About the theme

Brazil has approximately 31 million inhabitants living in agricultural areas and isolated communities, according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE – PNAD 2013). Out of this population, only 22%  have access to adequate basic sanitation services and there is evidence that nearly 5 million Brazilians still do not have toilets, that is, they resort to open defecation. Therefore, about 24 million Brazilians still suffer from the serious chronic problem of lack of basic sanitation. The reasons for that range from the absence of priority in public policies to some cultures within agricultural areas that do not see basic sanitation as a necessity. The Basic Rural Sanitation System developed by Embrapa Instrumentation (São Carlos, SP), comprised of the technologies called "Biodigester Septic Tank", "Filter Garden" and "Embrapa Chlorinator" aims to solve this problem with simple, efficient, and easily replicable solutions.


The Basic Sanitation System for Rural Areas was initially composed of two technologies, the "Biodigester Septic Tank" and the "Embrapa Chlorinator", d ...

The process of organic waste biodigestion is quite old, as the first unit was installed in Bombay, India, in 1819; in Australia, a company has produce ...


Elaboradas em linguagem simples e objetiva, as publicações abordam temas relacionadas a agropecuária e mostram como otimizar a atividade rural. A cria...

Questions and answers

Would you like to learn more details about Embrapa's technologies for Basic Rural Sanitation?
Then click here and see the main questions answered by Embrapa's experts.

The Biodigester Septic Tank is an anaerobic digestion system that treats sanitary sewage (feces and urine) from a rural residence where up to 5 people live. The treated liquid effluent that leaves the Biodigester Septic Tank can be used in agriculture as biofertilizer (soil application).

One of the advantages of the Biodigester Septic Tank is the use of effluents (treated sewage) in agriculture as a means to recycle water and organic and inorganic compounds (nitrogen, phosphotus, potassium, etc), which are absorbed by plants in their process of growth. From an environmental point of view, this is an excellent solution as it prevents the excessive use of commercial chemical fertilizers and also protects the environment (rivers, lakes, watersheds and soils). In a house with 5 people, the Septic Tank will produce around 90 liters of biofertilizers a day.


Embrapa recommends the following criteria to choose a place for installation:

- water in the property

- bathrooms with toilets and plumbed water

- the rural estate has to be of permanent use (it cannot be a weekend or holiday property)

- the estate cannot be in flooded areas

- bovine manure available in the proximities (for monthly use)

- enough area for the use of the effluent: orchards, coconut groves, pastures, etc.

Technological solutions


A technological solution with affordable cost and easy to install, that treats efficiently the toilet sewage water (with urine and human f...


The Embrapa Chlorinator is a very simple, inexpensive and easy to install device to chlorinate water into the reservoir (water tanks) of r...


It is an alternative to give proper destination to the sewage from kitchen sinks, laundry and showers, rich in soaps, detergents, food res...


Saneamento Básico Rural: desafios e soluções tecnológicas
Duration: 3:22"   ¦   1044 Views
Fossa Séptica Biodigestora e Clorador Embrapa - Saneamento básico rural
Duration: 27:11"   ¦   22305 Views
Jardim filtrante saneamento básico na área rural
Duration: 8:25"   ¦   7128 Views


Ministro do Meio Ambiente discute cooperação em saneamento rural com a Embrapa

O ministro do Meio Ambiente, Ricardo Salles discutiu, nesta terça-feira (23), em Brasília, a possibilidade de uma cooperação técnica com a Embrapa para a execução de um plano em saneamento básico...

Interior de Santa Catarina recebe tecnologia para saneamento básico rural

A proposta de disseminar o uso da Fossa Séptica Biodigestora por meio da capacitação de agentes multiplicadores cumpre mais uma etapa esta semana com a realização do “Curso...

Oficina prática, em Campinas, marca início da programação de Saneamento Rural

A realização da 5ª Oficina de Instalação e Operação de Sistemas de Tratamento de Esgoto Sanitário para Áreas Rurais, nesta sexta-feira (15), das 14h às 17h30, em Campinas, marca o início da...

Parceria com Instituto Trata Brasil amplia ações de saneamento rural

Referência no País sobre dados estatísticos e articulações em saneamento básico, o Instituto Trata Brasil acaba de firmar um contrato de cooperação técnica com a Embrapa Instrumentação (São Carlos...

Cooperação amplia ações de saneamento rural e permite reuso da água em áreas agrícolas

Com quase 526 mil habitantes em uma área de produção agrícola de mais de 2.5 milhões de hectares, o estado do Rio de Janeiro realiza de 22 a 24 de maio, mais uma ação para ampliar...