A Most Feasible Wastewater Treatment Technology in Pakistan Using Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM)


Pakistan is a developing country where economic growth mainly depends on the industrial sector. Industries provide all the basic needs to people such as food, furniture and medicine etc. But in the same manner, industrial waste products add pollution to the environment and contaminating the freshwater resources. To cope with such problems different approaches are made such as wastewater treatment technology (WWTT), but failed in the proper management of industrial waste. A better solution for wastewater management is the introduction of multi-criteria decision making (MCDM), such fuzzy VIKOR method. This technology is effective in wastewater treatment as compared to other conventional methods. Among this, the most common method for wastewater is membrane filtration technique which is widely used throughout the country.
Industrialization plays a vital role in the development of any country. Industries provide job opportunities and fulfilling the requirement of people. Pakistan is a developing country and about 18℅ of gross domestic product (GDP) is provided by the industrial zone. This means that industries play a role of backbone in the development of the economic growth of Pakistan. But on the other hand, the industries sector is responsible for a huge amount of environmental pollution. The discharge of industrial effluent directly into freshwater bodies such as rivers, canals and lakes cause the contamination of water which is harmful for all kind of living organisms. The organic waste destroy the natural habitat of aquatic plants and animals and also cause fatal diseases in humans.
The industrial waste products containing harmful chemicals are absorbed by the plant’s roots which is then accumulated and cause serious damage to animals health. It has also destroyed the agricultural land, as a result, the growth of crops is badly affected. Several diseases such as diarrhea, vomiting, skin problems, gastrointestinal and kidney problems are all happened when industrial waste mix with domestic water supplies. It is need of time to control water pollution to protect our environment from further destruction.


According to united nation sustainable Goal each and every country is trying to provide pure water facilities to the people. This can be easily achieve by reducing the level of contamination of wastewater and approach towards Waste water treatment technology (WWTT). This technology can easily be implemented by developing friendly environmental polices such as data analysis, tax on pollution and development of advance technologies for wastewater treatment. In support to this wastewater treatment technology is the most effective method in handling waste of industries. Wastewater treatment technology is helpful in removing the toxicity and contamination of water and make it safe and usable for people.
Different method and technique are used in wastewater treatment. The process of wastewater treatment depends on the type of effluent because each industry discharge different type of organic waste material. For instance iron and steel industry pollute the freshwater through BOD ( Biochemical oxygen) COD ( chemical oxygen demand ), cyanides, metals and phenol etc. Textile industry produces BOD, chromium, sulfates to pollute freshwater. Similarly waste products from pulp and paper industry include COD, BOD, chlorinated organic compounds, dioxin etc. Due to the fact that each industry produce different type of waste products similarly in the same manner the water is also contaminated differently. There for it is best to keep in view to use different methods specifically for a different type of wastewater treatment. To eliminate toxic pollution from the water different approaches are made such as constructed wetlands, trickling filters, lagoons, activated sludge, membrane bioreactor, and sequential batch reactors etc. The choice of a particular WWTT is a multidisciplinary decision to consider a number of important criteria, such as land requirements, plant costs, operational safety, human power requirements, and environmental impact.
The availability of clean, safe and affordable water is equally important for everyone to stay healthy. The availability of clean water is one of the most important sustainable development goals set by the United National Assembly in 2015.
Unfortunately it is hard to achieve the goal in developing countries such as India and Pakistan because of increase in population, excessive use of water, and poor management of industrial waste. According to Pakistani scientists, 56% of the total population has access to clean drinking water and basic necessities of life. But by global standards, the numbers are alarming, with only 26% of the population having access to safe drinking water and other basic necessities of life. Water pollution is mainly caused by human activities such as inhumane use of agricultural and agro-chemicals and improper dumping of industrial and municipal waste materials.
The industrial waste which are not properly managed caused different disease such as typhoid, diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, polio, vomiting and other type of dangerous disease in humans being. The wastewater cause toxic pollution because it mainly contains harmful chemicals like zinc, iron, copper, cyanide, nickel, nitride and phosphorus etc. A research was carried to check the quality of water at Peshawar Kabul River, it was noticed that the level of contamination increase from the entrance of the city to the end of the city mainly because of discharge of organic waste and other solid waste material directly into the water. These results show that industrial waste is the main source of water contamination when it gets mixed with groundwater, as a result, it becomes unsafe for drinking purposes. The solution for this problem is the implementation of those technologies and methods to treat wastewater before it gets discharge to pollute the water of rivers, lakes and ocean. In this way, the water will be safe enough to use for drinking purposes and overcome the spread of diseases. Different techniques are used for the treatment of wastewater such as activated sludge type which is used for sewage treatment to remove a harmful bacteria Acinetobacter-Moraxella-Mima from the wastewater. The same method is also used for the removal of pharmaceutical chemicals from the wastewater. In Pakistan, there are no proper implementation and development strategies for the treatment of wastewater. Therefore the basic purpose of this study is to find a solution for the dilemma of water pollution caused by the waste of industries by assessment of wastewater treatment technologies by using MCDM and fuzzy VIKOR methodology.


The methodology includes all those techniques and approaches which are used for the treatment of wastewater. Fuzzy VIKOR is one of the most widely used technique for the treatment of wastewater. It is a multi-criteria decision (MCDM) technique which is the best solution for world problems. The fuzzy theory was developed by Zadeh in 1965, and the VIKOR method was developed later. Both fuzzy and VIKOR method were integrated with each other to deal with decision making problems and impressive numerical values. Fuzzy VIKOR technique as an alternative is ranked with three important decisions variable such as “S”, “R” and “Q”. “S” is the summation of the distance of criteria from the fuzzy best value, “R” represent the maximum distance of criteria from the fuzzy best value. To calculate ”Q” both “S” and “R” are used as input. To understand “fuzzy best value” it is described as “the most desirable value of a particular criterion”. Variable ”Q” form the basis of ranking alternatives. Moreover, wastewater treatment is done through membrane filtration which is cost effective process. The membrane contain numerous pores of different size through which wastewater is allowed to pass by applying force. The membrane effectively clean the water and can even remove micro level waste particles from the water. Most industries used activated sludge which is a biological process to remove carbon, nitrogen, ammonia etc., from the wastewater. Constructed wetland is a environment friendly technique which is widely used for the treatment of wastewater. During this technique different plants and herbs are allowed to grow on the roots and leaves of plants. In this way the industrial waste products are breakdown into simpler ones to clean the wastewater. Similarly there are many other various techniques which are used for treatment of wastewater.


This research entirely focus on the implementation of various techniques and it’s effectiveness in the treatment of wastewater. The use fuzzy VIKOR methodology evaluates several wastewater treatment methods under the framework of multi-quality decision making analysis.
These suggest different wastewater treatment technique in Pakistan. According to this study activated sludge is the most effective method in the treatment of wastewater. Among this membrane filtration is also a better solution for the treatment of wastewater. Membrane filtration comes at place second after activated sludge in the treatment of wastewater. The use of alternative wastewater treatment technique are used less in Pakistan, due to which the problems of wastewater is increasing alarmingly. This study is focusing on the development of appropriate policies to overcome the dangers of waste products which is not only contaminating the pure water but also cause drastic changes to the environment. It is the need of time to implement the methods of wastewater treatment techniques (WWTT) for proper management of wastewater. The number of industries are increasing, as a result, more waste material will be produced which will further contaminate the water, so we should implement these techniques to provide equal opportunity of clean and comfortable drinking water for everyone.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
J. Tariq

J. Tariq


Botanist, freelancer, editor, article writer, story teller, creative writing tariqburki@hotmail.com