Japan has an unlikely new export product: the sewage it normally dumps into rivers or the sea. The first buyer is the Australian mining industry. Could this also become a new money earner for developing countries? Well, no. The “export quality” sewage in question is effluent from high-tech Japanese wastewater treatment plants.
An innovative trade experiment will take place in the autumn of 2010. Australian ships with iron ore for Japan, will return, not with seawater in their ballast tanks, but with highly treated sewage water.
Peru’s state-owned water and sewerage utility Sedapal, serving capital Lima and neighboring Callao, will raise water rates on companies that pollute beginning in January 2010. The rate hike will apply to companies that dump toxic waste into the sewerage system, which leads to greater deterioration in the network.
The announcement was made by the president of national sanitation authority Sunass, José Salazar. In 2008, Sunass said various industries were increasing the rate of deterioration in the sewerage system, but their rates were the same as domestic customers.
In conjunction with the national industries association (SNI), Sunass has completed the design of the new tariff system which includes rate increases for companies that do not invest in improving their wastewater treatment. In addition, firms that contaminate more will pay more.
Sedapal must now implement the software necessary to start using the new system.
Local development bank Cofide will provide small and medium-sized companies with up to 50% of the investment needed to improve wastewater treatment.
Source: BNamericas.com [subscription site], 30 Sep 2009