Column: Sybrand Metz, Technical Director of DeSah

Published on
May 29, 2020

Climate change, droughts, population growth, and shortage of resources are all different drivers that make us aware that we should use our resources (water, energy and fertilizers) in a more sustainable, circular way. There are many different solutions that allow for a sustainable treatment of resources while maintaining a high, or offering an even higher, comfort level.

At Desah we challenge the status quo in wastewater treatment. We believe that energy, fertilizers and clean water can be recovered from household wastewater locally and therefore being more cost-effective and sustainable compared to the current way of collecting and treating wastewater.

The key enabling technology in this approach is the anaerobic digestion of con- centrated toilet water. Desah cooperates with ETE and Merijn Moerland in the run for life project for the recovery of fertilizers. Besides this project Desah cooperates with ETE in Wetsus since 2005. In fact, Desah is a spinn off company from Wetsus and comercializes the source separated wastewater treatment approach developed by ETE. An important highlight in the existence of Desah is the demonstration project Waterschoon in Sneek where 230 houses are equipped with vacuum toilets and where the wastewater is treated by anaerobic digestion. This project convinced others on the potential of the technology and installations are currently being build in the Netherlands, Sweden and Canada.


Wastewater treatment installation (Waterschoon) for black and grey water in Sneek