Improving faecal sludge management on municipal level by upgrading local wastewater treatment plant with value-added processes - Research at NWU, Potchefstroom, South Africa

  • SeBer
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Improving faecal sludge management on municipal level by upgrading local wastewater treatment plant with value-added processes - Research at NWU, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Dear all,
We are a young research team at North-West University (NWU), Potchefstroom and just started to venture in the field of faecal sludge management. Therefore our research is still at the very beginning, so bear with us!
Currently we are reviewing FSM practices in our and the neighboring province (North-West and Free State). We are already excited to see what our survey results will show. Apart from that we busy planning our AD laboratory. Thanks to our partners at Bauhaus Universität Weimar in Germany (foremost Prof Eckhard Kraft and his team) we are well supported and are making good progress in this field.

For more information, hints or tips - especially if you are also located in South Africa - please contact Senta This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +27 72 6564 015.

We will keep you updated!
All the best - Tlhôla sentle - Lekker dag,
Senta

¯`·.. ><((((º>`·.Senta Berner .·¯`·.. ><((((º>`·..·¯
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North-West University
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Potchefstroom Campus, E4 Room 122
Private Bag X6001
Internal Box 375
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  • AquaVerde
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Re: Just getting started ... FSM-Research at NWU, Potchefstroom South Africa

Dear Senta-Anonymous,

For more information, hints or tips - especially if you are

;-)
interested on transparent exchange on your interesting subject - please
let us know a bit more information, hints or ... backgrounds about your self and the FSM-Research at NWU.

Thanks in advance and
Good Luck

Detlef

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  • SudhirPillay
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Re: Just getting started ... FSM-Research at NWU, Potchefstroom South Africa

Hi

I am Sudhir. I am managing this small portfolio of projects under the "Sanitation Research Fund for Africa" Project (Details can be found here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-fae...pit-emptying-updates ).

The research team in the North-West University is relatively new to the project. To add more value to grant from the BMGF, the WRC has made available additional funds from another section of the WRC, KSA3: Water and Wastewater Management. Two additional research teams from South Africa, North-West University and Rhodes University, have been added to the project portfolio. The overall purpose of the SRFA Project was to develop capacity for faecal sludge management in Africa - the WRC undertook the decision to develop local capacity in this part of South Africa also.

Both universities have a strong track record in water research but not specifically faecal sludge management. The Tklowe Municipality which is responsible for water and sanitation services in Potchefstroom had indicated a willingness to assist the research team from North-West University - they will add approximately USD 15,000 whilst the university itself will contribute a similar amount to the overall budget. As Senta also mentioned, Bauhaus Universität will also be involved in the project - much of the technology has already been demonstrated at pilot-scale by these partners - the design of the systems will come from these partners ( forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-mis...-battambang-Cambodia ). Mz. Senta Berner will be the managing the project for North-West University and several post-graduate students attached to the project. This was an excellent opportunity to develop capacity in both anaerobic technology and faecal sludge management in the North-West Province of South Africa. The same can be said of Rhodes University.

Kind Regards

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Water Research Commission, 4 Daventry Road, Lynnwood Bridge Office Park, Bloukrans Building, Pretoria.

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  • SeBer
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Re: Just getting started ... FSM-Research at NWU, Potchefstroom South Africa - MORE INFO

Hello,

thanks Sudhir for adding a bit of information :-)

Beginning of this year the Unit for Environmental Science and Management from North-West University, Potchefstroom (NWU-Potch)and Bauhaus Universitaet Weimar organized a workshop on "Sustainable sanitation and organic waste management" (SANO).
www.germansouthafrican-scienceyear.co.za/?id=690
There we came up with lots of great ideas...
Now we are very happy that we can follow-up some of these ideas in the FSM project funded within the scope of SRFA.
Thanks WRC and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation!!

Please read on for more information on the project, our objectives and aims...

The rather lengthy title of the project is:
Towards integrated sanitation and organic waste management – improving faecal sludge management on municipal level by upgrading local wastewater treatment plant with value-added processes (Example Tlokwe Local Municipality)

In short we look at integrated Faecal Sludge Management (iFSM) in the study area of Tlokwe Local Municipality, North West Province, South Africa.

