Wastewater Management

Wastewater Management at the Taman Petanu Eco Neighborhood

Why is waste water management so important?

Contaminated waste water is the leading cause of disease worldwide, cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, dehydration are all results of poor waste water management. Water, river and ocean pollution is contributing to loss of biodiversity worldwide and turning tourists away from Bali. Polluted water damages ecosystems and causes degradation of rivers, lakes, oceans and ground water.

Meanwhile human "waste products' such as urine and feces are actually important resources, that, when properly managed, can help to rehabilitate soil and "feed" our environment (and even us as we produce enough nutrients per year to grow the food we need for that same year!). An average human with a protein rich diet produces 1.2 liters of urine and 0.14 kg of feces per day. Those with vegetarian diets tend to produce 1.03 liters of urine and 0.4 kg of feces per day. The residents of Taman Petanu combined with create something along the lines of the following resources:

This page covers some of the simple eco-logical solutions that are being developed for the neighborhood to:

What are Constructed Wetlands?

Constructed wetlands (here of Wastewater Gardens® (WWG) design) are an ecological low-cost beautiful solution for effective sewage and waste water treatment that mimics a natural wetland (called the "kidneys" of the earth for their role of purifying the Earth's hydrological cycle), highly productive and important ecosystems (such as coral reefs in the ocean or tropical forest on the land). Constructed wetlands enable to return nutrients and create green zones at no extra cost by treating and recycling residential sewage, while protecting the groundwater and preventing water contamination. Constructed wetlands are increasingly being acknowledged by public health officials as far more effective, affordable & long lasting than conventional (high tech) sewage treatment, particularly in remote areas and tropical zones such as Indonesia. Applications for Wastewater Gardens are for houses, businesses and communities. A constructed wetland can either treat blackwater (water containing fecal matter with or without urine) and/or greywater (laundry, dishwashing, and bathing water), although greywater doesn't justify the strength of treatment provided by a constructed wetland.

Constructed wetlands of WWG design treat black water in three stages: 

What are the advantages of Waste Water Gardens®?

A few examples of established Wastewater Gardens projects on Bali (courtesy of Wastewater Gradens International).

In the second and final stage plants, microbes, sunlight and gravity transform wastewater into beautiful gardens and reusable water.


For more information about Wastewater Gardens® go to the official Wastewater Gardens® website.

Here are some of the toilet fixtures that the neighborhood is currently researching:

What are Compost Toilets?

A compost toilet is a waterless or dry or, i.e. one that doesn’t use water to take the waste somewhere else; it relies on natural processes to produce useful compost, providing nutrient material for gardens. There are usually two chambers – one in use and one resting. A classic compost toilet would use one chamber for a year, then change to the second chamber and allow the first to decompose for a year before emptying. 

Compost toilets do not smell, as long as there is a vent pipe, and a drain for excess liquid. A handful of carbon material used as a 'soak” (rice straw or sawdust etc) is dropped into the toilet after each use. The “soak” also serves to allow oxygen and absorbs liquid in to the waste. Human pathogens don’t like conditions outside the human body, almost all will be dead after a few hours. It is a small risk though it is recommended to use compost from toilets on fruit trees and bushes and recreational gardens, and compost from organic kitchen for vegetable gardens.

What are the advantages of Compost Toilets?

Please feel free to download this document that explains the design plans for water management at the Taman Petanu Eco Neighborhood, including:

For more complete information about the neighborhood's water and earthworks management plans please feel free to download this detailed document 'Taman Petanu Permaculture Water and Earthworks'.

Special thanks to Jeremiah Kidd, San Isidro Permaculture • Florence Catting of Wastewater Gardens International, and Dan and Aaron from Permaculture Solutions for their invaluable inputs on these plans.