SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:08:39 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: Introducing x-runner mobile system - by: Jessixr
Just a quick reply this time: We use the Villa Model from Separett. If you saw a toilet where we remove the buckets from the side then this must have been an old model that we produced ourselves locally. And yes, we also removed the fan. It works just as well and with the sawdust that our customers use, we can still collect the feces in a quite dry state.
About our compost: We achieved chemical and pathogenic standards throughout the past months that were aligned with Chilean and Austrian compost standards- our engineer Celia Vasquez can elaborate on this in a separate post.

Unfortunately, it's too early for us to say anything specific yet about possible new alliances and the future of our treatment, but I'll be happy to post updates as soon as there will be any news!]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Sun, 07 Jun 2015 14:01:29 +0000
Re: Introducing x-runner mobile system - by: muench Thanks for your post. That looks like a really nice newspaper article - great photos!

The Separett UDDT model is different than the one I know. I see the bin is removed from the side and not from the top like in the Villa model.

You mentioned that:
we removed all electronic bits and parts that are prone to break in a rougher environment

Does that mean you have also taken out the electrical fan?

And are you only operating in Lima or also elsewhere?
And which local sewage companies and ministries are you talking to? Isn't it quite hard for a small NGO to get listened to by such government bodies? I am just wondering what alliances you have been able to form with other stakeholders.

And what do you do with the collected materials now? You told us earlier in the thread that you are doing composting. Do you have more results of that by now? And photos? What crops is the compost used on? Is the composting process a major operational expense for you, or is the most expensive part the collection from all the individual toilets?

Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Thu, 21 May 2015 07:54:46 +0000
Re: Reply: Drawbacks of container based systems in India - by: shraysaxena88 You make a good point about the human scavenging act and the expectations of a family.
I still can't believe I can find no CBS systems based in India to validate those concerns. At least not that I could find. I will point out that linked to my project, I hope to circumvent both those concerns in our pilot testing.

Thank you Alisa, I did read about your Givehope Haiti project. It looks like a good initiative. I would like to know more about your India pilot test.]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Wed, 06 May 2015 14:11:04 +0000
Re: Reply: Drawbacks of container based systems in India - by: muench Could you please tell us more about your work (current and planned)? I am curious.

Dear Shray,
About the container based systems (also abbreviated as CBS), I would like to point you all to this page which is about a workshop held in Hanoi earlier this year on this topic:

Actually they called it "cartridge based systems". You see presentations there from SOIL Haiti, X-Runner, Loowatt.

There were also two presentations in the main conference program:

Assessing the effectiveness of container-based sanitation (CBS) in Cap Haitien, Haiti: Sebastien Tilmans, Stanford University, Stanford, Cal, USA

or here (you need to move to time: 1h8m55s):

Impacts of a container-based, household toilet and waste collection service intervention in Cap Haitien, Haiti: Kory Russell, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Cal, USA

or (make sure you move to time: 13m5s):

I have no doubt that these container based systems can be made to work at pilot scale. We have ample examples of this by now. The question is: could they also be taken to a large scale? How could the local government or water utilities be involved in that case?

I've written about that issue also in my response to the Clean Team project in Ghana, see here:

Now the question is: what might be different in India compared to Haiti and Ghana with regards to container based systems?

I guess one issue you may face is the act that is prohibiting "manual scavenging" in India. We have previously discussed that here on the forum:

This might pose a barrier for larger scale adoption of container based systems?
I am sure you have thought about that already, what are your conclusions about that issue?

And what else might be different between India and Haiti & Ghana? Perhaps a higher level of expectation by the users that they should be getting something that flushes? (as India is more of a country in transition, not so much a developing country anymore)
Just thinking out loud here. Interested to hear what you and others think.

Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Wed, 06 May 2015 08:53:01 +0000
Reply: Drawbacks of container based systems in India - by: AKSantaCruz Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Wed, 06 May 2015 02:23:10 +0000 Drawbacks of container based systems in India - by: shraysaxena88
My name is Shray Saxena and I am a PhD student working on fecal sludge management. I hail from India and my question is whether a container based sanitation solution has ever been attempted in India? If yes, what were its drawbacks?

Shray Saxena]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Mon, 04 May 2015 20:35:47 +0000
Re: Introducing x-runner mobile system - by: Jessixr
Thank you for following up!
Separett and x-runner officially collaborate since last year and Separett Director Mikael Billsund has shown incredible dedication, patience, and generosity to enable us to purchase and import the toilets at very low costs. This partnership didn't come to happen overnight and both parties put a lot of time and consideration into it.
Regarding the toilet, it must be mentioned, that we removed all electronic bits and parts that are prone to break in a rougher environment. Still, the toilets work extremely well and our clients seem to be very happy with them so far.
Separett has also advised us on our sales methods and pricing.

We are planning to reach more than 3000 customers by 2018/2019 and we are in ongoing talks with local sewage companies and with ministries to see whether we can accelerate our growth with their support! With 3000 customers our business can achieve a complete breakeven - and yes, for now we heavily depend on grants, but also have monthly revenues. We don't consider ourselves a philantropic project and we also agree with your view that a business approach is needed to scale.

The government is for the first time this year showing serious interest in dry systems, but we'll have to be patient to see some concrete support from that side. After an article in a major newspaper - see file]]>
Mobile or portable solutions, public toilets Fri, 17 Apr 2015 13:57:37 +0000
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

Video of the presentation:

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