Nahupo: cleaner environment through wastewater management
Nahupo is a typical medium-size village of 340 people in the Nanning region of Southern China. It has one major concern: wastewater. Nahupo does not have a reliable sewage system for village wastewater, and dirty water easily overflows onto the streets and natural areas. Discarding trash, fertilizers, and animal feed into ponds and other water sources is a common custom that has added to this problem. Wastewater issues are becoming a serious health hazard in Nahupo.
Nahupo was selected as a site for one of the three pilot projects because the village residents are committed to investing their own time and money into building and maintaining the chosen technical solution. It was decided that the best way to tackle Nahupo’s wastewater issue is to build a natural, low-maintenance treatment solution.
Constructing a low-maintenance solution
Together with the villagers, the project team will construct new septic tanks, some 2 000 metres of sewage piping, and 400 m2 of wetland. In essence, wastewater from both human and animal sources will be collected through the piping and run through the septic tank and wetland before it is released back into nature – also improving the water quality of a fish pond where local fish such as tilapia and carp are bred. Reeds will be planted in the wetland to ensure a natural and easy way to keep Nahupo’s streets clean of wastewater. “Nature will do the cleaning, and the reeds will self-renew. The only maintenance required will be routine checking of steady flow through piping, and occasional replanting of the reeds,” says Johnny Zhou, Stora Enso’s Sustainability Manager for the Nanning region. Easy maintenance is key because Nahupo residents will be the ones taking care of their new sewage system after the project is finished.
Better standard of living through sanitation
One dramatic change will be the reclaiming of private toilets and showers in village homes. Private toilets were built as part of an earlier project but they are not connected to a septic tank or proper sewage system. As a result, Nahupo residents have had to choose to either use a large public latrine that is a long walk away for many or go to the bathroom in their home and have the wastewater flow onto the street. The project will enable villagers to connect to a functioning wastewater treatment system once it is installed, and allow people to use the bathroom in their own home. Stora Enso and Kemira are now part of Nahupo’s vision of long-term sustainability, which is also the objective of government policies in Guangxi and the national environmental agenda in China. The villagers are proud to move forward with plans to provide clean water for local needs. In addition, as wastewater will no longer spoil the view, new ideas for economic development are coming to life. Attracting tourists looking for a glimpse into rural life is one of them. Our blog will follow this story as Nahupo begins its journey towards a cleaner environment. Please follow the tag “Nahupo.”