SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Mon, 30 Mar 2015 04:26:05 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: Introducing x-runner mobile system - by: muench
You mentioned that you now use the Separett toilets from Sweden. That's a great product (I have one at my house since 2008 - love it!) but isn't it a bit expensive for this purpose though? From memory, the price for one Separett toilet is 750 Eur, or maybe it has come down by now. Did you go for a more basic version and at what price do you get them? How many have you bought from them?

Also, I would like to know if you have plans for large-scale upscaling (and I mean in the order of 100,000s toilet) in years to come? If yes, how do you plan to do that and are you working with the local government or the water utilities in Peru? Without involvement of local government, I see little possibility for large-scale upscaling of sanitation projects.

See also my criticisms or musings here about NGO-led sanitation projects with container-based toilets (the Clean Team in Ghana has a similar solution to yours):

As I said in the other thread, small projects which are essentially philantropic projects also have their place, don't get me wrong. I assume your funding comes from philantrophic sources at present? But even better are of course those that have the potential to reach a great number of people without relying on donors in the longer term.

I am curious to hear your thoughts on this.

Kind regards,
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Tue, 17 Mar 2015 09:47:44 +0000
Re: Mobile toilet in Ghana (WSUP), the Clean Team (and faecal sludge management) - by: muench Here are some further thoughts about the issues regarding scaling up from a small pilot project or from an NGO-led project. They are not specific to the Clean Team project in Ghana - so if the discussion develops further we could also move this into a separate thread.

About Alison's point: you are right that "having resource recovery doesn't define a sucessful, scalable system". But I would say it the other way around: "if you don't have resource recovery then it is even harder to turn it into a successful, scalable system that recovers at least part of the operating costs".

This is precisely the reason why Sanergy, SOIL and now also eEthekwini are looking at ways to generate a product (or even several) from their sanitation system that can be sold:

There was actually an interesting presentation in Hanoi at the FSM3 conferece about upscaling, I copy from their last slide:
  • Lesson 2: Overcoming the scaling paradox needs to build better capabilities for replication, growth, and improvements (How can we better replicate, grow, and improve sanitation businesses?)
  • Lesson 3: Overcome the scaling paradox requires capabilities to manage increasingly complex business models (How can we manage complex sanitation business models?)

See: Scaling-up sanitation businesses in low- and middle-income countries: Heiko Gebauer, Eawag, Duebendorf, Switzerland

They also held a workshop on the same topic, see presentations here:

Details of the workshop:

Scaling-up sanitation businesses in low- and middle-income countries (Thursday 22 January, 09.00 – 17.00)

Organisations involved: re.source, Loowatt, WASAZA/BORDA, GOAL and Eawag

Lead organizer: Eawag

Names of workshop co-facilitators: Kory Russell (Re.Source), Virginia Gardiner (LOOWATT), Christopher Kellner (WASAZA/BORDA), Niall Boot (GOAL), Heiko Gebauer (Eawag)

The workshop considers sanitation as a business. In the workshop, we discuss various aspects for optimizing sanitation businesses. We discuss cartidge-based systems, transfer stations, and decentralized treatment options. We develop business scenarios for moving from a pilot study to a city scale implementation. The workshop will be interactive and we want participants to contribute actively to the discussion.

Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Fri, 13 Mar 2015 12:31:23 +0000
Re: Mobile toilet in Ghana (WSUP), the Clean Team (and faecal sludge management) - by: muench
Thanks for your post, it is great to hear from you directly and to get these clarifications. As you can see in this thread in previous posts, we have discussed the blue liquid that Clean Team was using in Ghana at quite some length in the past. Therefore, I am not that surprised, but happy to hear, that your results have shown it to be not the right way forward. This splashing issue was also something that I had wondered about. When I spoke to Alison about the blue liquid in January in Hanoi and when I wrote my post a couple of days ago, I didn't know yet that the blue liquid had been abandoned.

My statement about the difficulty of scaling up was partly based on the issue with the blue liquid (for me it just seemed like an additional operating expense which made the treatment process downstream harder and destroyed any option for resource recovery that should normally exist with these container-based solutions, or cartridge-based solutions as they appear to be called as now).

The other reason why I stated that there could be difficulties with scaling up are not specific to your project but apply to all projects that use such container-based solutions and that are NGO-led with philantrophic funds. I think all the other really interesting pilot projects, be it SOIL in Haiti, Sanergy in Kenya, X-runner in Peru, MoSan in Kenya (and I do admire all of them!), have a major problem for scaling up ahead of them.

