SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Sun, 20 Apr 2014 20:56:02 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: Dried vs. composted fecal material: merit and demerit - by: Guinya I would like to find papers comparing dried to composted human faecal material with regard to properties such as water retention, structure stability, disease suppression (i.e., soil borne plant diseases), and human pathogens inactivation.

Would you have some experience with both forms of treatments, I would be eager to learn from your experience.

Fertiliser / soil conditioner Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:17:48 +0000
Re: Dried vs. composted fecal material: merit and demerit - by: joeturner
Can I just be clear what you are asking for - do you want to see benefits to the soil of dried vs composted human faeces? Or do you mean in terms of the destruction of pathogenic microbes in the faeces?]]>
Fertiliser / soil conditioner Mon, 14 Apr 2014 10:54:52 +0000
Dried vs. composted fecal material: merit and demerit - by: Guinya I am an agronomist specialized in soils. I am currently based in Burundi/Rwanda working on the integration waste management with agriculture. The last five years were spent working with the Baha'i Gardens in Haifa (now part of the Unesco World Heritage) investigating on ways to reduce chemical fertilizers and pesticides use in the Garden.

For revitalization of biological processes in the soil, improvement of soil structure, achieving a balanced nutritional status in the soil, and fostering disease suppressiveness, we experimented with different ways of making compost / managing biowastes (i.e., aerobic vs. anaerobic/bokashi; fermentation of food waste with EM followed by aerobic composting then vermicomposting; incorporation of rock dust and/or biochar and/or gypsum).

This background in composting and soil amendments, has shaped my perspective on humanure. I haven't yet seen scientific works comparing dried human excreta to composted human excreta (please share if you are aware of any). However, similar work comparing aged [cow/chicken/pig/horse] manure to composted [cow/chicken/pig/horse] manure exists.
I am aware of some attempts in certain circles to treat humane fecal material by a combination of lactic fermentation (in combination with biochar and rock dust), composting and vermicomposting. This would be similar to what we experimented with on food waste, back in Haifa.

Based on my current understanding, I would think that composting of humanure would yield a better soil amendment than dried humanure, as this tends to be the case for animal manure (that is, if water and nutrient retention, soil structure stability, and disease suppression are factored in).
However, the more elaborate/complex a procedure becomes, the harder and more expensive it becomes for private entrepreneurs or local farmers. Then the question is how to join efficacy of treatment/transformation with simplicity of design?

Dearest friends, I am really sharing these thoughts in a spirit of learning and humility, trying to bring you in our conversation as we try to design the most sustainable management scheme for human excreta in Bujumbura (Burundi)/Kigali (Rwanda). The more bright minds and experience we manage to put together, the better.

Warm regards,

Guillaume Nyagatare, Ph.D
Tel: +250 789 52 9484 (Rwanda)
Tel: +257 79 43 3057 (Burundi)
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]]>
Fertiliser / soil conditioner Sun, 13 Apr 2014 06:41:08 +0000
Re: Market Survey for Compost - by: NPreneta01
I know that IWMI is currently working on a review of a large number of case studies of Resource Recovery and Reuse (RRR) programs in developing countries. This review is specifically interested in looking at the cases' business models, as many composting programs in the past have been dependent on subsidies and function only at a small scale. It will be very interesting to see the selected case studies and learn from different actors' experiences once this publication is complete.

Fertiliser / soil conditioner Thu, 03 Apr 2014 22:37:39 +0000
Re: TERRA PRETA SANITATION (TPS): Vermicomposting or Thermophilic Composting? - by: cecile
There was an interesting discussion about vermicomposting in this forum here

If you type "lombristation" in google you will find documents about a vermicomposting waste water treatment company (called Lombritek)
There is one station working in the south of France (you can find documentation about it in SuSanA's library). The technology was developped to treat waste water of 2000-4000 people but the company is currently developing a system to treat sludge before treatment in WWTP for 2 000 to 20 000 people.

Finally to answer your question, vermicomposting or thermophilic composting,I would say the answer is not so much which technology is better, but what do you have to treat in the first place(caracterisation of the "waste"), climate, space, budget and ressources (know how). This may be not very satisfactory for modellisation but from my point of view it is difficult to answer this kind of question from a theoretical point of view.

