SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Sun, 26 Apr 2015 19:26:08 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: SuSanA Network Analysis Survey RESULTS - by: AdamSaffer
I want to sincerely thank those who took the time last summer to complete the network analysis survey. I appreciate the time you gave to complete the survey that was a part of my PhD dissertation. I have now completed my dissertation and prepared a report for the SuSanA Secretariat.

Attached you will find the completed SuSanA Network Analysis Report. The attached report details the findings from the study and provides some recommendations. If you have any questions or would like further clarification/explanation about the study's findings, I am happy to set up a time to talk via Skype or via email. Here are some highlights from the report:

Overall Strength of SuSanA Network
  • SuSanA partners are selective with their relationships to other partners.
  • Partners are selective in the sense that not all partners in SuSanA will have an interest or need to have relationships with others.

Patterns of Relationships
  • Partners have a fair amount of diversity in their relationships with different types of SuSanA partners.
  • Partners have low diversity of relationships with partners in different economic zones. Few relationships exist among partners from different economic zones.

Quality of Relationships
  • SuSanA partners have strong levels of trust, cooperation and information exchange with one another.
  • When SuSanA partners use rich communication channels, the levels of trust, cooperation and information exchange are stronger.

Again, I am grateful for the support you and the SuSanA Secretariat provided for this study. I believe the study provides some valuable insights for organizing the collective knowledge of sustainable sanitation. Should you find these results insightful, I would be happy to discuss additional research opportunities with you and your organization.

Please contact me here:
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Twitter: @Dr_Saffer
Skype: Adam.Saffer
Phone: +1-919-962-3372]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Tue, 21 Apr 2015 14:28:11 +0000
Re: Sanitation in Cities (topic in journal Environment and Urbanization) - by: secretariat
you might know it from the newsletter, but the April 2015 issue of Environment and Urbanization on Sanitation and drainage in cities is now available online. It is not open access and the SuSanA secretariat has no arrangements in order to make it available.
However, some of the articles can be accessed for free here (the ones with the grey background are free of charge).

The articles available are:

Best regards,
Lasse (on behalf of the SuSanA secretariat)]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Mon, 20 Apr 2015 10:18:14 +0000
Sewage Treatment in India - by: F H Mughal Sewage Treatment in India

According to the The Daily WASH, Edition of 19 April 2015, in India, the environment ministry has decided to divert sewage from entering the water bodies. According to the special secretary of the environment ministry: “We are taking action so that no untreated sewage is released in water bodies or underground water. We are making collection, transportation, treatment and finally reuse of sewage mandatory. Reuse for all non-potable purposes like in industrial process, gardening, cleaning of railway tracks and irrigation. We are issuing notification for it. This is a major decision.”

As a person, familiar with this type of water pollution in Pakistan, and knowing fully well, how difficult it is in view of immense obstacles, this is, no doubt, a major, major decision. Full marks to the Indian environment ministry for taking this bold step.

In the Sindh province of Pakistan, municipal sewage treatment is almost negligible. Most industries here do not treat their wastewater. All untreated municipal and industrial wastewaters are discharged in the surface water bodies, including Indus River. We do have here the effluent discharge standards – on paper only.

The Indian environment ministry seems very serious, as the special secretary of the ministry says:
“Sewage is the main cause of water pollution. Sewage treatment can no longer be delayed for want of money. The time has come for it. The message was that if one state can do it, others can also do it. We have also prescribed standards for treated effluent of sewage—basically what should be the quality after treatment.”

While, there will be many problems, when undertaking this exercise, I wish the Indian environment ministry all the success in this bold initiative!

More details can be seen here:

F H Mughal]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Sun, 19 Apr 2015 17:12:49 +0000
Re: Sanitation in Cities (topic in journal Environment and Urbanization) - by: secretariat
thank you for pointing this out to us. The secretariat has currently no such arrangements with IIED. It is said on the website, that

The full text of all issues published (from Vol 1, No 1 in 1989) are on the web and accessible free of charge, except for the four most recent issues.

With two issues per year, the upcoming issue on Sanitation in Cities will be available free of charge by October 2017
However, as a couple of articles from each issue seem to be for free, we will let you know once the new issue is published.

Miscellaneous - any other topic Wed, 08 Apr 2015 10:19:46 +0000
Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: Kobbyus During a discussion on the sideline of the conference, a participant's comment was just similar to this question raised by Kai - that we continue to lament over climate variability forgetting that we (climate advocators)hop from one conference to the other aboard aeroplanes oblivious of our carbon footprints. Not long after, in a chat with another person, he indicated that the Dresden conference was his 3rd successive conference relative to climate change.
Is this an irony of the climate war being pursued? Kai's question is timely because I also began thinking about this after the conference. A food for thought!]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:11:35 +0000
Re: Odor Control in Sanitation Facilities - by: kevintayler
There is another aspect to the issue of smell, the effect on use or otherwise of on-site facilities. There was an interesting paper on this in the April 2013 edition of Waterlines. (See Rheinländer T, Keraita B, Konradsen Fm Samuelson H and Dalsgaard A (2013) Smell: an overlooked factor in sanitation promotion, Waterlines, Vol 32 No. 2, April, pp106 – 112, Practical Action Publishing, Rugby, UK). This gave examples of situations in which people were dissuaded from using on-site facilities, mainly direct-drop pit latrines, by bad smells.

