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In Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang Province, planners have developed an initiative to bring zero direct discharge wastewater treatment to rural areas.

Across China, MABR wastewater treatment technology provides high-quality water reuse while contributing to natural beauty

In the realm of environmental stewardship, effective management of sewage is vital, particularly in rural areas where pristine natural landscapes are often at risk. Hangzhou, the capital of the province of Zhejiang, is leading the charge in China’s rural ecological initiatives by promoting a visionary concept: the “zero direct discharge” village.

A research paper detailing the concept was published by a team including members from the Colleges of Environment and Civil Engineering at Zhejiang University of Technology, the Hangzhou Urban and Rural Construction Management Service, and the Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group Co., Ltd.

The innovative approach of zero direct discharge, also known as “zero liquid discharge” or “zero water discharge,” ensures that no untreated sewage contaminates the environment.

The Hangzhou initiative is grounded in five fundamental principles:

  • Comprehensive sewage collection
  • Separation of rainwater from sewage
  • Strict adherence to treatment standards
  • Efficient resource utilization
  • Intelligent monitoring systems

This holistic approach goes beyond merely constructing sewage systems; it encompasses sewage treatment and resource recycling, ensuring sustainable practices for generations to come.

Views of Lishui City and its Fluence Aspiral™ Installation

Lishui City

Lishui City, farther south in the province, is one shining example of the zero direct discharge initiative. Lishui City is known as the green valley of Zhejiang and is renowned as “China’s No.1 Ecological City.” With an exceptional forest coverage rate of more than 80% and pristine waterways, Lishui exemplifies environmental excellence.

The city of almost 3 million has underscored its commitment to ecological preservation with the adoption of Fluence membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) technology for wastewater treatment. MABR features exceptional nutrient removal, as well as energy- and space-efficiency. MABR is so effective at nutrient removal that its effluent can be used for nonpotable water reuse, for example, in irrigation.

Scenes of Tangqi Town Outside Hangzhou


In Tangqi, a town just outside Hangzhou, the holistic water management approach emphasizes wastewater treatment alongside initiatives like pond replenishment and green space irrigation. By embracing a comprehensive water recycling plan, Tangqi demonstrates that ecological sustainability and community development go hand-in-hand.

Aspiral™ Installation in Wutong Township

Wutong Township

Scenes of Lijiaoqiao Village

Lijiaoqiao Village

The journey toward ecological harmony extends beyond urban centers. Rural areas like Wutong Township and Lijiaoqiao Village face unique challenges due to their reliance on agriculture and fisheries. Efforts to maintain water quality are paramount, and effective sewage treatment equipment is essential for preserving critical water sources and supporting sustainable development.

Agricultural Scenes in Shunba Village

Shunba Village

Innovative solutions such as AspiralTM MABR modular packaged plants have transformed villages like Lijiaqiao and Shunba, enabling them to achieve zero liquid discharge while simultaneously benefiting local agriculture and reducing costs. The integration of sewage treatment facilities with agricultural irrigation systems not only enhances environmental conservation, but also fosters economic prosperity.

Pictures of Xinyu Village and Its Aspiral™ Installation

Xinyu Village

Scenes From Meirong Village Including Aspiral™ Installation

In Meirong Village, the installation of compact Aspiral™ wastewater treatment doesn’t compete with the natural beauty.

In remote villages like Xinyu and Meirong, decentralized wastewater treatment, such as AspiralTM Micro, is essential. These small-scale systems ensure compliance with standards while minimizing environmental impact, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

Wastewater Treatment in Hubu Village

Hubu Village

Hubu Village’s zero liquid discharge demonstrates the transformative power of advanced technology and thoughtful design. By seamlessly integrating wastewater treatment with aesthetic enhancements, Hubu Village showcases how ecological preservation can enhance community well-being and attract tourism, creating a model for rural revitalization.

Progress and Sustainability

Hangzhou’s part in the journey toward ecological harmony with the help of MABR technology serves as a beacon of inspiration for communities worldwide. By prioritizing environmental stewardship alongside economic development, Hangzhou demonstrates that sustainable practices are not only achievable, but also essential for safeguarding our planet for future generations.

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