By the way, is there a reason for the figure of 20 000 people in urban community ? In France, "innovative" sanitation systems (vermicomposting, constructed wetlands) are usually tested for 5EH (person equivalent), then 20 EH, then on small municipalities 200-5000 before being upgraded to larger treatment plants.

Kind regards,]]>
Fertiliser / soil conditioner Mon, 24 Mar 2014 09:28:34 +0000
Re: TERRA PRETA SANITATION (TPS): Urine diversion or no diversion? - by: cecile
Could you please give us a little bit more on your background ? Are you working for a university ? And also, what is the purpose of your research ?

I understand your project is reasearch and modelling, but I can't help thinking about the concrete, more "down to earth" aspects of such a project.
In all sanitation projects the solutions are not only issued from technical constraints but also from the software component.
As Ralf mentionned both technologies work and as you mentionned, both have their pros and cons.
If you are trying to use a "suitable (...) system for a community" it is as important to consider the technical suitability and the suitability for the users as importantly. The personal hygiene habits and culture of the users (washers / wipers, pros / against separation) density, types of building, climate, will influence the technology, as much as the technology itself. Are the users more likely to have UD type toilets like in Sweden or non separation toilets like in France.
How many participants can you reasonnably get ?
The financial sustainability is important, as door to door collection systems rely on human resources, which depending on the country you are modelling your system can be quite heavy.
I am basing these thoughts on a couple of initiatives in France, where this idea of door to door collection and external treatment of dry toilets residues are popular among dry toilet users. There were several attempts to set up door to door collection systems and undertaking composting or co composting on platforms. For these initiatives the technical issues were not as important as the behavioural, legal, financial and participatory aspects. I think if you consider these aspects it will narrow the starting parameters of your research.
Kind regards,
Fertiliser / soil conditioner Mon, 24 Mar 2014 08:59:43 +0000
Reply: Large urine use project in the USA - by: Bhaskar
Urine is a liquid, so it is easier to handle by flushing it down a drain into a fish pond, rather than to collect it in containers and use it on land.

I understand that your project uses the urine to grow hay to feed cattle. We can give you a solution to use the urine to grow Diatom Algae to feed fish.

Diatoms are known as the 'grasses of the oceans'

"Have you ever wondered who plays the role of grass in the oceans? Try diatoms, delicate unicellular organisms that have a yellow-brown chloroplast that enables them to photosynthesize."


Fertiliser / soil conditioner Wed, 19 Mar 2014 03:06:31 +0000
Re: Large urine use project in the USA - by: noe-hays
Anyone who wants to know more about what we are doing can visit our website at There are also more news articles here, including one in Spanish.

Our actual website is a little out of date, but the current situation is that we are collecting 6,000 gallons of urine from about 200 families this year, pasteurizing it, and then applying it to hay fields. Our ongoing study is on dilution rates, to see if there is a yield benefit to a 50/50 urine/water mix over application of 100% urine.

As far as I know, this is the only project of its type in the United States, but I wonder if anyone on the forum is involved in a similar community-sourced urine recycling project elsewhere?

Abe Noe-Hays
Research Director
Rich Earth Institute]]>
Fertiliser / soil conditioner Sat, 15 Mar 2014 22:10:58 +0000
Re: Market Survey for Compost - by: jonpar
I am currently working in Freetown as a consultant with IWA who have partnered with GOAL on a DFID-BMBF funded City Sanitation Partnership project to support Freetown City Council develop a commercially viable fecal sludge management strategy.

I'd be very interested to know of good examples where composting of fecal sludge has been successfully implemented at municipal scale.

best regards, Jonathan]]>
Fertiliser / soil conditioner Sat, 15 Mar 2014 11:51:17 +0000
Large urine use project in the USA - by: Marijn Zandee
One of my friends forwarded this link, which I am sharing for your reading pleasure:

I think, some of the people from the Rich earth institute are also on the forum, congratulations to them with their project.


Fertiliser / soil conditioner Thu, 13 Mar 2014 02:08:59 +0000
Re: TERRA PRETA SANITATION (TPS): Urine diversion or no diversion? - by: GeorgLiebig
thanks a lot for your comment.