One structural problem I see is the lack of local government involvement, as well as the difficulty to "wean people off" getting a free or highly subsidised service to a service where they have to pay or pay more (this of course opens up the whole discussion about subsidies).

I have written about that here in this thread called "Where is the local government involvement in faecal sludge management and sanitation for the urban poor?":

it was also raised again recently in this thread:
"Overview on service models or fecal sludge emptying and treatment for dense urban areas …….wanted"

So my scepticism was not specifically directed at your project only but towards the general approach of such container-based solutions led by NGOs. I hope you don't feel offended as this was not at all my intention.

The other way of looking at this argument is this: If the local government is failing its people (for various reasons), and if I have philantrophic money available to do something then even providing a service to just 100, 1000 or even 5000 people is already a good thing, helping at least these people. Even a single child's death from diarrhoea prevented is surely a good thing. So even if a project didn't have the potential to scale up, it could still be a very worthwhile project.

I have some more thoughts about scaling-up but I will put them in a separate thread in case we decide to move this part of the discussion - which is not specific to the Clean Team project in Ghana - to a new thread.

You have probably developed some strategies on how you want to scale this up in Ghana. I would be very interested to hear about your strategies if you are happy to share them.


P.S. Alison: I am planning to attend the WEDC conference in July in the UK, so I will make sure that I will attend your presentation again ("oh no!" I hear you say )]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Fri, 13 Mar 2015 12:24:35 +0000
Re: Mobile toilet in Ghana (WSUP), the Clean Team (and faecal sludge management) - by: AParker
I would totally agree with Andy and disagree with Elisabeth on the potential for scale up. One specific point is the potential for resource recovery. Actually with the Sistema Biobolsa system we will generate and collect biogas. We are also looking into another way to recover ammonia form the waste.

I also don't think that having resource recovery defines a successful, scalable system. But that is a debate for another thread, I think!

A couple of points of information. Since the presentation in Hanoi we have decided not to move forwards with the Biofil trials. We are looking for another technology to treat the sludge that will be generated by the Biorock system, and considering using the modified drying beds that Chris Rose also presented at FSM3:

I was also delighted to learn that we have a paper accepted at the WEDC Conference in July on this topic so any interested parties can hear an update then! Although of course feel free to ask any questions about the research in the meantime.]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Wed, 11 Mar 2015 11:51:45 +0000
Re: Mobile toilet in Ghana (WSUP), the Clean Team (and faecal sludge management) - by: ajnarracott Thanks for sharing. I wanted to add a few things:

  • The blue toilet additive was what we started with to deliver an exception toilet experience that people would want to pay for. After months of using it and collecting and analysing various data (cost to import, health and safety implications, price elasticity of service, treatment limitations, etc, etc.) it looks like the chemical won't work long term. Clean Team has been doing various trials with existing customers of a dry toilet (with sawdust) and the feedback is positive. Interestingly customers don't like the 'splash back' that the chemical toilet gives, especially for Muslims who have to have a full wash afterwards before prayers.
  • urine is collected in a bottle by the user and disposed of in the drain along with grey water, or goes straight out into the drain with wash water
  • This is work in progress so please refrain from casting judgement on whether this will 'scale up'. Its a continual process of trial and iteration with philanthropic funds within a reasonable time frame to arrive at a financially sustainable model.

Best wishes, Andy]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Wed, 11 Mar 2015 08:36:38 +0000
Re: Mobile toilet in Ghana (WSUP), the Clean Team (and faecal sludge management) - by: muench
Her presentation was entitled:
Testing Decentralised Treatment Solutions for Portable Home Toilet Waste in Kumasi, Ghana: Alison Parker, Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University, Cranfield, United Kingdom
(I also attach it below)

I attended the presentation and here are some key points from it:

They are going to pilot three different treatment methods for dealing with the mixture of faeces and blue liquid (and toilet paper, I think?):

  1. Sistema Biobolsa: 100L/day → 1000L/day Clean Team waste
  2. Biorock: 50L/day Clean Team waste → 2 day retention time (standard for a septic tank)
  3. Biofil: receiving sludge from Biorock

• Liquid and solid samples collected daily and tested for:
– pH
– Alkalinity
– ammonia concentration
– Chemical Oxygen Demand
– Temperature
– Turbidity
– presence of blue dye in final effluents (using a spectrophotometer)

The pilot plants are currently being installed, expect results later in the year.

