when is a UDDT a bucket? (and eThekwini, Durban case)
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UDDT stands for urine diversion dehydration toilet. UD stands for urine diversion.

TOPIC: when is a UDDT a bucket? (and eThekwini, Durban case)

when is a UDDT a bucket? (and eThekwini, Durban case) 04 Mar 2013 10:10 #3704

  • joeturner
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muench wrote:


A note to Joe (Turner) (thank you, by the way, for all your interesting posts of late): you had written here that a UDDT toilet is nothing more than a bucket toilet: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/5-clts...dividual-rights#3538
This particular group has been offered UDDT which are basically buckets for reasons of cost.

This shocked me a bit - a UDDT has nothing in common with a "bucket toilet" (a term that is, by the way, highly politically charged in South Africa and in Namibia due to apartheid legacy where "white people had flush toilets and black people had bucket toilets" (even though it was of course not that clear cut)) - it makes all the difference whether urine is not diverted (resulting in a stinky mess!) or whether urine is diverted (and the faeces and toilet paper goes into a vault which may or may not have a bucket in the vault) - resulting in a dry, odourless toilet. (NB: I am happy to have this discussion but if we do, let's start a new thread for it. I think when you read this document you will clearly see how a UDDT cannot be called a "bucket toilet" and that it cannot be stamped as "inferior to a flush toilet" and hence as undesirable).



I think if you look at the link I gave, the toilets are described as urine diversion dry toilets. I'm not trying to say anything about UDDT in general, but clearly these people feel that they've been given buckets - as far as I can understand, they are urine diversion systems with feces which falls into a bucket and needs to be removed regularly (I think to collection points). I agree this is highly politically charged, as the newspaper article I linked to made clear.

I agree that there is a confusion of terms, but strictly speaking, a bucket where urine is diverted is still a urine diversion dry toilet. I'm sorry if I used the term in vain, but in this specific case, I think the think can accurately be described as a bucket toilet.

It would also be interesting to consider whether urine diversion (bucket) toilets are more or less effective than urine diversion (vault) toilets. Obviously it depends on what happens to the sludge in the bucket system, but I can't see that they're automatically worse than a UDDT as you've defined it.

The point I was trying to make is about the perception of users. People who are given things which are essentially buckets may well feel that they're being made to look inferior, particularly in places where 80% of people have flush toilets, and where there is a history of enforced inferiority. It seems to me that systems have to recognise that this is a real problem.
I don't work for anyone, I am a philosopher interested to think about how we think about WASH and sanitation. All thoughts are mine alone, I am responsible for any errors.

Previously trained and worked as a Soil Scientist and worked on projects composting sewage sludge.
Last Edit: 04 Mar 2013 10:15 by joeturner.

Re: when is a UDDT a bucket? 04 Mar 2013 10:41 #3706

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Also, if the eThekwini VIP toilets are UDDT (which I think they are, but am ready to be proven wrong), for practical purposes, the different types of UD toilets (bucket vs vault latrine) might be as bad as each other (assuming there is some safe way to empty both).

The users who have been offered the latter are perceiving the VIP UDDT as being superior when they might not actually be.

Incidentally, I was reading a report from eThekwini which described their VIP UDDTs as anaerobic digestors, which is interesting because I think most people think of them as being aerobic.

In fact, I think they're better understood as being both anaerobic and aerobic, which is part of their problem.
I don't work for anyone, I am a philosopher interested to think about how we think about WASH and sanitation. All thoughts are mine alone, I am responsible for any errors.

Previously trained and worked as a Soil Scientist and worked on projects composting sewage sludge.
Last Edit: 04 Mar 2013 10:47 by joeturner.

Re: when is a UDDT a bucket? 04 Mar 2013 11:31 #3711

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Perhaps we are just talking at cross-purposes. I'm defining a Urine Diversion Dry Toilet (as per Akvo) as any toilet reception system that diverts urine into seperate storage to feces outwith of a flush. Hence I don't see any contradiction in material from a urine diversion going into a bucket.

I can see how some might see this description as offensive if your understanding of a UDDT includes a specific type of latrine collection system. I'm sorry for not being clear, it wasn't obvious to me that the terms were understood so differently.
I don't work for anyone, I am a philosopher interested to think about how we think about WASH and sanitation. All thoughts are mine alone, I am responsible for any errors.

