Pilot project to treat wastewater using Johkasou, Japanese technology wastewater treatment tanks

A pilot project to treat wastewater on a small scale using Japanese technology known as Johkasou wastewater treatment tanks was started in the capital yesterday. The new technology can address wastewater issues with its ability to treat wastewater at the household level. The project implemented by the Bhutan Toilet Organisation in collaboration with the Thimphu Thromde aims to tackle wastewater issues in the country. 

The pilot project installed the first Johkasou wastewater treatment tanks in two households in upper Motithang. The installation works took two days to complete.

The pilot initiative started when JOYLET Japan introduced the tanks and by sponsoring of six tanks, along with technical support for installation and maintenance.

According to the Bhutan Toilet Organisation, the Johkasou wastewater tanks will serve as an option for households whose wastewater overflows into nearby streams, which will help reduce wastewater-related environmental pollution.

“These Johkasou tanks can treat the wastewater itself, which is similar to the septic tank. We keep our septic tanks underground, however, in Japan, the wastewater in the septic tanks gets treated and comes out as clean water. So, we are working on this pilot project to see the results of the technology in our country,” said Chablop Passang Tshering, Executive Director.

He added that the resulting treated water from the Johkasou tanks is suitable for washing clothes and gardening purposes.

“Since it is a Japanese technology, we are facing issues with the workmanship while installing. And we are worried that the people might dump even solid waste, which will damage the tank.”

The executive director added that the cost of the tanks remains a challenge with the tanks costing around 120,000 ngultrum each.

However, he said that the tanks are beneficial in the long run allowing households and communities to independently manage their wastewater.

According to the Bhutan Toilet Organisation, the JOYLET Japan is exploring funds to give more tanks to Bhutan, while also considering setting up a factory to manufacture the tanks in the country to make it affordable.

The initiative also received support from the GEF Small Grants Programme, UNDP Bhutan, and the Government.

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