South African Demonstration around the town of Cofimvaba (Earth Auger toilet, a UDDT with an auger)

  • chuckhenry
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South African Demonstration around the town of Cofimvaba (Earth Auger toilet, a UDDT with an auger)

Note by moderator: More information about installations of the Earth Auger toilet in other countries is available in this thread:
forum.susana.org/component/kunena/34-uri...-and-other-countries
and here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/106-us...ded-model-is-now-out
A related thread about the South African sanitation technology demonstration programme is also here:
forum.susana.org/105-processing-technolo...n?limitstart=0#18923
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Jamie Cignetti, Colton Hall and I (Critical Practices LLC), and Marcos Fioravanti from Fundación in Terris joined a workshop in South Africa to plan for a demonstration focused on rural schools and homes around the town of Cofimvaba (near East London). This program (SASTEP) is sponsored by the South African Department of Science and Technology in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ‘…to tackle the country’s sanitation backlog through research, innovation and technology.’ We joined four other companies representing emerging alternative sanitation technologies: RTI, Loughborough, AIT, and Caltech. It’s an exciting long-term demonstration, eventually focused on commercialization of technologies that are proven promising during Phase I. We certainly consider ourselves honored to join this effort.

For more information on this SASTP program ("South African sanitation technology demonstration programme"), please see here on the forum:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/105-pr...bmgf-dst-partnership

Our time there was spent visiting existing sanitation installations at schools, a visit to CSIR Sanitation Technology Demonstration Centre, meeting with officials and planning.

The demonstration program generally starts around February; each company will be sending 100 toilets to be installed in primarily rural areas (our technology – the Earth Auger* – will hopefully be deployed where both water and electricity is lacking). Installations will be monitored extensively for the first few months, then at lesser frequencies as changes are made to address site specific needs.

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  • muench
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Re: South African Demonstration around the town of Cofimvaba (Earth Auger toilet, a UDDT with an auger)

Dear Chuck,

Thank you for your post and the presentation which you attached. Congratulations for being chosen as one of five demonstration technologies for this town (Cofimvaba) in South Africa!

I looked it up in Wikipedia ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cofimvaba ) and it's a town in the Chris Hani district (name rings a bell, I think there were some ecosan projects there in the past?). I take it the town is very small (Wikipedia article: There is only one hospital in Cofimvaba, Cofimvaba Hospital. There are two high schools that are in town,St. James High School and Cofimvaba High School.)

Do you know why this town was chosen in particular? What are its characteristics, e.g. in terms of water availability, space availability, interest in fertiliser?

And it will be interesting to know how your technology will be compared with the other technologies (I mean using which comparison parameters) - at least in terms of costs and simplicity yours would beat the ones from RTI, Loughborough and Caltech hands down? (those other ones have been introduced on the forum here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/105-pr...eta-or-faecal-sludge )

Do you already know how it will be chosen which household/school gets which demo toilets?

One thing I noticed from your presentation are the steep and flimsy looking stairs that people have to climb to access the Earth Auger toilet. Have you thought about making it easier for people with disabilities and young children?

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

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  • ben
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Re: South African Demonstration around the town of Cofimvaba (Earth Auger toilet, a UDDT with an auger)

Dear Chuck,

Awesome to see the development done these past months.
Any chance you give us a retail price : system alone, system + shelter

Cheers,

Ben
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  • chuckhenry
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Re: South African Demonstration around the town of Cofimvaba (Earth Auger toilet, a UDDT with an auger)

Thanks, Ben. We're really pleased, as i said, and Marcos of In Terris is in the process of installing over 400 of these in Ecuador over the next 6 months. So for he's gotten really good reviews from the homeowners.

In terms of cost... always a difficult question while still demo-ing, but we remain committed to eventually achieving under $150 per toilet in bulk (i.e., as in 220 units in a 20' cargo container) excluding shipping and customs fees.

Marcos is really doing good work in housing alternatives in Ecuador - he can give you better information about that.
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  • chuckhenry
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Re: South African Demonstration around the town of Cofimvaba (Earth Auger toilet, a UDDT with an auger)

Hi Elizabeth,

I don't exactly know why Cofimvaba was chosen, and maybe it was because, as you say, past systems were tried. My understanding is that there will be a variety of schools and houses that we'll be doing the demos - most of these will be rural (as in not actually in the town) - some with real restrictions as to both water and electricity. Since the Earth Auger doesn't require either, hopefully we'll demo in some of the most challenging places. I'm sure Stuart Woolley can answer your other questions much better than I.