Previously trained and worked as a Soil Scientist and worked on projects composting sewage sludge.
Last Edit: 04 Mar 2013 11:31 by joeturner.

Re: when is a UDDT a bucket? 04 Mar 2013 12:34 #3714

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Joe,

of course it is a bit difficult to discuss about terminology, as terms are used in many different ways by different people, also there are a lot of different local names in use (as you rightly point out in another thread). Still for most technologies there is a generally more less agreed terminology in use among the international community. In particular, there are the terms defined by the Joint Monitoring Programme, that are used to qualify systems as "unimproved" or "improved" sanitation.

And there, a "bucket toilet" is a toilet that collects both feces and urine in a container and the stuff needs to be handled in its rather fresh state. A bucket toilet is generally considered as more problematic than a simple pit toilet (where the content does not necessarly need to be handled). Bucket toilet is in many places clearly considered as unimproved sanitation, and the JMP explictely does so. I definitely agree with Elisabeth that the term "bucket toilet" should not be used for UDDTs (even if there are buckets used inside the feces vault).

Another confusion of terms you used a couple of times is UDDT-VIP.
A VIP, Ventilated Improved Pit Latrine, is a Pit Latrine with some improvements (ventilation among others) so that it can be considered as improved sanitation (according to JMP definitions). Still it is a pit latrine, so clearly not a UDDT which always has some sort of constructed vault or container to collect and dry feces.

Best, Florian
Florian Klingel
Water and Sanitation Specialist at Skat Consulting Ltd.
Last Edit: 04 Mar 2013 14:16 by Florian.

Re: when is a UDDT a bucket? 04 Mar 2013 12:41 #3716

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Florian, I respect what you are saying, but you are not using the terms as others use them.

I totally understand that you're all using jargon, but I still don't think there is much commonality about how the terms are used. Many people say their VIPs are urine diversion dry toilets even if they do not fit the criteria for Urine Diversion Dry Toilets. eThekwini describe their toilets as VIPs. Are you saying that they cannot also be UDDTs?

I cannot see that it is generally accepted that VIP and UDDT are independent and exclusive terms.
I don't work for anyone, I am a philosopher interested to think about how we think about WASH and sanitation. All thoughts are mine alone, I am responsible for any errors.

Previously trained and worked as a Soil Scientist and worked on projects composting sewage sludge.
Last Edit: 04 Mar 2013 12:43 by joeturner.

Re: when is a UDDT a bucket? 04 Mar 2013 13:50 #3718

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joeturner wrote:
(...) it is generally accepted that VIP and UDDT are independent and exclusive terms.


I think exactly this. I still guess that there's some confusion here, eg. in eThekwini they have both VIP and UDDT, but not that it's the same thing. However, perhaps I've missed something... so could you give me a link or doc about this "UDDT-VIP"?

Best, Florian

PS: the (in my opinion) best systematic overview of sanitation systems, very helpful to be clear about terms and definitions, is Eawag's sanitation compendium: www.eawag.ch/forschung/sandec/publikatio...ompendium_e/index_EN
Florian Klingel
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Last Edit: 04 Mar 2013 14:12 by Florian.

Re: when is a UDDT a bucket? 04 Mar 2013 14:19 #3719

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I agree with Florian: nobody (in their right mind) is saying that a VIP = UDDT. I have never come across this. To start with, a VIP has a pit (= something leaching into the ground), whereas a UDDT does not. So they have nothing in common.

(One could imagine a UD-VIP if someone adds a urine diversion to the pit latrine, and then e.g. inflitrates the urine separately. The faeces would still be in the pit though, which is not closed at the bottom or sides. In this context, you might find these photos from Burkina Faso from Florian Erzinger interesting:
www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157625009287082/
Set title: Burkina Faso - adaptation of pit latrine to urine diversion.)

Much more often people speak (confusingly) of "ecosan toilet" = UDDT = composting toilet...

And yes, in Durban they have VIPs and UDDTs in the same geographical region so maybe you got confused there, Joe?

Here is something that we wrote in the UDDT technology review (download the document here: www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbk...mp;type=2&id=874) about different terms for UDDTs (I am happy to read your positive feedback about this document, Joe - made my day):

The term ‘urine-diverting’ is understood to be synonymous
with ‘urine diversion’ and ‘urine separation’. The ‘faeces
vault’ is alternatively referred to as a ‘faeces chamber’.

