Novel wastewater processing: Impact on our cities, infrastructure and society

Gapes, Daniel; McGrouther, Kim; Andrews, John; Stocchero, Andrea; Todd, Gillian; Harnett, Michelle

Abstract – Tuhinga Whakarāpopoto

Push a button or pull a chain, our toilet waste disappearing out of sight is the last time most of us ever think about what goes down our drains. But an intricate infrastructure system takes care of our wastewater. Civil engineers, town planners and wastewater treatment experts are busy maintaining pipes and plant, coping with increasing demand, and disposing of the end products. Flushing waste away with water is at least as old as the first cities, and although wastewater treatment has certainly improved over the centuries, the general linear process has remained the same. But there are other ways wastewater treatment could be approached. One such approach is to move from a linear model to a circular model, where waste is considered a resource to be recovered and reused – the principle behind the circular economy

Articles associated with this research – Karere Tūhono

News: Why Waste Water?

26 June 2018: What happens to the water that gurgles down your shower drain? For many people it disappears out of sight and out of mind, but not for civil engineers, town planners or those working in wastewater treatment. They are busy maintaining the intricate infrastructure that takes care of your wastewater so you don’t have to think about it. A blog post from Scion’s Lisa Tovey outlines the work of the BBHTC’s Novel Wastewater Processing team led by Daniel Gapes at Scion. >> Read More.

Keywords – Kupu Hāngai

three waters; water sensitive urban design; wastewater; water; wai

Fields of Research – Āpure Rangahau

Waste treatment; wastewater treatment; three waters; water sensitive urban design; urban design; infrastructure management; built environment and design


Date – Te Wā Whakarewa



Type – Te Auaha

Report – think piece

Citation – Kupu Hautoa

Gapes, D., McGrouther, K., Andrews, J., Stocchero, A., Todd, G. & Harnett, M. (2018). Novel wastewater processing: Impact on our cities, infrastructure and society. Report for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities Contestable Research. Report number: BBHTC 201736. Rotorua: Scion.