The selection of any wastewater treatment technology should take into consideration both “software” and “hardware” aspects. There are contrasting opinions regarding the feasibility of waste stabilisation ponds (WSP): some emphasise their advantages while others are concerned with their high land area requirements. As with any technology, WSP are feasible under specific circumstances related to the context where they are to be implemented. In this study data were collected from three regions in Colombia (Nariño, Tolima and Valle del Cauca) in order to assess the feasibility of WSP under real conditions in a tropical country. A feasibility matrix was developed in order to organise and synthesise the information gathered. The results obtained showed that WSP are highly feasible in Tolima and Valle del Cauca due to the fact that these regions have geographical, socio-economic and technical characteristics that enhance the advantages of WSP technology. Nariño has a very mountainous topography along with other local limitations that hinder the application of WSP technology. The cost of land was not found to be a real limitation for the technology, whereas the availability of land is. Finally, the feasibility matrix may be a good planning tool at regional or national levels in order to help decision-making regarding cost-effective wastewater treatment alternatives on the basis of local conditions.

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