fish)

The term aquaculture refers to the controlled cultivation of aquatic plants and animals by making use of various types of wastewater as a source for…

Application of Dehydrated Faeces

When faeces are stored in the absence of moisture (i.e., urine), they [8251-dehydrate] into a crumbly, white-beige coarse, flaky material or powder.…


When microbially polluted water is exposed to solar light in transparent PET bottles, bacteria, virus and some parasites are inactivated by the solar…


The bactericidal effect of concentrated ultraviolet (UV) light is used in many areas and in many set-ups. For drinking water treatment, simple,…


Chlorination, which means adding active chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) to water, is the most common method used for disinfecting of drinking water.…

Anaerobic Baffled Reactor (ABR)

An anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) is an improved [8217-septic tank] with a series of baffles under which the wastewater is forced to flow. The…

Septic Tank

A septic tank is a watertight chamber made of concrete, fibreglass, PVC or plastic, through which blackwater and greywater flows for primary…

Biosand Filter

The biosand filter (BSF) is a simple household water treatment device, which is an innovation on traditional slow sand filters specifically designed…

Greywater Towers

A greywater tower is a circular bag, which is filled with soil, ash and/or compost mixture and a gravel column at the centre. It is used to treat and…


Water disinfection by chlorination was massively introduced in the early twentieth century. It set off a technological revolution in water treatment…

Adult Learning Principles

Learning opportunities for adults exist in a variety of settings, ranging from a formal institution to day to day practical learning at work. It is…

Learning Needs Analysis

Learning needs analyses are undertaken to determine the gap between the existing skills, knowledge and abilities and those desired. Once this gap is…

The "SSWM for Universities" Perspective was developed by the SSWM team in collaboration with the Norwegian University of Lifesciences (UMB), Tribhuvan University in Nepal and COMSATS University in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

It has been designed for the students of the web based training course “Introduction to sustainable water and sanitation” conducted by these three universities. But it can also be used by a larger audience learning or teaching in higher-education institutions from all over the world involved or interested in Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (SSWM).

The training course “Introduction to sustainable water and sanitation” gives an insight into the major water and sanitation challenges of the world. It gives an overview on centralised and decentralised sustainable water and sanitation options working in the field of water and sanitation in a variety of situations, including developing countries and disaster situations. The duration of the course is four month with weekly attendance on the web. It utilises problem-based learning and a selection of real life cases. The different cases will introduce participants to different physical, technical, economic, managerial and social challenges in different locations worldwide and introduce corresponding technical solutions.

Main Contributor:


Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB)

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Other partners:


Tribhuvan University in Nepal:

COMSATS University in Abbottabad (Pakistan):

Created by:


seecon international gmbh

Main reviewers: Franka Voss, Janek Hermann-Friede, Dorothee Spuhler, Sarah Achermann


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