A variety of different names are currently used around the
world to denote UDDTs:
• The term ecosan toilet is often used for UDDTs, largely
because it provides a simple terminology for
communication at the grass-roots level. This term
implies that the user or community at large must reuse
their treated excreta in accordance with the broader
ecosan concept. However, we consider excreta reuse a
matter of user preference that is not necessarily
required for the sustainability of UDDTs. Furthermore,
the range of possible ecosan solutions is not limited to
UDDT technologies.
• In India and South America, UDDTs are often referred
to as composting latrines. The term is misleading,
however, as the treatment of faeces in UDDTs does not
include a substantial composting process.
• Some researchers in the USA use the phrase Double
vault urine diversion latrine (DVUD latrine) to describe
UDDTs with double dehydration vaults.
• The term Urine Diversion Toilet (UD-Toilet) is used in
the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality in South Africa,
which is home to the world’s highest number of UDDTs.
• In Spanish, the UDDT is widely known as Bano
Ecológical Seco. The term Toilette sèche avec
séparation d’urine is used in French speaking countries.
• Urine diversion dehydration toilet is another term used
by many people but strictly speaking it should only be
used for double vault systems.


(the Akvo website which Joe mentioned is built on the Eawag compendium which Florian mentioned; both of these are very good and useful (perhaps slightly too academic on the split between "user interface" and "toilet, storage & treatment"))

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Last Edit: 05 Mar 2013 13:57 by muench.
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Re: when is a UDDT a bucket? 04 Mar 2013 14:52 #3721

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I am very sorry, my mistake. I was reading various papers about the situation in Durban and assumed they were all talking about the same interventions. As you say, there are VIPs and (at least) two different kinds of urine diversion dry toilets.
I don't work for anyone, I am a philosopher interested to think about how we think about WASH and sanitation. All thoughts are mine alone, I am responsible for any errors.

Previously trained and worked as a Soil Scientist and worked on projects composting sewage sludge.

Re: when is a UDDT a bucket? 04 Mar 2013 15:00 #3722

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Having said that, maybe it is not only me that is confused:

Urine Diversion sanitation can be viewed as a three-step process dealing with human excreta: containment, sanitisation and recycling. The objective is to protect human health and the environment while reducing
the use of water in sanitation systems and recycling nutrients to help reduce the need for artificial fertilizers in agriculture (Winblad et al., 2004). The process requires the separation of the urine and faeces at source. The solid faecal matter is collected in a vault where it dehydrates, wood ash or soil and ash is often added to assist in the dehydration and composting process (Morgan, 2005). These systems also come in the form of buckets and pit.

Amongst these, the eThekwini Metro in South Africa uses a hybrid version which is a cross between both dry systems and can be called the Alternative Twin Pit Urine Diversion VIP.


from this report by the SA Water Research Commission.

Am I allowed to admit to being properly confused now?
I don't work for anyone, I am a philosopher interested to think about how we think about WASH and sanitation. All thoughts are mine alone, I am responsible for any errors.

Previously trained and worked as a Soil Scientist and worked on projects composting sewage sludge.
Last Edit: 04 Mar 2013 15:02 by joeturner.

Re: when is a UDDT a bucket? 04 Mar 2013 15:34 #3723

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The Durban design should be described as an alternating twin pit UDDT because two vaults are used, though not in parallel. These photos and the drawing might help.
Attachments:
Regards

Dave
Last Edit: 04 Mar 2013 15:58 by muench.

Re: when is a UDDT a bucket? 04 Mar 2013 15:36 #3724

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Thanks Dave. Not a VIP at all then..
I don't work for anyone, I am a philosopher interested to think about how we think about WASH and sanitation. All thoughts are mine alone, I am responsible for any errors.

Previously trained and worked as a Soil Scientist and worked on projects composting sewage sludge.
Last Edit: 04 Mar 2013 15:58 by muench.

Re: when is a UDDT a bucket? 04 Mar 2013 15:49 #3725

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These photos show the typical UDDT design commonly used in Durban.

I am not sure what is meant by this hybrid version "Alternative Twin Pit Urine Diversion VIP" metionned in the report you linked, Joe. The report does not talk about it. The guys in Durban developed and tested a lot of things, possible that they experimented with a Urine diversion VIP, but I don't think it got into wider use there...

But confusing, yes.
Florian Klingel
Water and Sanitation Specialist at Skat Consulting Ltd.
Last Edit: 04 Mar 2013 15:50 by Florian.
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