SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:17:29 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators - by: muchie
Thank you so much for this information. It will really make an impact on my studies

Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:55:26 +0000
Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators - by: SKATAOL I want to support Arno's view on having a more holistic look if you want to assess the sustainability of a sanitation system such as VIP. The Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) provides you with a tested tool which includes not only technical but also the "other" sustainability related indicators, including those relevant for the scaling up of a technology. You find relevant documents incl. case studies of TAF application on VIP toilets on Recently the TAF was used to improve the technical performance of the Biofil toilet in Ghana. In Ghana TREND and KNUST (Dr. Kwabena Nyarko or Dr. Richard Buamah) were involved in the technical part of the TAF work in Ghana. Maybe you can find more data there. Best regards and success André]]> Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Tue, 30 Sep 2014 08:04:39 +0000 Re: Water Safety and Secuirty Planning - by: JKMakowka
Have you looked at the rich documentation on WHO Water Safety Plans though?

This topic might also be helpful:]]>
Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:15:39 +0000
Water Safety and Security Planning - by: Godwin Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Tue, 30 Sep 2014 03:51:41 +0000 Re: Do you know about wastewater disposal in deep wells in US? - by: canaday
I just want to summarize the important USGS study that Keith cited. (The USGS is the Geological Survey of the United States Government.) Here is the actual paper:

They tested for 110 different pharmaceuticals in a stream in Iowa (Midwest USA) that consisted of 71-99% treated municipal wastewater (via Activated Sludge, which cannot effectively eliminate pharmaceuticals). They found up to 61 kinds of pharmaceuticals in the stream and up to 18 of these in the groundwater 20 meters away from the stream, with highest concentrations for fexofenadine, an antihistamine pharmaceutical. They also found antivirals, antibiotics, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, tranquilizers, caffeine and nicotine, as well as medications for treating cancer, diabetes, and hypertension, in this groundwater.

This is very important because the guidelines we apply for locating septic tanks and drainfields tend to say to stay at least 16 meters away from streams and wells, but these results show that these pharmaceuticals can travel farther than that through the soil, especially if they are pushed forward with so much water. (For this reason, the small amounts of leachate from UDDTs and ArborLoos, and the urine dispersed in the soil, well above the water table, are of much, much less concern. )

Why should we force our drugs on many of the world's other species?

If you find this important, please click on the button "I like this post" * (below this on the actual thread, not the e-mail digest). (This plea is especially aimed at the large number of silent members of the Forum, since we would like to hear from you, know how to best serve you, and involve you more.)

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

* Only visible after logging in (note by moderator)]]>
Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:17:01 +0000
Re: Do you know about wastewater disposal in deep wells in US? - by: KeithBell deep well injection of municipal wastewater here in Florida and it's quite controversial as it likely contaminates aquifers.
In South Florida, 20 of the nation's most stringently regulated disposal wells failed in the early 1990s, releasing partly treated sewage into aquifers that may one day be needed to supply Miami's drinking water.

Fraught with risk:

Migration of wastewater into aquifers:

As a side note, USGS just released a new study about pharmaceuticals in wastewater begging the question yet again of why on Earth are we mixing waste with water? Water-based sanitation is a disgrace to Earth. In my view, it does not qualify as "sustainable sanitation." In other words, it's time to stop shitting in water™. Here's the USGS press release:]]>
Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:14:15 +0000
Re: Do you know about wastewater disposal in deep wells in US? - by: Carol McCreary
On the one hand, it refers to everything that may enter a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP): human waste from toilets, greywater from kitchens and bathing, effluents from industry and manufacturing, which may include a range of toxins, stormwater runoff that includes petroleum and road surfacing products, etc.

On the other hand, wastewater can also mean any solid or liquid or gaseous leftovers or residues from any process of industry or extraction which are intentionally transported or unintentionally carried away in water or another liquid. Could range from toxic effluents from mining to the contents of holding tanks of 4000 passenger cruise ships which are typically emptied as little as 3 nautical miles (5.6 km) off land.

Can we find terms more accurate and less euphemistic than "wastewater"? We know what water is. Non-differentiated "waste" remains the problem.]]>
Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:34:33 +0000
Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators - by: arno Would be helpful to know at what organisation you are doing this work. From your profile I can see you are in Harare? If you are there I encourage you to contact the world's most accomplished expert on VIPs and dry toilets, Dr. Peter Morgan. It will be useful to read some of the many relevant reports on and For sustainability indicators you need to go beyond just engineering but to social and cultural parameters too, such as affordability and acceptability. And then there is the systems component of what happens with the contents of the toilet, containment, transport, treatment, reuse, etc.

