Data from 147 small municipal wastewater treatment plants (MWTP), with a population equivalent (p.e.) less than 10,000, have been collected and analysed. Extended aeration plants are the most common (75%), followed by natural systems - waste stabilisation ponds (9%) and hydroponic silviculture (6%). Only 71 MWTP (out of the 147) were operational in 1997; the performance of only 15 of these was good, for 36 was moderate and for 20 it was poor. It was found that the reasons for poor performance, for the plant failure and for delays in commissioning were managerial and institutional, rather than purely technical.

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