How to construct simple and inexpensive and efficient wastewater treatment systems plants for homesteads which don’t have sewer connections (Kenya)
(1 viewing) (1) Guest
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: How to construct simple and inexpensive and efficient wastewater treatment systems plants for homesteads which don’t have sewer connections (Kenya)

How to construct simple and inexpensive and efficient wastewater treatment systems plants for homesteads which don​​’t have sewer connections (Kenya) 23 Jun 2014 16:10 #9035

  • mwaniki
  • CONTACT
  • Posts: 63
  • Likes received: 9
  • Karma: 3
Hi JK Makowka & Christoph

Since carrying a note on ‘Investing in the Reuse of Treated Wastewater’ in the May-June 2014 edition of the Africa Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Vol. 9 No. 3, we have received several enquiries on how to construct a simple and inexpensive and efficient wastewater treatment plants for homesteads which don’t have sewer connections. This has now become here in Kenya a requirement by the National Environment Management Authority for developers to submit a plan when applying for a license to construct homes and apartments or condominiums as they are known elsewhere.

Now that J.K. Makowka and Christoph are worried about the lack of technological input in the discussions, I kindly request these gentlemen to assist our readers by coming up with with a model of an original design of such a plant which should not exceed US $ 1,500 (say one thousand five hundred) or thereabout to construct (labour inclusive).

We could publish this design in our oncoming edition i.e. July- August 2014 edition of the Africa Water, Sanitation & Hygiene. As a matter of courtesy and appreciation, we shall acknowledge the contribution by inserting the source of the article. The article should not exceed 3 pages on A4 format at 11 pts. Text to include diagrams and illustrations.

Deadline for articles for publication is July 4, 2014.

Kind regards / Mwaniki
Am the publisher of the Africa Water,Sanitation & Hygiene and the C.E.O. of Transworld Publishers Ltd.,Nairobi-Kenya.
Last Edit: 23 Jun 2014 16:12 by mwaniki.

Re: Concerns about quality of the forum 23 Jun 2014 20:06 #9036

  • KeithBell
  • CONTACT
  • Posts: 99
  • Likes received: 10
  • Karma: -8
Mwaniki, $1,500 including labor seems quite low for a wastewater treatment plant of any size. Are you also promoting dry toilet technology in your publication? How about vacuum-flush systems requiring very little water combined with aerobic composting?

Re: Concerns about quality of the forum 23 Jun 2014 20:15 #9038

  • muench
  • CONTACT
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer)
  • Posts: 693
  • Likes received: 224
  • Karma: 19
In my role as moderator, I have moved the two above posts to here because in my opinion they were starting a different topic compared to the issues about quality of the forum that Christoph has raised and which Kris has given some ideas on (forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-any...quality-of-the-forum).

Mwaniki, we have had similar discussions previously, do you remember this thread here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/141-ot...-or-municipal-system

It was pretty much asking the same question.

And also in this thread about DEWATS:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/35-bio...ct-dewats-technology

Perhaps re-check there and see what could be used for a short note or article in your journal?

I think it's however important that people dont think they can use the forum for free consultancy services - OK, it's sometimes a fine line between a general discussion and sharing of ideas, and on the other hand asking someone else to provide you with a worked out design that you would otherwise have to pay an expert to do it for you....

I think that's what Christoph meant when he said:

Or someone asks for advice to construct on a professional level and really thinks there is good answer… how could I give as a professional give advice by Internet about a technology? I will destroy reputation of that technology as I am convinced even the most simple thing has its secrets you have to learn during application. I´m not speaking of the development of new ideas or a special detail, I´m speaking about common professional knowledge which just that person does not have.


Anyhow, so I think it's better to have two different threads:
  • One on Christoph's feeling that the quality of the forum might be deteriorating lately (forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-any...quality-of-the-forum)
  • and one on Mwaniki's question about "how to construct a simple and inexpensive and efficient wastewater treatment plants for homesteads which don’t have sewer connections" (i.e. this one)

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Frankfurt, Germany
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Twitter: @EvMuench
Website: www.ostella.de
Member of SuSanA (www.susana.org)
Last Edit: 23 Jun 2014 20:18 by muench.

Re: Concerns about quality of the forum 23 Jun 2014 22:32 #9041

  • mwaniki
  • CONTACT
  • Posts: 63
  • Likes received: 9
  • Karma: 3
Hi Keith

Thanks for your response. But I was specifically looking for a low cost wastewater plant technology for apartments / homestead without sewer connections. The reasons for this demand by the Authority is to protect groundwater contamination and to prevent the effluent if not treated to flow into streams and rivers which could pose danger to users downstream. Am not sure they would accept dry toilet technology in these kinds of structures.

Now jogging back to those past conversations that Elisabeth had recommended suggest a tank at a cost US$10,000 for a septic system and $US5, 000 for connection. That’s not what the readers are looking for. Though not that rich some of these people live in Nairobi. Its one of the most prominent cities in Africa, hosts a number of UN Agencies and is a financial and a business hub. Even DEWATS techs will not apply here in the city.