Best wishes.]]>
Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:43:29 +0000
Re: Ecosan - what is it really? And what is the problem with ecosan? Is there a problem? - by: KaiMikkel
Its my assertion that all of these visible attributes serve to normalize any given social practice. My analogy of curbside recycling of consumer packaging points to this as well. Widely disseminated and brightly colored plastic bins emblazoned with the recycling triangle go a long way towards normalizing and stimulating the practice of recycling. Of course, it's not all that's needed but I would argue that its an essential component. Maybe this is why so many rural Westerners who lack door-to-door pickup go out of their way to purchase specially labeled bins (rather than make use whatever they already have laying around) to contain the recyclables that they then transport to the regional MRF (Materials Recycling Facility).

As for the fact that talking about urine and/or feces is not nearly as acceptable as discussing bicycles, you're exactly right. But its not like this is something we can't overcome. Like anything its just a matter of education. As you point out, the now permanent and very popular sustainable/ecological toilet installations at venues like Glastonbury are no doubt working well to educate festival goers about sustainable sanitation solutions. We just need to take it to the next level. And I would almost argue that the fact that we haven't typically talked about this stuff is more the hurdle than what it is we're talking about. For instance, until relatively recently we never talked about recycling or controversial issues like family planing or homosexuality. But now these are fairly common conversational topics. Put another way, we can sell people pet rocks so we can certainly sell them sustainable sanitation! Its just a matter of finding people willing to promote these technologies widely in the West (something that is starting to happen).

Examples in the USA like Eugene, Oregon, serve as beacons in showing us what is possible as far as promoting sustainable sanitation in the West is concerned. Similarly, the work already well underway in Sweden and elsewhere in the E.U. is also inspirational because it further proves that our fellow Westerners are not immune to adaptation. But again, we just need to take this much much further.]]>
Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:04:45 +0000
Sanitation Sustainability Indicators - by: muchie
My research focus is on evaluating sustainability performance of sanitation systems in Zimbabwe. While research of this nature is usually based on assessing indicators either qualitatively and quantitatively or both, I am having challenges to get quantitative data for systems such as VIP and pit latrines. As someone doing research in an engineering faculty, expectations are that I do physical measurements for the indicators. My question is; is there literature out there on technical and environmental performance of dry sanitation systems. Secondly is it enough to use data based on literature findings only without doing any physical tests of parameters like COD, BOD, N&P. Help will be greatly appreciated]]>
Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:08:13 +0000
Re: Ecosan - what is it really? And what is the problem with ecosan? Is there a problem? - by: ben
Thanks for this very nice topic, bringing us far from the manichean views good ecosan Vs bad sewerwebs.

If I can add some rather personal spiritual view of Ecosan (I like joe's self definitionas "shit philosopher"). For me Ecosan means that we find a system that is giving us the feeling that we are part of an ecosystem.

I don't know if other parents felt the same but from my personal experience giving birth (rather witnessing it) was a huge shift from "we, human, are a so superior specie" to "we are just a smarter kind of apes". And many people asked me "What ?! You plan to re-use human shit" and I love to see their reaction when I answer them "because you think your shit is different from other mammals, that somehow it can't be treated and re-use the same way by nature ?". Obviously it can't because different mammals' feces affect the other species diferently, but I hope you got my point. When you defecate in a dry toilets and when you witness the safe re-use of it, there's a big mental shift operated on the place we consider ourself in our environment : Ecosan is not only about technic but I believe as well about a sensation and a perception of ourselves, human, in this planet.

I'm talking about because, through my company Ecosec, this is one of our raising awerness line : Dry toilet makes users actors, it changes citizens from poluteur to environmental activist, this is why it is a much more powerfull message than a flyer or a documentary on water scarcity.

Hope one day this line could be added to the ecosan definition.

Whishing you all a good day,

Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:41:46 +0000
Re: Ecosan - what is it really? And what is the problem with ecosan? Is there a problem? - by: muench Kris: OK, then it's clear. Hopefully one day the comform level of toilets will no longer be judged only based on how much water they use (the more water, the more "comfortable" and therefore the better) but in terms of overall functionality – and if they are fit for purpose (and lack of smell; that's still key).

Kai: If we try to take the bike lane analogy further (I am still not sure if the analogy works) then there must have been lots of lobbying in the background for the bike lanes in cities in the USA before these bike lanes did appear (and lobbying to keep them in place, see current controversy about scrapping of some bike lanes in Toronto!). Netherlands was the "easy", exceptional case as it's so flat there that it's so easy to cycle...(or perhaps they also had exceptional municipal planners with great foresight?!).

