Ecological Sanitation in Kuching

Ecological Sanitation in Kuching

Study on the Options for Integrating Centralised Waste Water System with Ecological Sanitation System and Other Emerging Wastewater Systems for Kuching”

Project Client Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB), Sarawak
Project Location Kuching
Project Title Study on the Options for Integrating Centralised Wastewater System with Non-Piped Ecological Sanitation System for Kuching City
Project Period October 2005 – November 2006
In Association With Chemsain Konsultant Sdn Bhd / COWI Consult International & Associates


The Sarawak Government has conducted several feasibility studies over the years to determine the viability of establishing a conventional centralised sewerage system for the city. The findings show that it will be very costly to implement, operate and maintain. Because of that, the Sarawak Government decided to explore other emerging treatment systems including ecological sanitation (EcoSan) which could be more cost efficient and environmental friendly.

A few of the studies that were carried out earlier included:

  • Integrated Wastewater Framework Plan (IWFP) prepared by NREB and DID which identified areas suitable for implementing centralised systems and ecological sanitation.
  • “Feasibility Study of Integrated Wastewater Management System for Kuching City, Sarawak, Malaysia”, a masterplan for a conventional centralised sewage system for the city of Kuching, covering parts of the city which discharges into Sg. Sarawak, upstream of the Kuching Barrage.

Project Description

As a follow up to the integrated wastewater framework plan, this study will elaborate in detail the possibility of integrating EcoSan into the overall wastewater treatment planning in city of Kuching.

The study area is 97km2 with 85 000 households and a total PE estimated at 580,000. A 20-year implementation plan has been outlined. The main objective of the study is to ensure that the recommended treatment options for the integrated wastewater management plan are not only effective in treating wastewater but cost-effective as well.

Figure 1: Kuching city study area1

Figure 2: Area suitability for ecological sanitation systems1

Other objectives include:

  • studying ecological sanitation systems and its components as well as other new emerging wastewater solutions suitable for the conditions in Kuching (based on the IWFP)

Figure 3: A grey water and black water treatment option2

Figure 4: Grey water treatment system2

Figure 5: Black water system2

Figure 6: Tanker Truck at Matang Sludge Treatment Facility1


  • identifying areas (within the study area) where ecological sanitation systems and other new emerging wastewater solutions will be the most cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly solution
  • indicate the capital and operational costs involved for existing build-up areas as well as for new developments and to indicate the benefits to the environment and also to public health
  • specify necessary guidelines and requirements for new housing estates and buildings, and the requirements to be enforced when existing buildings are renovated
  • recommend the required legal and institutional framework

Our company is responsible for assessing the various options on the treatment of black water (waste from toilets). This includes the assessment of technical design considerations, various configurations and transportation of black water to the treatment facilities.


1 Dawos, J., Sawal, P., Larsen, I., Tang, H. H., Magid, J. (2005). Integrating Conventional and Ecological Sanitation in Urban Sanitation for the Future [2005,December 21]

2Jenssen, P.D., Seng, L., Chong, B., Tang, H.H., Fevang, Y., Skadberg, I., (2005). An Urban Ecological Sanitation Pilot Study in Humid Tropical Climate. In 3rd. International Conference on Ecological Sanitation. May 2005. Durban. [2005,December 24]