About the blue liquid which we had discussed quite a bit in this thread previously:
This is what it looks like (photo from her presentation):

It is a biocide and is meant to kill pathogens in the toilet (to some extent) and also reduce/mask any odours.
Apparently the customers like the blue liquid very much and are basically "demanding" it now - one couldn't get away with a mobile toilet without one in Ghana (Kumasi), we were told.

Whilst it is a biocide it is meant to be biodegradable. How it will behave in the biological treatment units that will be tested is anyone's guess. Hopefully it would not inhibit the process too much.

I am actually not too sure what happens to the urine. It is diverted if I understood right but not collected but infiltrated - right?

Please correct me if I got anything wrong.

Personally, I have the feeling that this system will not be easily scaled up and that it will remain something that works (only) when there is considerable NGO support and external funding. Due to the blue liquid, I see very little to no scope for resource recovery in a meaningful way.

Am happy to be proven wrong of course.

Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Tue, 10 Mar 2015 20:46:53 +0000
Re: Introducing x-runner mobile system - by: Jessixr
I would like to share with you our latest impact report:
Feel free to share it!

Please be aware that some of the numbers are already outdated. Regarding customer numbers. We are right now at 150 households. Our aim is to grow to 550 this year - we had to shift this goal from 2014 to 2015 since our production was stalled for months due to some unfortunate incidents with our Peruvian producers. We are now importing Separett toilets from Sweden.
Also, feel free to sign up to our Newsletter]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Fri, 13 Feb 2015 13:43:31 +0000
Grant funding from the Canadian Government’s Grand Challenge to Peepoople Kenya - by: martinanee Grand Challenges Canada, which is funded by the Canadian Government, has selected the Peepoo project in Kenya as a part of their programme of “Bold Ideas with Big Impact in Global Health”. The focus of the programme is ”Saving Every Woman, Every Child”. Peepoople Kenya has received funds to conduct a health impact study over 18 months with the aim to analyse the health impact of Peepoo when introduced in slum schools in Kibera, Nairobi. 3000 children in schools around Kibera slum will participate in the study and the health response will be monitored through questionnaires and stool samples.

Through the “Muskoka Initiative” agreed at the G8 meeting in 2010, Canada assumed a leading role in promoting the health of women and children in developing countries. In May of this year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper convened ‘Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach’, a high-level summit on maternal, newborn and child health. Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer at Grand Challenges Canada, noted: “More and more children can celebrate their fifth birthday as a result of Canada’s commitment and leadership. Through supporting these innovative projects, we are further strengthening the global pipeline of maternal, newborn and child health innovations.”]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:21:06 +0000
Re: Introducing x-runner mobile system - by: denniskl
is there an update on your toilet rollouts on SuSana somewhere other than this thread?

Would be keen to see what numbers you reached (and are planning on reaching) and whether you found any better alternative to the fibreglass option?

I see a lot of pilots with 20, 30 or 50 toilets, but very few with numbers in the thousands - is that a function of funding or models (and scalability?)]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Sun, 07 Dec 2014 09:01:02 +0000
Re: Improve hygiene and sanitation by installing free mobile toilets in urban slam areas of Kampala district. - by: denniskl
If sanitation is "sold" as a valuable service, people will pay (as they do for their air time)]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Sun, 07 Dec 2014 06:17:55 +0000
Re: New Photos from SOIL's work in Haiti (social business model with mobile UDDTs, composting and reuse) - by: SOILHaiti
The toilet models SOIL uses continue to evolve in an iterative process that incorporates consideration of user feedback, maintenance needs, and cost at every point. The EkoLakay toilet model that we’re currently using costs us less than $50 USD to construct (built by local contractors out of locally available materials) and has received high reviews for appearance, ease of use, and ease of maintenance. Ultimately as an organization we’re agnostic about the design as long as it’s low cost, beautiful (aspirational), and user approved.

An inside look at one of SOIL's popular wooden toilet models:
A side view of a SOIL EcoSan toilet. The bucket collects solid wastes and the container on the left collects urine from the urine diversion funnel. by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Fri, 05 Dec 2014 19:07:58 +0000
New Photos from SOIL's work in Haiti (social business model with mobile UDDTs, composting and reuse) - by: SOILHaiti or check the samples below. Learn more about SOIL's work at and on social media @SOILHaiti.