However, maybe one difference is that the benefits of cycling are easier to communicate and hence it's easier to lobby for it than the benefits of a dry excreta management system. E.g. There is no shame attached with talking about cycling compared to the shame when talking about toilets and excreta.

In any case, political will (and pressuring from lobby groups) is crucial in both cases to make a change in established infrastructure setups.

But I think there are signs that things are moving in the right direction:

Take the example of composting: once the operators of commercial composting plants are willing/able to also process faecal matter (alongside the garden waste and kitchen waste that is already being processed), then this will open up another piece of missing infrastructure for dry toilets.
(see on the forum here: and In the case of mobile toilets at festivals there seems to be a trend (unless it is just my skewed perception from reading too much on this forum?) to move away from chemical toilets to composting toilets. And that’s in developed countries. So this could be a good start.

Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Fri, 19 Sep 2014 07:31:57 +0000
Re: Ecosan - what is it really? And what is the problem with ecosan? Is there a problem? - by: KaiMikkel [Start of Page 4 of the discussion]

Elisabeth - In response to your question (and although slightly off topic) numerous well respected and oft cited studies worldwide have shown what happens when bicycling infrastructure is first brought to a community. Here's just one that I'm familiar with, (this one is focused on the US urban cycling mecca that is Portland, Oregon):


Of course the most obvious example is the Netherlands:

But not to be overlooked are the outstanding results of ciclovias in Latin America (and now elsewhere too) like the one that takes place weekly in the city of Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico:

[Disclaimer: I have direct ties to the production of this particular film.]

Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:48:53 +0000
Re: Is there too much focus on ecosan in the SuSanA discussion forum? - by: KaiMikkel
So am I still confused?

Perhaps it would be easier to describe various systems to you and to then have you (and by extension SIANI) weigh in on which sanitation 'camp' you would place them in. Therefore, if you had to pick just one term - choosing between "ecological sanitation" or "sustainable sanitation" or "both" or "neither" - to describe the following systems which one would it be?

1. Decentralized system in a rural, peri-urban or urban area without access to typical Western system comprised of either decentralized and pressurized or centralized and pressurized water delivery, sewers and/or septic tanks but instead relying on rainwater harvesting and storage, onsite greywater systems, a mix of waterless UDDT's and conventional composting toilets, backyard processing and/or curbside (door-to-door) pickup of urine and desiccated feces, backyard and/or centralized processing center (for ageing urine and composting feces) and application of these materials onto farmland where crops are grown for the consumption of livestock and/or humans.

2. Braunchsweig.

3. Typical western municipal installation of centralized and pressurized water delivery, flush toilets, sewers, activated sludge wastewater treatment plants, collected sludge applied to farmland, effluent directed into nearby river or lake.

4. The same as #3 above except sludge is landfilled.

5. The same as #3 above except sludge processed in a bioreactor/anaerobic digestor to produce electricity, byproduct then applied to agricultural land.

6. The same as #3 above except all or some of the effluent is piped onto a tree farm and the sludge is incinerated (and the resulting fly ash is landfilled or used in the production of cement).

7. The same as #5 above except byproduct is landfilled.

8. System of centralized and pressurized water delivery, flush toilets, and sewers where sewers lead to a so-called "living machine" that uses various various flora and fauna to process wastewater into high quality treated water which is then released into a nearby body of water. The excess biomass generated is either composted and then applied to open land or utilized as a feedstock for an anaerobic digestor (the byproduct then being either applied to land or landfilled depending on its toxicity).

I hope its OK that I may have to follow up your response with a "why"; to ask you "why" you selected one term over the others. Maybe you can include your "why" if you think it might be controversial and/or unclear?

Thanks! ]]>
Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:31:28 +0000
Re: Ecosan - what is it really? And what is the problem with ecosan? Is there a problem? - by: JKMakowka muench wrote:

Kris: I didn't fully understand your statement:
Thus at least as far as my line of work is concerned, only a as convenient to use design stands a chance in the longer run.

Would you say a UDDT is convenient enough to use or would you say that only flush toilets are convenient enough to use to "stand a chance in the longer run"? Isn't the eThekwini case living proof that a large scale UDDT system can work? Or would you say only in South Africa, not in Uganda, because the municiaplity is in better shape in Durban than elsewhere?

It was a pretty much off-topic remark, that we need to avoid a situation where UDDTs are seen as a step below flush-toilets on the so called sanitation ladder as otherwise they will be replaced sooner or later.]]>
Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:41:22 +0000