Hi Elisabeth

The Africa Water, Sanitation & Hygiene magazine is a free publication and not to be sold to ensure that nobody is disadvantaged in accessing the information. It’s been like that for the last 9 years. So, we are not looking for free consultancy in any way. But of what use if someone kept some useful information to oneself and not share with others for development? Would there be ever be Melinda and Bill Gates Foundations who donate millions of dollars every year to help others? We are on the final 6 months to achieve the MDGs so with this kind of stance how will this happen?

Am just disappointed. Probably Makowka and Christoph would have come up with that design after all. They are so much technologically oriented as suggested by their posts.

Kind regards / Mwaniki
Am the publisher of the Africa Water,Sanitation & Hygiene and the C.E.O. of Transworld Publishers Ltd.,Nairobi-Kenya.
Last Edit: 23 Jun 2014 22:37 by mwaniki.

Re: Concerns about quality of the forum 23 Jun 2014 22:57 #9043

  • muench
  • CONTACT
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer)
  • Posts: 693
  • Likes received: 224
  • Karma: 19
Dear Mwaniki,

Maybe what I wrote was confusing: of course I agree that we are all trying to share as much as possible! That's what the forum is for, that's what the Susana library is for, that's what many of us do on a daily basis, etc.

Christoph has shared plenty of very good stuff (on technology, costs, O&M issues, upscaling, ...) in the past here on the forum and also in his publications. See e.g. this publication which he co-authored on constructed wetlands:
susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktype...mp;type=2&id=930

But what people must realise: when it comes to a specific application, you cannot expect the forum expertise to provide you with all the answers. Every now and again, one must also consult local experts who may do certain work for a professional fee!

For example: I have had people ask me "Dear Elisabeth, I want a septic tank for my house in location xxx, can you tell me how to design it?"; or "Dear Elisabeth, I would like to have a constructed wetland for school xxx in location xxx, could you please design it for me?". This is what I would call asking for free consultancy services on the forum...

A different matter would be if someone says "Dear all, we are operating a constructed wetlands since xxx years, it was built by xxx with xxx design criteria; recently we noticed proliferation of flies in the first zone of the gravel filter; we have consulted the forum and website and looked at the available literature xxx, but we can't figure out what the problem may be. We are thinking it could be xxx, can someone provide us with some hints what we could try to investigate different options to solve this problem?". That kind of query I think would be valuable to have on the forum and if some expert is willing to spend 10 minutes to write down some thoughts to help that person, that would be great.

Is it now a bit clearer what I meant with the "free consultancy services" issue?

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. And 1500 USD is definetely not enough money if you want a water-based (?) "efficient wastewater treatment plants for homesteads which don’t have sewer connections" in Nairobi. This has been pointed out by, amongst others, Christoph, in the threads that I linked to above.
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Frankfurt, Germany
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Twitter: @EvMuench
Website: www.ostella.de
Member of SuSanA (www.susana.org)

Re: How to construct simple and inexpensive and efficient wastewater treatment systems plants for homesteads which don​​’t have sewer connections (Kenya) 24 Jun 2014 03:26 #9045

  • christoph
  • CONTACT
  • Moderator
  • Sanitary engineer with base in Brazil and Peru, doing consultancy in other countries of LA
  • Posts: 203
  • Likes received: 79
  • Karma: 16
Dear Mwaniki,

this post
http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/55-wg-2-finance-economics/5549-operating-costs-of-dry-sanitation-uddts-and-is-5-of-household-income-a-reasonable-target?limit=12&start=12#5572

and the posts around it, had thoughts about affordable UDDT. I think for periurban areas UDDT (with a service model) are the only solution to really affordable toilets and bathrooms with a low price (< 1500 U$ or much lower depending on the material as discussed there).

So the UDDT manual by GIZ should be a very good base for advice.

Regards

Christoph
Last Edit: 24 Jun 2014 03:28 by christoph.

Re: How to construct simple and inexpensive and efficient wastewater treatment systems plants for homesteads which don​​’t have sewer connections (Kenya) 24 Jun 2014 08:13 #9047

  • muench
  • CONTACT
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer)
  • Posts: 693
  • Likes received: 224
  • Karma: 19
... and then you still need to take care of the greywater (and possibly stormwater). I can't really see any other option than a constructed wetland or DEWATS or both (in combination).
More on constructed wetlands: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/36-con...nd-infiltration-beds

More on DEWATS: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/35-bio...n-systems-and-dewats

Kind regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Frankfurt, Germany
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Twitter: @EvMuench
Website: www.ostella.de
Member of SuSanA (www.susana.org)

Re: How to construct simple and inexpensive and efficient wastewater treatment systems plants for homesteads which don​​’t have sewer connections (Kenya) 24 Jun 2014 13:22 #9050

  • mwaniki
  • CONTACT
  • Posts: 63
  • Likes received: 9
  • Karma: 3
Hi Elisabeth & Christoph

I have read and understood your responses to my query and I’ll write a note with a copy to each of our readers to the effect that such a wastewater system design is impossible and if at all they needed one they have to spend more resources in terms of finance and consultancy.