Also not sure on what basis we'll be compared, and I'm not sure it's a 'contest'! I think the idea is to simply prove the different technologies, and then find interest from a SA company to commercialize. The goal is eventually to manufacture and distribute by SA companies. I'd like to think that we're competitive, as you suggest, and we may be the first to begin demos as we're pretty much ready for the tentative start date of March.

In February WRC will provide us with a list of schools/houses that each company will be asked to demo - so no, we don't yet know where and what conditions.

Humm... interesting comment about "steep and flimsy looking stairs"! I'll have to pass this on to Marcos, as he's doing the housing. Don't recall that ever being an issue, but then I don't recall him doing any toilets for the handicapped yet. Seems to me that it would be easy to modify the steps on a case-by-case basis.

Chuck
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  • jay bhagwan
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Re: Reply: South African Demonstration around the town of Cofimvaba (Earth Auger toilet, a UDDT with an auger)

Dear Elizabeth


Responding to many of your questions you pose on why Cofimvaba…

Firstly, shit comes from one source, the anus and wherever it is produced it is needed to be treated. So whether it is rural, urban or informal does not really matter – as long as the technology is robust to treat faeces. Also we need not have to get hooked on reuse of sludges etc. at this stage as the main focus is the safe sanitation and improved technology (from the current VIPs). So the point is that if it will function in a rural setting or schools, it will also function in an urban and other setting. This goes for all types of technologies. Obviously, the institutional dynamics and processes will differ in these spatial settings.

So coming to why Cofimvaba? Mainly because the funding for the demonstrator is tied to area and that we have strong commitment from various roleplayers to support demonstrators. Phase 2 which is the scaling up is not limited to Cofimvaba.

Regards

Jay

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KSA 3: Water Use and Wastewater Management
Water Research Commission
Postal: Private Bag x03, Gezina, Pretoria, 0031, South Africa
Physical: 694 Eighteenth Avenue, Rietfontein, Pretoria, 0033, South Africa

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  • mtfioravanti
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Re: Reply: South African Demonstration around the town of Cofimvaba (Earth Auger toilet, a UDDT with an auger)

Hi,

Thanks for the comments.

I can't add too much to what Chuck already said.

This is all still under development, so you will have to wait for some of the answers!

In some context, there's the challenge that we need to elevate the restroom's floor level, in order to leave space for the harvest bucket that goes at the end. Basically in the areas with risk of flooding. But also this are areas where the families elevate houses too, and the Earth Auger is perfect to be installed hanging from the house (off-the-ground) so you could attach the restroom to the house, as we have already down. Then you don't need to work in the access to the toilet... but you still have the challenge for the access to the house... That's this about... one challenge after the other...

You could keep the house at the ground level in dry areas where there is not risk of flooding. And you could do a ramp to access the toilet housing. We have had that situation.

Marcos


=======

Note by moderator (EvM) added on 4 Jan. 2016:
See also related thread here: www.forum.susana.org/forum/categories/34...-and-other-countries

Marcos Fioravanti B.
Taladro de la Tierra Project
Fundación In Terris / Critical Practices LLC

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  • chuckhenry
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Re: Evolution of the EarthAuger UDDT (a hybrid composting and urine diverting dry toilet) - in-field demonstrations in India, Ghana, South Africa and other countries

The South African Water Research Commission's sanitation demonstration has now hit the field! Last week Stuart Woolley and i assembled the majority of the 200 EarthAugers and the first one has been installed in Ida near Queenstown! Others to follow quite soon.





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  • ekellogg
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Re: Progress on EarthAuger toilet installation in South Africa

The EarthAuger, www.earthauger.org is a low cost composting urine diverting toilet. EarthAuger was approved earlier this year for installation in all locations in peri-urban Dakar, Senegal by the Comité Technique National. EarthAuger has also been approved recently for an installation of 200 units by the South African government in a rural area near the town of Ida, a short distance from Queenstown in the eastern part of South Africa. The attached report details the status of the project as of late October 2016. We look forward to the operation and further evaluation of these EarthAuger toilets in the next few months.

The report also describes a prospective retrofit EarthAuger installation project at the Kleinbooi school in the same vicinity. I urge you to subsribe to SuSanA so that you can log in and view the attached report.

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Edwin Kellogg, PhD
Partner, Kellogg Consultants, LLC
Boston, Massachusetts

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