Thanks for your support!
Leah, SOIL Development Director, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

New SOIL EkoLakay toilets are being built every day by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

A SOIL EkoLakay customer in her home by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

A SOIL EkoMobil toilet by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

The SOIL Poopmobile collecting drums of waste from SOIL toilets throughout Port-au-Prince Haiti Photo credit: Ricardo Venegas by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

Compost for sale! Photo credit: Vic Hinterlang by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

See the full album at]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:43:13 +0000
Re: re.source: Mobile Sanitation Services for Dense Urban Slums - by: stilmans
At Elisabeth's suggestion, I wanted to provide a brief update on what we at re.source are working on.

We have some more funding including from the U.S. EPA, and continue to help advise SOIL and others on household container-based sanitation. We initially did more work on our toilet design, aiming for a mass producible design. We have since concluded that between MoSan and xrunner's latest partnership with separett, there is enough effort on this aspect and we are more focused on software, logistics, and the business model.

We also are excited about locally-produced toilets. The models that SOIL continues to develop after our joint pilot are great. The wooden models are vulnerable exposure to moisture and urine, but this can be worked around. In the original units we deployed, we had a liner on the inside from recycled plastic tarp to protect the toilet from urine. SOIL's ferrocement model of course is less prone to this challenge, but is also less portable. Ultimately, we are very excited that SOIL and others groups including Sanivation are diversifying the range of dry toilet models available to users.]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Tue, 02 Dec 2014 22:23:36 +0000
Re: Piloting mobile sanitation with full service provision (MoSan, now in Kenya) - by: MichaelCarr REQUEST FOR INFORMATION REGARDING MASS PRODUCING A TOILET IN PLASTIC

Hi Mona:
I have designed a new type of UDDT – and created a prototype in fibreglass. It is a simple design with no mechanical parts except for toilet seat hinges. I posted it
in workgroup 4 and had some very positive replies, with potential for field trials
in India and full production. My plan is to go into full production worldwide to
meet global demand. My plan is to sell production rights under license, after field trials.

I would like to find out the following and wonder if you could help me?

•The price for each separate part for production – and the total cost for finished product ie; one UDDT complete
• The tooling up costs for each part. Can you do the tooling up?
• How long it would take to tool up & would you require me to do the autoCAD
• Which type of plastic to be used for a quality product (recycled if possible)
• Outputs – how many could be produced in a day on one machine (or set of machines)
NOTE: a very smooth surface would be preferred for the part with the urinal.

Would you be willing or able to manufacture this product in plastic? I was initially planning to do 100 units for field trials in fibreglass (here in Cambodia) but if you can do it that would also be great. You would just need to give me a price for 100.

I am currently writing up a business plan for an NGO in India and hope to start field trials in the first quarter of 2015

Please find attached a pdf photofile and details of Prototype 1 in fibreglass
I have also attached the proposal I've been sending out to NGO's as it has a lot of data in it.
PS: I can get the hinges made here in Cambodia.
PPS: congratulations on your own MoSan - I know how challenging it is to get that far : )

Thank you
Best regards
G A ‘ Mike’ Carmichael
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Sat, 29 Nov 2014 09:02:37 +0000
World Water Week Forum on Resource Recovery through Social Business Models (experiences from SOIL in Haiti) - by: SOILHaiti

It’s no secret that here at SOIL, we love poop and its resource potential. The creation of compost, and the revenue it generates, is an essential component of EkoLakay, SOIL’s household toilet social business pilot.

Fortunately, we’re not alone in our appreciation. This year’s World Water Week, one of the world’s largest events focused on water, sustainability, and development, featured a session on “Sanitation Business Models for Safe Resource Recovery and Reuse.” SOIL was honored to be among the presenters in this jam-packed session about current research and practices in the efforts to transform human waste into something safe, useful, and profitable.

SOIL, represented by acting Operations Director Nick Preneta, was one of five sanitation social businesses from around the globe that presented during the session. Nick gave an overview of the EkoLakay service, and the lessons SOIL has learned from the early stages of our pilot.

There were several interesting conclusions from the session. First, it recognizes the numerous challenges in creating self-sustaining social businesses in sanitation. No one has yet been able to create a full cycle sanitation system that is completely self-sustaining without waste treatment subsidies (for example, from the government), so we should celebrate making any part of the cycle profitable and keep working towards complete sustainability. It also emphasizes the need to invest in business and management training, as it is difficult to attract highly-skilled business people to a low-margin sector like sanitation. Finally, it highlights the importance of the ongoing work of SOIL and other practitioners in field-testing solutions and understanding – or creating – a market for end-products like compost.

Visit this link for video of the presentation.

See the presentation file here:]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Thu, 13 Nov 2014 17:32:03 +0000