MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a $300 million facility agreement with Sound Global Ltd. (Sound Global) to improve rural wastewater management using innovative technologies across the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

“By building and operating wastewater treatment plants with small modular automatic rapid technologies, smart solutions can be provided for small communities in rural areas which currently do not have wastewater treatment infrastructure,” said Hisaka Kimura, Head of Private Sector Infrastructure Finance at ADB’s East Asia Unit. “We are very pleased to partner with Sound Global for this important endeavor that will help improve the quality of life of rural communities.”

The enormous volume of wastewater generated by the PRC’s rural areas – home to a half of the country’s population – poses a major environmental threat to the country’s rivers, lakes, and underground aquifers. Outside of the major city areas, wastewater treatment facilities and sewage pipelines are scarce. Less than 20% of wastewater generated by rural areas is treated.

With the majority of untreated wastewater flowing directly back into the local surface water, the quality of the local water sources have greatly deteriorated over time, often exceeding their water quality limits. This has a great sanitation impact on downstream local populations who depend on these local water sources for their water supply.

Using the new technology, the project aims to treat 240,000 tons of wastewater per day in 100 townships by 2017.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2013, ADB assistance totaled $21.0 billion, including cofinancing of $6.6 billion.

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