I also think that no-diversion can make sense in densely populated areas where people do not use urine for their own garden plots.

In this case more cover material is necessary to soak up urine, right?
What sort of material could possibly be used and how does this affect the fermentation?
Is it then still necessary to add sugars/fruit waste to keep the Lactic Acid Fermentation running?

Let´s imagine an urban area where excreta collection in a container without diversion and transportation to a municipal composting site is feasible, where the fermentation and vermicomposting can take place.
Isn´t it better in this scenario to simply collect excreta at household level without fermentation, therefore no need to distribute inoculum, add sugar material and especially keep the lid air tight? The fermentation can be done afterwards at the composting site.]]>
Fertiliser / soil conditioner Wed, 12 Mar 2014 14:10:11 +0000
Re: TERRA PRETA SANITATION (TPS): Lactic Acid Fermentation or Simple Collection? - by: Otterpohl]]> Fertiliser / soil conditioner Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:04:02 +0000 Re: TERRA PRETA SANITATION (TPS): Vermicomposting or Thermophilic Composting? - by: Otterpohl]]> Fertiliser / soil conditioner Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:03:18 +0000 Re: TERRA PRETA SANITATION (TPS): Urine diversion or no diversion? - by: Otterpohl
Such question is slightly too general... Choice of systems is highly dependent of density, type of houses (multi storey?), socio-economics and availeability of reliable service providers, users of compost e.g. for reforestation in the region and so on.

UD is a great solution for single houses with some land in more sparsely populated situations and where people use urine themselves. Lactic acid fermentation of feaces is always good, ideally with fruit waste. This will solve the severe problem of the remaining repelling smells in UDDT, even well maintained ones. Will still function where too little cover is supplied.

Excreta collection unter lactic acid fermentation in container toilets of different kinds seem feasible for this scale. This requires a local service provider and a nearby composting station with soil conditioner demand and supplies of dry woody waste. Mulity Storey is feasible. Costs can be very low. Simple Container-Toilets of different types are availeable and the WTO design award winner (see professional 4 ' animation on )
can be produced for such a scale at costs of around 100 Euros or leasing.
Charcoal should be produced with woodgas stoves ideally fed with briquets from woody waste materials. This can be combining very well with santitation and make it more feasible together. However, composting can so without charcoal, the fine dry woody material is crucial to balance C/N ratios and make huge amountsof soil conditioner.

I do have very much involvement in practical also larger projects. It must be a simple as possibe, so for the more densely populated areas we should avoid UD. It can still make sense from case to case, there is no absolute Yes or No...


Fertiliser / soil conditioner Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:01:01 +0000
TERRA PRETA SANITATION (TPS): Urine diversion or no diversion? - by: GeorgLiebig
my name is Georg and I am very interested in Terra Preta Sanitation (TPS). A good overview about the system can be found here.

I am trying to model a suitable, exemplary TPS system for a community (urban area) of 20000 inhabitants, which means a municipal collection and treatment of excreta should be possible.

While most researchers agree that charcoal is necessary for the formation of Terra Preta, still many open questions remain in my mind and I would like to share them with you. I hope the SUSANA community will be able to shed light on this issue.

Question 1 can be discussed here. For discussion of questions 2 and 3 please follow the links below.



most proponents of TPS proposed:
Diversion [ SPUHLER & GENSCH 2010 ; FACTURA ET. AL 2010]; (Pieplow; Reckin;
others recently proposed :
No diversion [ OTTERPOHL n.y.]

- no odour
- no need to ferment and compost urine
- different usages of urine possible (direct application, composting..)
- no odour if enough cover material is used [JENKINS 2005]
- one container needed -> easier handling


- not necessary, since composting of urine is better than direct application [OTTERPOHL n.y.]
- 2 collecting containers needed -> more complex
- proper separation is often complicated in practice
- more cover material is necessary to soak up liquids [JENKINS 2005]
- more storage room needed

What do you think is the most suitable TPS system for a 20.000 people urban community?]]>
Fertiliser / soil conditioner Wed, 26 Feb 2014 13:46:30 +0000