Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

  • washjfp
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

"If all the money and effort that is currently wasted of building some unsustainable toilets in remote areas was used to positively (i.e. without all the prejudice and coercive pressure) engage/subsidize house-owners in these dense villages to build houses with piped water and attached modern sewered toilets (something most actually seem to like, but can't afford), the actual outcomes in overall hygiene and happiness would be much better"

Kris I totally agree! I think that the idea of "low-cost sanitation" has become another way of saying pit latrine with very little thought put into it!
There has to be space for a Technical discussion of the merits of an outcome that include consideration of the behaviour change needed, but that doesn't get stuck into defeatist talk of saying it is something new/different and people wont use it!

Regards, Jemma
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  • DavidAlan
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  • David Crosweller
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Kris and Jemma, and where will the water come from that these piped sewage system toilets need?

We are UDDT champions, as others will testify; they are not the lowest cost, but they are one of the more affordable sustainable solutions.
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  • washjfp
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

UDDTs are a great example of thinking of solutions for the problems faced rather than doing what is the norm! :-)
Obviously piped water is an example of an outcome that wont be suitable in all settings! But in plenty of urban settings where other parts of the city has piped water it shouldn't be beyond consideration!
Regards, Jemma
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  • DavidAlan
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Jemma, you will forgive me, how will that function in Cape Town where there is a major water crisis? In Tamil Nadu where we work there is an issue with water every single year. Northern India is exhausting its acquifer at an alarming rate.

If you're lucky 'zenrainman' won't see the thread and give you an in depth lecture on the issues of water in India.

Then, on another tack, how will this service be paid for? One of the reasons that no piped systems are considered is because of water usage and treatment plant costs, and who will pay for them? It is not those with money that don't have a toilet, it is those without money.

As a non-profit I don't want to be involved in systems that adds to the burden of the poor, I want to help alleviate that poverty so they can live their lives fully. Maybe in the long-term this could be sewer systems, but in the short-term for poor people it is a step too far.
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  • washjfp
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Hi David,
this sounds like would be a fun conversation to have in person... but I don't have time to answer all your points properly online!
But as I said, the main point for me is to approach sanitation creatively rather than sticking to the norm, I am not 'for' or 'against' any solution. (therefore not trying to suggest piped sanitation will fit everywhere!).
Have a look at the Orangi Pilot project (if you don't already know about it) as an example of a great project resulting in low cost piped sewerage for the poorest people!
Regards, Jemma
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  • goeco
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

This topic is not about water use, nor about UDDT's, but pour flush pit latrines... thus acceptance of water for flushing. It is about acknowledgement of the problem of groundwater contamination and deployment of technical solutions.

This topic also acknowledges the benefits of the new sato diverter. In that context I would argue that fecal sludge will no longer be a problem and and emptying the pits is no longer a safety issue because users will not "directly connect both pits" and will only need to remove aged humus. The key issue that could justify sewered toilets is the potential for groundwater contamination. This issue may also be resolved with other technologies, such as what I have suggested above.

Pawan, thank you for acknowledging that India requires regulatory intervention to limit construction of pits to areas without high water tables. Could you please outline the sustainable technology being proposed where water tables are too high for pits?

cheers
Dean

Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Go-Eco Sustainable Solutions
www.go-eco.co.nz
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  • ggrevell
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Pawan, please let me also voice interest in learning more about the solutions you mentioned for high water tables. It's a topic in which we're very interested for rural Cambodia.

----
Geoff Revell
watershedasia.org | happytap.net
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