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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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Colloidal Silver Filter

Colloidal Silver Filters (CSF) are simple household water treatment devices based on a physical treatment, which does not require energy supply. CSFs…

Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS)

Lack of improved access to safe drinking water together inadequate sanitation and hygiene are the overwhelming contributors to the 1.8 million annual…


Urine, which contains valuable nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, can be applied to soil and used as fertiliser for crops. Though valuable,…

Anaerobic Digestion (General)

Biogas sanitation is the treatment of waste and wastewater by a process called anaerobic digestion. During anaerobic digestion, the organic matter in…


Boiling drinking water with fuel is the oldest and most commonly practiced household water treatment method. According to WHO, water needs to be…

Anaerobic Digestion (Small-scale)

A small-scale biogas reactor or anaerobic digester is an anaerobic treatment technology that produces (a) a digested slurry (digestate) that can be…

Anaerobic Digestion (Organic Waste)

Anaerobic biogas digesters are airtight reactors in which organic waste is decomposed and transformed into biogas by a biological process called…

Biogas Settler

A settler is a primary treatment technology for wastewater; it is designed to remove suspended solids by sedimentation. It may also be referred to as…

Ceramic Candle Filter

Ceramic candle filters are simple devices made out of clay and used to filter drinking water in order to removes turbidity, suspended materials and…

Urine-Diverting Dry Toilet (UDDT)

A urine-diverting dry toilet (UDDT) is a toilet that operates without water and has a divider so that the user, with little effort, can divert the…

Pour-flush Toilet

A pour flush toilet is like a regular cistern flush toilet except that the water is poured in by the user, instead of coming from the cistern above.…


Sedimentation is recommended as simple pre-treatment of water prior to application of other purification treatments such as filtration and…

Straining and Filtration

Straining is a very simple method of filtration. In this process, water is poured through a piece of cloth, which removes some of the suspended silt…

Solar Pasteurisation

Contrary to belief, it is not necessary to boil certain water to make it safe to drink. Heating water to 65°C (149°F) for 6 minutes, or to a higher…

Water Quality Testing

In many parts of the world, water is not safe enough to drink. There are basic qualitative observations that quickly determine if water is not safe…

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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