A brief historical review of Japanese human wastewater treatment and disposal since 1945 is presented. The present situation regarding night soil treatment is described. The public sewerage works have been inactive due to financial reasons since 1981, and thus small to medium sized biofilm type facilities are receiving various kinds of grey water and composite household waste. This type of compact, biofilm treatment became popular because of its inexpensive construction and energy-saving characteristics. The numbers and types of biological processes currently in use in Japan are detailed, and an overview is given of industrial waste treatment and its relationship with public sewage treatment. The overall COD flow is indicated, with the amount of waste per capita, estimated from the actual water consumption. The unit load values of BOD, COD etc. are shown, and are used for the calculation of COD load.

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