I would kindly inform Christoph that we did a summary of the UDDT manual in the June 2013 Vol.8 # 3 of the Africa Water, Sanitation & Hygiene. This edition is very memorable to me as we had long discussions (out of the forum) about the reprint.

Am happy that this matter has now come to a consensus unless someone else would wish to post some new ideas.

..

Kind regards / Mwaniki
Am the publisher of the Africa Water,Sanitation & Hygiene and the C.E.O. of Transworld Publishers Ltd.,Nairobi-Kenya.
Last Edit: 24 Jun 2014 14:38 by muench.

Re: How to construct simple and inexpensive and efficient wastewater treatment systems plants for homesteads which don​​’t have sewer connections (Kenya) 26 Jun 2014 03:06 #9083

  • mwaniki
  • CONTACT
  • Posts: 63
  • Likes received: 9
  • Karma: 3
Dear Turner

There is one entry you posted on June 24 that needs addressing.

By requesting for that technology, I didn’t intend to pay for it as that kind of transaction has never been done in the forum.

And if anyone would have provided the article on gratis, not really on that budget of US$ 1,500 but probably on a realistic figure let’s say US $10,000 as experts had pointed it out that it was impossible to work on that estimate, I sincerely admit that it was my intention of reprinting the freely available technology in our journal for the express benefit of our readers who had requested for it. True, I was disappointed that nothing was forthcoming.

You must have guessed everything right of my intentions from the word GO. Telepathy I guess.

Mwaniki
Am the publisher of the Africa Water,Sanitation & Hygiene and the C.E.O. of Transworld Publishers Ltd.,Nairobi-Kenya.

Re: How to construct simple and inexpensive and efficient wastewater treatment systems plants for homesteads which don​​’t have sewer connections (Kenya) 26 Jun 2014 14:54 #9090

  • canaday
  • CONTACT
  • A biologist working toward sustainability
  • Posts: 125
  • Likes received: 46
  • Karma: 13
Featured User
May 2014
Dear everyone,

I am sad to see that this discussion has gotten a bit ugly and confrontational.

I would like to congratulate Mwaniki for his important work to spread key information to contribute to resolving the enormous water and sanitation problems in Africa. It is normal and correct for him to ask the forum for input on a low-cost solution for dealing with sewage. If the answer is "No, nothing acceptable can be so inexpensive", then let's try to say so nicely.

One conclusion is that it may be better to get the local population to use UDDTs. This would optimally include an active and on-going program of education and follow-up. Local and international volunteers, TV and radio stations, local governments, NGOs, and others could all play important roles in this.

The Africa Water and Sanitation Magazine reprinted the first half of my article on a Minimalist UDDT that costs essentially nothing,
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-free-...ist-uddt-part-1.html
and I would encourage them to also reprint the second half, which discusses the doubts one could have about this system and justifications for its applicability,
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-free-...ist-uddt-part-2.html

How delicate is the issue of groundwater contamination? Are there water wells for human consumption in the same populated areas that you refer to, Mwaniki? For individual homes and small apartment complexes, it seems that the Twin-Pit system
akvopedia.org/wiki/Twin_Pits_for_Pour_Flush
may be applicable and would cost very little IF the soil is dry and absorbent AND all streams, rivers and wells are sufficiently far way (50m?). If not all of the water absorbs with in the active pit, the effluent (with hopefully only minimal suspended solids) could be dispersed below the surface of the soil in a "leach field" or "drain field", which could be planted in bananas or fruit trees, and hopefully there is just enough space to do this. This effluent could also be distributed (smell-free) to productive plants via vertical gardens on the walls of buildings (as I have begun to experiment with).

Thank you, Bhaskar, for the suggestion of raising fish in the sewage. I would worry about:
// the smell from open ponds in highly populated areas,
// pharmaceutical chemicals, chlorine, etc.,
// the effluent (or could it soak into the floor of the pond?)

What species of fish would you use?

UDDTs are a great option, if the users can be convinced to use them, as we know exactly where the contaminants are until they convert into resources.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
Last Edit: 26 Jun 2014 15:03 by canaday. Reason: English

Re: How to construct simple and inexpensive and efficient wastewater treatment systems plants for homesteads which don​​’t have sewer connections (Kenya) 26 Jun 2014 20:16 #9098

  • mwaniki
  • CONTACT
  • Posts: 63
  • Likes received: 9
  • Karma: 3
Hi Chris

Thanks for your support. You certainly look at the bright side of life.

Of course I'll look at the references you have suggested but most importantly, we will carry the second part of the Minimalist UDDT in the oncoming edition of the Africa Water, Sanitation & Hygiene.

Kind regards / Mwaniki
Am the publisher of the Africa Water,Sanitation & Hygiene and the C.E.O. of Transworld Publishers Ltd.,Nairobi-Kenya.
  • Page:
  • 1
Time to create page: 0.58 seconds