Research Topic

Decentralized Wastewater Treatment and Resources Recovery

About this Research Topic

Decentralized treatment means locating wastewater treatment plant at the site for water treatment, resource recovery, and water supply and/or demand. It’s a flexible and sustainable approach to replace the large treatment plants that require expensive supplies and infrastructures. Many communities can have the benefits from decentralized wastewater treatment and its financial and environmental advantages. This system offers the reliability of
conventional treatment and several extra benefits to the communities. The decentralized treatment can be:
• Cost-effective by reducing large capital costs, operating and maintenance costs, and
enhancing business and career occasions;
• Green and sustainable by profiting water quality and accessibility, utilizing energy and
land wisely, and responding to growth though conserving green space;
• Safe in environment protection, human health, and water quality by keeping the community’s health, decreasing conventional pollutants, nutrients, and emerging contaminants, and moderating pollution and health risks related with wastewater;

Due to the increased demand of clean water, upcoming changeability, ambiguity regarding the availability of freshwater following climate change effects, and population growth in larger urban areas, the new water resources are getting more and more attention. Moreover, the enhanced reuse of available natural resources, such as energy, materials, and nutrients is also being encouraged to expand sustainability in the agreement with the “circular economy”.

Wastewater decentralization, reclamation, reuse, and resource recovery have been used in narrow applications so far, however, it will become an essential and universal fact of life if a sustainable future is intended. Presently, around half of the world population lives in rural communities. A large part of this area is still waiting for appropriate sanitation systems or is aiming to improve the performance of current treatment systems, scale-up environmental protection, and resource recovery. Centralized treatment systems for rural or peri-urban areas would result in long term debt burdens for the population. Thus, decentralized wastewater and resource recovery seem like a logical and suitable approach to address the issues such as antiquated or nonexistent septic systems, leaking sewers, over-capacity systems, sewage overflows, underfunding, watershed issues, groundwater pollution, nutrient overloading to sensitive areas, and/or regulatory non-compliance.

The scope of the decentralized wastewater treatments is to collect, peer-review and publish the research and investigations of “approaches, advantages, and barriers solutions” concerning wastewater decentralization throughout the following themes:
- Energy and nutrients recovery
- Greywater treatment and its reusing
- Resource recovery (including nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.) through
decentralized treatment
- Techno-economical investigation of wastewater decentralization system
- Sustainability of decentralized wastewater treatment
- Decentralization in Rural, Nordic and Remote areas
- Decentralization and resource recovery throughout different treatment method, such as membrane and membrane biological technology, anaerobic digestion systems, Constructed Wetlands, Electrochemical technologies, etc.
- Source separation and on-site treatment of wastewater
- Case study
- Decentralization of industrial wastewater treatment

The Original Research papers, Review /mini-review papers, and Short commutations would beconsidered for the proposed research topic.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Decentralized treatment means locating wastewater treatment plant at the site for water treatment, resource recovery, and water supply and/or demand. It’s a flexible and sustainable approach to replace the large treatment plants that require expensive supplies and infrastructures. Many communities can have the benefits from decentralized wastewater treatment and its financial and environmental advantages. This system offers the reliability of
conventional treatment and several extra benefits to the communities. The decentralized treatment can be:
• Cost-effective by reducing large capital costs, operating and maintenance costs, and
enhancing business and career occasions;
• Green and sustainable by profiting water quality and accessibility, utilizing energy and
land wisely, and responding to growth though conserving green space;
• Safe in environment protection, human health, and water quality by keeping the community’s health, decreasing conventional pollutants, nutrients, and emerging contaminants, and moderating pollution and health risks related with wastewater;

Due to the increased demand of clean water, upcoming changeability, ambiguity regarding the availability of freshwater following climate change effects, and population growth in larger urban areas, the new water resources are getting more and more attention. Moreover, the enhanced reuse of available natural resources, such as energy, materials, and nutrients is also being encouraged to expand sustainability in the agreement with the “circular economy”.

Wastewater decentralization, reclamation, reuse, and resource recovery have been used in narrow applications so far, however, it will become an essential and universal fact of life if a sustainable future is intended. Presently, around half of the world population lives in rural communities. A large part of this area is still waiting for appropriate sanitation systems or is aiming to improve the performance of current treatment systems, scale-up environmental protection, and resource recovery. Centralized treatment systems for rural or peri-urban areas would result in long term debt burdens for the population. Thus, decentralized wastewater and resource recovery seem like a logical and suitable approach to address the issues such as antiquated or nonexistent septic systems, leaking sewers, over-capacity systems, sewage overflows, underfunding, watershed issues, groundwater pollution, nutrient overloading to sensitive areas, and/or regulatory non-compliance.

The scope of the decentralized wastewater treatments is to collect, peer-review and publish the research and investigations of “approaches, advantages, and barriers solutions” concerning wastewater decentralization throughout the following themes:
- Energy and nutrients recovery
- Greywater treatment and its reusing
- Resource recovery (including nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.) through
decentralized treatment
- Techno-economical investigation of wastewater decentralization system
- Sustainability of decentralized wastewater treatment
- Decentralization in Rural, Nordic and Remote areas
- Decentralization and resource recovery throughout different treatment method, such as membrane and membrane biological technology, anaerobic digestion systems, Constructed Wetlands, Electrochemical technologies, etc.
- Source separation and on-site treatment of wastewater
- Case study
- Decentralization of industrial wastewater treatment

The Original Research papers, Review /mini-review papers, and Short commutations would beconsidered for the proposed research topic.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

24 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

24 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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