Goals:
  • Research and capacity building on sludge management and anaerobic digestion at NWU and Tlokwe LM
  • Closing the gap and moving towards the implementation of iPotch (Integrated resource management in Potchefstroom /Tlokwe LM) as outlined in the Sano Workshop (March 2013)

Name of lead organization:
Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management at North-West University (NWU), Potchefstroom Campus
Primary contact at lead organization: Senta Berner
Grantee location: Potchefstroom, North West Province, South Africa
Start and end date: 30-Sept-2013 til 30-Dec-2013
Grant type: SRFA and co-funding from NWU and Tlokwe Local Municipality
Research and implementation partners:
Tlokwe Local Municipality
Chair of Water Management and Sanitation and Chair of Biotechnology in Resource Managementat at Bauhaus Universität Weimar, Germany


Background:

Despite the fact that various treatment options with value-added processes are already available, faecal sludge is mostly an untapped resource. This project will investigate options of value-added processes, focusing on those that require an anaerobic digestion stage, which will offer the broadest range of benefits: energy, heat and nutrients for fertilizer products. The guiding principle hereby is to improve FSM by integrating it in the existing technical infrastructure, human capital and social framework.


Objectives:

The overall objective for the proposed project is to establish a best practice example for sludge treatment at Tlokwe wastewater treatment plant which will be the first step of an integrated sanitation and organic waste management strategy. Hereby the main research question will be:
Under what circumstances is the upgrading of existing wastewater treatment infrastructure feasible so that faecal sludge and improved sludge management can be accommodated (what are the requirements for the added processes)?
The aim is to investigate parameters and their influence on feasibility and compile them and their economical implications within an EXCEL spreadsheet catalog.
Operable objectives of the proposed project are:
  • Reviewing faecal sludge management practices and policies in South Africa and in particular North-West Province
  • Reviewing available organic waste streams (e.g. faecal sludge from pit latrines, garden refuse) in Tlokwe Local Municipality
  • Reviewing potential beneficial uses of faecal sludge and respective tempering / treatment processes
  • Investigating feasibility of upgrading existing wastewater treatment infrastructure with value-added processes, in particular biogas utilization. This will include a cost-benefit analysis and development of a catalog of factors that influence feasibility.
  • Installing an anaerobic digestion process at the WWTP and if applicable modifying it to a mesophilic process
  • Setting up a laboratory to research co-digestion of various substrates
  • Utilizing the produced biogas to generate electricity and heat, if applicable
  • Identifying interfaces to other research areas, e.g. dry toilets, products from (biogas) process residues
The concept will be tailor-made for local conditions, taking social and cultural characteristics into account. Since a system approach is one of the guiding principles within this project, the identification of interfaces to other aspects of an integrated sanitation and waste management system will be a constant task throughout the project.



¯`·.. ><((((º>`·.Senta Berner .·¯`·.. ><((((º>`·..·¯
Dipl.-Ing. (Environmental Engineer)

North-West University
Unit for Environmental Science and Management
Potchefstroom Campus, E4 Room 122
Private Bag X6001
Internal Box 375
2520 Potchefstroom

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel. (Office) +27 18 299 2649
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  • christoph
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Re: Just getting started ... FSM-Research at NWU, Potchefstroom South Africa - MORE INFO

Hi Sudir and Senta,
sounds very intersting. We are working on a biogas promotion project in Brazil " Próbiogás" so I do see some parallels, even though we are more focused on general aspects for biogas production, one interesting line could be to have a fecal sludge treatment with biogás production.
Do you work with Jörg Londong form the Bauhaus Universität?
Reading through the poroject description I had some questions:
- what kind of WWTP do you have (sludge age)?
-how is the relation "fresh" sludge form the WWTP and fecal sludge and other organic waste?
- What do you mean with

respective tempering / treatment processes

?
You wrote

Installing an anaerobic digestion process at the WWTP and if applicable modifying it to a mesophilic process

Shouldn't it be thermophilic to get rid of parasits or how do you think of dealing with the helminth egg aspect?
- What do you think of using the heat for? a question we have aleys in Brazil and very decisive for the economic aspect of electricity production.

Sorry - many questions,but an intersting project provokes that. Hopefully some answers?

Yours
Christoph
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  • SeBer
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Re: Just getting started ... FSM-Research at NWU, Potchefstroom South Africa - MORE INFO

Hi Christoph,

Thanks for your questions, I try to answer as best as I can... we are just getting started and are mainly busy to get our basics straight, in particular the experimental set-up, so please bear with us :-)

Do you work with Jörg Londong form the Bauhaus Universität?

Yes indeed, Joerg together with Eckhard Kraft and their teams are helping us out.

- what kind of WWTP do you have (sludge age)?

the exact specifications are currently compiled by my colleague ...It's a regular AS (activated sludge) process with a sludge production of approx. 1200 m3/d (11600kg/d solids)

-how is the relation "fresh" sludge form the WWTP and fecal sludge?

That's something we will play with in our experimental set-up.

- What do you mean with respective tempering / treatment processes?

Nothing special: we will just give an overview of treatment processes that are currently applied in our region and their pros and cons / lessons learnt and see what could be applied in our study area.

Shouldnt it be thermophilic to get rid of parasits or how do you think of dealing with the helimnth egg aspect?

