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Combining sewered and non-sewered sanitation in Montero, Bolivia: scaling up sustainably

The city of Montero, through the cooperative utility COSMOL, has successfully implemented on-site sanitation services for part of its population, in parallel to sewer-based services. However, additional solutions, capacity development and strengthening of governance systems are needed to allow for increased sustainability, for both the sewered and non-sewered sanitation services in the city.

Carla Liera, Kim Andersson / Published on 1 March 2022
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Liera, C., García, M., Andersson, K. and Kvarnström, E. (2022). Combining sewered and non-sewered sanitation in Montero, Bolivia: scaling up sustainably. SEI report. Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm.

In a series of four case studies, researchers examined how local cooperative waste management, city governance and more affect the sustainable optimization and uptake of sanitation technologies.

They found that technical improvements are still needed in wastewater and excreta management and treatment, to reduce health and environmental impacts. However, optimizing the existing sanitation systems could increase environmental, health and hygiene sustainability. Urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) have the potential to reduce environmental impact the
most, once optimized and if urine and faeces are collected and treated for reuse.

Local farmers have expressed demand for sanitation reuse products, as long as low price and quality can be guaranteed. From a household perspective, demand exists for high levels of service and maintenance by providers, no matter the type of system, to ensure simple maintenance by users. But the sanitation system still needs to be affordable, match cleanliness expectations, and remain free of odours, mosquitos and rodents.

Upscaling on-site sanitation systems depends strongly on the support of the public institutions and resources available, including legal, economic and technical resources, as well as having a long-term vision.


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SEI authors

Carla Liera
Carla Liera

Research Associate

SEI Headquarters

Design and development by Soapbox.