Wastewater Management Journey - From Indus Valley Civilisation to the Twenty-First Century

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Wastewater Reuse and Management, 2013, 1, pp. 3 - 18
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Throughout the human existence on this planet, water and wastewater infrastructure never attracted as much public attention as it did during the second half of the nineteenth century. Following extensive debate on appropriate solutions for problems associated with hygiene and public health, options were chosen from several competing alternatives, while others foreclosed. Sociocultural impacts of these late nineteenth century decisions have lasted until the present day [1]. The shape of our cities and centralised approach embedded within sanitary engineers mindset today owe its existence to the options selected nearly 200 years ago. The current selection of water and wastewater management options, particularly in the developing world, has the opportunity to learn from 200 years of experience. It is critical that these lessons influence the design of future wastewater management systems because undoubtedly the decisions being made today will impact on the future generations. This chapter highlights the development of wastewater management through human evolution and settlement history.
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