I made notes on this issue and they are imported below:

Surveys conducted in rural Niger and Malawi showed that up to 25% of latrine owners perceived bad smell from human faeces to be a major disadvantage of installing a latrine near the home. (Grimason et al 2000, Diallo et al 2007).

Past and ongoing research in Ghana, a country where 57% of the population used public latrines, has shown that foul smell is perceived to be a major impediment to household latrine adoption (Van Der Geest 2007).

Research among disadvantaged ethnic minorities in Northern Vietnam, children in Scandinavia and schoolchildren in rural Senegal showed that stinking urinals and toilets were perceived as a major barrier preventing children from using school toilets (Lundblad and Hellstrom, 2005, Sidibe and Curtis 2007 and Xuan et al 2012).
Observations in Ghana and Vietnam also show that adults and children prefer alternatives to latrines, including open defecation sites, because of their ‘fresh air’, ‘natural ventilation’ and absence of bad smell (Xuan et al 2012).

The existence of bad smells from latrines is a major barrier to sanitation adoption across continents.

What are the reasons?

‘Although effects of smell have not been quantified and do not correspond with current biomedical germ theories, case studies have shown that latrine users tend to associate smell with health hazards’.

The paper quotes from Mary Douglas and Val Curtis to the effect that people are often more worried about social and aesthetic aspects of unpleasant smells than possible health dangers. The authors state that some users of public latrines in Ghana remove their outer clothes before entering the latrine to avoid smell ‘clinging to their clothes’ after using the facility.

In Vietnam, having one’s own pour-flush latrine was perceived as preventing social conflicts because these latrines could not smell and annoy neighbours (WSP-EAP 2002).
The authors state that the examples show that people feel strongly intimidated by smells from other people or shared latrines, while the smell from one’s own latrine is more socially accepted.
People adopt various strategies to reduce the impact of smells. These include siting pit latrines on the leeward side of households (only possible in fairly low density rural areas). In some places, households use naturally scented substances to neutralise smells. There is an increasing market for synthetic ‘smell chasers’ such as air fresheners and scented cleaning agents.

One technical response has been to provide tight fitting lids to cover the dropping hole, VIPs, which create circulation of air in through the hole and out through a vent pipe and so carry smells away from the interior of the latrine, use of urine diversion toilets, which are said to smell less. Other simple response include adding absorbent materials such as ash, shredded leaves and sawdust, on top of the faeces.

I think that most of these points were based on the paper itself but some may have been based on reading around it. Regardless of this, I agree with the conclusion of the paper's authors that smell is something that needs to be taken more seriously in future sanitation programmes.]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Mon, 30 Mar 2015 10:47:06 +0000
Re: Odor Control in Sanitation Facilities - by: Bhaskar
Have you considered growing Diatom Algae in the tanks as a solution.

Diatoms consume the nutrients in the sewage and produce oxygen, this prevents anoxic zones and reduces H2S generation.

Diatoms prevent other algae from growing.

Diatoms can be allowed to flow out with the treated sewage and they would benefit the receiving waters, unlike other algae which may harm the receiving waters.]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Wed, 25 Mar 2015 06:38:22 +0000
Odor Control in Sanitation Facilities - by: F H Mughal
Odor Control in Sanitation Facilities

Wastewater treatment plants do have the potential to emit odors, in spots or units, where anaerobic system is maintained. In fact, the most pronounced cause of odors in the wastewater treatment plants is the existence of septic (anaerobic) conditions, within the system.

Since, under anaerobic conditions, the microorganisms present in the wastewater have no dissolved oxygen available for respiration, this allows the sulfate-reducing bacteria to thrive. These bacteria utilize the sulfate ion that is naturally abundant in most waters, as an oxygen source for respiration. The result is the production of hydrogen sulfide gas, which has rotten egg-like odor.

Hydrogen sulfide gas has a low solubility in the wastewater, as such, due to its low solubility, it is released in the atmosphere. Hydrogen sulfide gas is also a potential source of corrosion. Other odorous compounds include mercaptans and ammonia.

When I designed the aerated lagoons wastewater treatment plant here in Karachi, in 1982, I was quite particular to ensure that no anxious zones were maintained in the system. In the pump house, in addition to the large-sized windows, I installed huge exhaust fans, to ensure the ventilation rates were good. Ventilation rates for enclosed areas are usually expressed by the number of air changes per hour (ACH), which is calculated as follows:

ACH = Exhaust air flow (cfm) x 60, divided by the enclosed volume (cu ft)

The American regulatory agency (probably, it is Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), if I’m not mistaken) prescribe ACH rate of 18. I ensured growth of trees on the side, where there was some habitation. I converted all left-over spaces in the plant into the green areas. I never got a complaint for odor from the neighbors.