Our main objective here is to have a stable and robust process. That is easier to achieve with a mesophilic set-up. Depending on the utilization of our end product (e.g. rehabilitation of mining areas or fertilizer for vegetable farming) we will address pathogen inactivation. Currently sludge management at the WWTP foresees AD followed by composting which appears to be sufficient for helminth inactivation.

- What do you think of using the heat for? a question we have aleys in Brazil and very decisive for the economic aspect of electricity production.

Foremost produced heat and energy is supposed to reduce the energy footprint of the plant. No surprise there ;-) We will have a better idea, when we have our data compiled and can put some figures to our general ideas.

Sorry, that I couldn't give you more detailed answers. We are still at a rather vague stage, but things are happening and I will have more to say within the next weeks.
Cheers,
Senta

¯`·.. ><((((º>`·.Senta Berner .·¯`·.. ><((((º>`·..·¯
Dipl.-Ing. (Environmental Engineer)

North-West University
Unit for Environmental Science and Management
Potchefstroom Campus, E4 Room 122
Private Bag X6001
Internal Box 375
2520 Potchefstroom

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel. (Office) +27 18 299 2649
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  • SudhirPillay
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Re: Just getting started ... FSM-Research at NWU, Potchefstroom South Africa - MORE INFO

Hi Christoph

Senta's original proposal dealt with general aspects of biogas production and was looking at using co-digestion with different organic substrates. It was changed to place greater emphasis on anaerobic technology as a means for faecal sludge beneficiation - the project portfolio deals only with this topic. At the same time, it is understood that faecal sludge from is not best source for generating biogas.

Part of the study will look at characterisation study of faecal sludge in the area. Senta's team should give us indication of how fresh/old the sludge is. Part of this would probably include helminth enumeration. So we should get an idea of the helminth challenge in that area. The North West Province is drier than in the KZN province coastal belt where a lot of research has/and is currently being done on pathogens from faecal sludge. Senta's team should be able to provide us with a baseline for that study area. And I am sure she would cover this aspect for the digestion process. The Tlkowe municipality has a microbiologist who will do her MSc on the project, so we should be able to get these and other pathogen indicator analyses.

Physical Address:
Water Research Commission, 4 Daventry Road, Lynnwood Bridge Office Park, Bloukrans Building, Pretoria.

Postal Address:
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  • muench
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Re: Just getting started ... FSM-Research at NWU, Potchefstroom South Africa - MORE INFO

This conversation reminds me of a presentation I saw at the recent IWA conference:
It was about modelling the effect of adding faecal sludge to an activated sludge treatment plant.
Maybe it is not useful for you because they didn't consider anaerobic treatment, but simply co-treatment in the activated sludge plant.
But who knows maybe some aspects of their work are still useful, like the characterisation part for modelling purposes.
It's from Christine Hoijmanns at UNESCO-IHE:

Christine M. Hooijmans (UNESCO-IHE), B. Dangol, C.M. Lopez-Vazquez, M. Ronteltap, D. Brdjanovic: Assessing the Feasibility of Faecal Sludge Cotreatment in a Sewage Treatment Plant

www.susana.org/docs_ccbk/susana_download...tineke-hooijmans.pdf

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. I am proud to say that we (SuSanA secretariat, Laura Dadomo, and I) have already uploaded over 40 presentations and papers from said conference:
susana.org/lang-en/library/library?view=...eitem&type=2&id=1861
If you have a spare moment, take a quick browse, some interesting stuff in there!
My favourite ones are the presentations from India (I might post about them elsewhere on the forum in the future).

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

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  • AquaVerde
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Re: Just getting started ... FSM-Research at NWU, Potchefstroom South Africa - MORE INFO

FYI: POTENTIAL FOR SYNERGISM BY CO-TREATMENT OF MUNICIPAL AND INDUSTRIAL WASTEWATER
Application of anaerobic treatment for organically highly concentrated effluents by example of the wastewater treatment plant at Arnsberg-Neheim

Heinz Maus, Kai Thormeyer

Maybe this "Co-treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater" is helpful to your work:
www.envirowater.de/Contributions_2009/Se...50_Maus_Abstract.pdf
www.envirowater.de/Contributions_2009/Session5_14h50_Maus.pdf

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  • SeBer
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Re: Just getting started ... FSM-Research at NWU, Potchefstroom South Africa - MORE INFO

Elisabeth, Kai and Heinz thanks for the interesting reading...

¯`·.. ><((((º>`·.Senta Berner .·¯`·.. ><((((º>`·..·¯
Dipl.-Ing. (Environmental Engineer)

North-West University
Unit for Environmental Science and Management
Potchefstroom Campus, E4 Room 122
Private Bag X6001
Internal Box 375
2520 Potchefstroom

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel. (Office) +27 18 299 2649
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