As against these simple measures adopted by me, it was surprising to read a post in TPO Magazine of 19 March 2015, the odor control measures taken at the James River Treatment Plant in Virginia, USA.

The staff at the plant found ‘nocardia’ foam from the aeration tanks as the culprit. Decision was made to capture foul air under a cover system so it could be withdrawn and treated in a carbon system.

Various covers were considered. One plan involved covering a portion of the integrated fixed film activated sludge tanks with fixed concrete decks that would serve as both covers and mounting surfaces for the scrubbers. The other portion would be covered with retractable fabric covers that would provide convenient access to the tank internals. Plant workers needed to inspect aeration patterns, clean out anoxic sections and get inside the tanks, when required. These access requirements — along with the possibility of excessive loads that could be imposed on tank walls by concrete lids and scrubbers — led to the decision to design for an alternative scrubber location and cover the tanks entirely with retractable fabric covers instead. – For more details, please see the post.

The bottom line is: while the US is a resourced country, and can adopt costly measures for odor control, simple, cost-effective measures can be adopted for odor pollution control in the sanitation facilities.

F H Mughal]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:01:06 +0000
Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: Hector put their mouth where there money is and take a stance on the matter.]]> Miscellaneous - any other topic Mon, 23 Mar 2015 00:52:36 +0000 Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: KaiMikkel
To many of us feel like "What can I do?" when in reality its by each of us aligning our practices with our beliefs (and putting our money where our mouth is) that the possibility for change lies. Here's an alarming statistic: what we're doing isn't working and in fact its making things (far) worse. So, therefore, its time that we try something different.

The amazing thing is that we (particularly those us with disposable incomes and privilege; in other words, "consumers") are all change-makers - we just need to perceive and wield the power that our habits hold. For example, airplanes fly (and pollute) only because we keep buying their tickets. Water pollution persists only because we keep flushing toilets; because we keep buying toxic products; because we keep driving cars; because we keep buying foods sold to us by the agro-industrial complex, and so on. Industry is clearly the problem yet most of us are intrinsically culpable because we keep believing their advertising and buying into their hype.

So, indeed, where do we draw the line?]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Sat, 21 Mar 2015 23:49:49 +0000
Re: Air travel to conferences, site visits, etc. - by: Hector
Where does one draw the line?

Note by moderator (EvM):

The following is copied from the link to the Guardian Website given above:

Sign the petition

To Bill and Melinda Gates, founders of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Jeremy Farrar and Sir William Castell, director and chair of the Wellcome Trust:

Your organisations have made a huge contribution to human progress and equality by supporting scientific research and development projects. Yet your investments in fossil fuels are putting this progress at great risk, by undermining your long term ambitions.

Climate change poses a real threat to all of us, and it is morally and financially misguided to invest in companies dedicated to finding and burning more oil, gas and coal. Many philanthropic organisations are divesting their endowments from fossil fuels. We ask you to do the same: to commit now to divesting from the top 200 fossil fuel companies within five years and to immediately freeze any new investments in those companies.
Miscellaneous - any other topic Sat, 21 Mar 2015 22:38:45 +0000
Re: Information request on anal cleansing and water contamination - by: campbelldb

Is there any academic research that has been conducted that looks at levels of fecal contamination of surrounding environment due to anal cleansing.

Obviously if this is connected with open defecation then the point is moot because its all contaminating the environment but if you where to contain the feces but then anal cleanse into a drain that then went out to the surrounding environment is that still as bad from a contamination point of view as open defecation?

I think this could be an issue if you had a dry toilet in a washing culture and then the washing went to a drain and into the environment.

I’m trying to get a sense if containing feces but not containing anal cleansing could be considered a step up the sanitation ladder or not and if there is an research to back that up.


Many thanks,
Miscellaneous - any other topic Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:26:39 +0000
Re: Toilet map of India - by: jonpar Miscellaneous - any other topic Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:59:14 +0000 Sanitation in Cities (topic in journal Environment and Urbanization) - by: F H Mughal sanitation in cities.

I was wondering if the moderators of Susana make arrangements with IIED, so that whole journal on sanitation in cities in available on this forum.

F H Mughal]]>
Miscellaneous - any other topic Sun, 01 Mar 2015 16:18:17 +0000
Toilet of Solar Impulse's first Round-the-world Solar flight? - by: AquaVerde

How about its existing toilet on board in detail?
I am interested to see system used with pictures? Where the urine and faeces go? Do they remain on board?
Miscellaneous - any other topic Sun, 01 Mar 2015 13:08:50 +0000