SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:02:50 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Who is doing toilet and FSM product and technology design / R&D and what are you working on? - by: jsauer Faecal sludge management Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:44:21 +0000 Re: Additives for pits, septic tanks, lagoons (faecal sludge). (includes EM) - by: kevintayler
This is just to let you know that I have now added some information on EM additives to the Wikipedia .

This covers some information that I have gleaned from secondary sources on the internet and from a report that I prepared after a visit to the Orangi Pilot Project in Karachi a few years ago. OPP have used EM on some of the schemes that they have supported and report success in improving effluents but do not have quantitative evidence to back up their observations. From my researches, this seems to be the case in most references to EM although there is always room for more evidence if anyone is in a position to provide it.

I hope that this is useful]]>
Faecal sludge management Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:33:28 +0000
Re: question about Ladepa and pit emptying on the forum - by: hajo
Firstly, thank you very much for the detailed description of the management structure of your pit latrine service chain.

I would be very much interested to promote such a pit service chain in our town of Moshi, Tanzania where we are currently trying to improve sanitation governance and services.

Therefore some comments and further questions relating to your presentation, I hope you will again find the time for a reply.

1) Emptying pits free of charge every 5 years (or whatever) is beyond the finance and the sanitation policy in Tanzania. But people are used to pay for the emptying, thus an improved service will be appreciated and hopefully paid.

2) You say EWS owns one LADEPA and leases three more. In your Hanoi presentation you quoted the price of a 2000 m3/year plant at 6.5 million ZAR (about 550,000 USD). Is that still valid about? 2000 m3 stands for 2000 m3 sludge input into LADEPA? How many kg is that?

3) Since lease and maintenance by PSS would be not possible for Tanzania (or?) we would have to find other ways for maintenance. Also in Moshi neither municipality nor utility would be able to maintain the plant.

4) You are lucky in SA that you can tender out a management contract for pit emptying and LADEPA operation. In Tanzania we probably will have to consider an additional capacity development plan for such contractor. But that should not be an obstacle. I guess PSS would also provide O&M training?

5) You differentiate ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ pits. Do you envisage problems that some pits may be too dry to be pumped, but at the same time still too wet to go into the LADEPA. Do you have figures to judge which sludge can still be pumped, and what maximum moisture content is acceptable for the LADEPA process?

6) The previous question is also of interest because we had discussed to moisture/dilute the sludge to make it ‘pumpable’ which may then prohibit its LADEPA processing.

7) Who is going to market the pellets, EWS or contractor? Do you have a possible sales price / market value from your previous production?

Looking forward to your response, if you feel like also off-line and to my email,
Faecal sludge management Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:10:27 +0000
question about Ladepa and pit emptying on the forum - by: johnha
We, at eThekwini are about to start the next cycle of pit emptying – the city has undertaken to empty pits free of charge once every five years, and we are already overdue for the second round. What we are aiming to do this round, is the following:

In short we are going out on two contracts; a five year lease contract for the lease of the Ladepa plants, and a management contract to operate the Ladepa plant and empty the pits.

We own one Ladepa plant but we require four to run the pit emptying on a continuous basis, so we intend to lease three more from the manufacturer, on a five year lease basis. The manufacturer is happy to lease and maintain the plants, but not operate them. We are going the lease route purely as a consequence of the Municipality’s supply chain management system, which is not geared up to deal with plant failure that may need to be repaired in a hurry in order to keep an independent contractor operational.

The Management Contract will cover the pit emptying, transporting sludge to the Ladepa plants, plant operating and the overall co-ordination and management of the operation. The Ladepa plants will be established at four of our wastewater treatment works for security and reduced environmental licencing requirements. The management Contractor will be encouraged to subcontract with private Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), who in turn will be required to employ labour local to where the pits are being emptied, in order to empty the pits and do any other unskilled work that is required.

We classify pits into “wet pits” and “dry pit”. Dry pits are ones with sludge that is dry enough to be processed through the Ladepa machine and wet pits as those that need to be pumped out and disposed with our septic tank sludge. We are still of the opinion that dry pits are easier to deal with than wet ones, and certainly cheaper if one is considering the mass of dry solids removed. (This is due to the transport costs due to the added volume of water). At the moment we still think dry pits are most easily emptied by hand, using long handled spades etc.; limited access to pits and the “stickiness” of the sludge seems to frustrate any mechanical solution.

Some features of the operation:

  • Health and hygiene of both the community and the workers is a high priority, and as far as we are concerned, the main means of dealing with this issue, practically, is education and awareness, so this will be emphasised. Providing people with personal protection equipment does not solve the problem without the users understanding how transmission of disease happens, and how to reduce the risks. So workers will have to pass both a theoretical and a practical examination.
  • On the last round of pit emptying we suspect that a lot of the sludge that was removed from the pits was dumped back into the environment. This happened because we paid per pit emptied. This time round we will pay primarily on volume of sludge processed through the plant, which should force the contractor to deliver the sludge to the plant and thereby overcome this problem.

We wait and see what we learn from the next round of pit emptying.

John Harrison, eThekwini Municipality (EWS)]]>
Faecal sludge management Tue, 24 Mar 2015 08:46:38 +0000
Re: Bokashi and Sanitation? (and effective microorganisms, EM) - by: joeturner
One thing I'd say is that fresh grass clippings are not great to use in faecal compost because they typically have quite a high C/N ratio - the best advice is that the overall C/N ratio needs to get to around 30/1 to get efficient composting, so adding more high-N material to the faeces may not help. Ideally one wants to use something known to have a high C/N ratio, such as a woody crop like miscanthus.

A simple calculation of the available oxygen in a pit latrine (and more in a composting toilet or other small space) shows that there will be a limit to aerobic microbial activity, leading to negligible aerobic growth, and little competition with the pathogenic microbes. Adding extra microbes in that situation is going to do nothing at all about the oxygen or carbon status.

Composting in large outdoor windrows where there is a lot of air is a different thing. There it is possible to get away with using less desirable high C/N ratio materials (with sufficient compost turning) - but the result may well be high be releases of ammonia and sulphorous gases, leading to odours and maybe even bioaerosols.

In that situation I can believe that it might be possible to have an effect by innoculating specific microbes, but I still do not believe that the majority of those bokashi preparations on the market have been properly tested to be effective. If one has a large multi-ton windrow, one has to wonder how much difference a small bottle of something is going to make. Even if it did, I agree that it is probably not going to do as much as adding soil or some part-finished compost to the new heap.

The whole problem here is that faecal composting sounds simple but actually involves many variables which may be difficult to measure and control. It is hard to believe that the Chinese could be producing a microbial preparation which could overcome all those variables - but until that is proven that it is possible, I think the best science suggests to avoid spending money on these kinds of preparations.]]>
Faecal sludge management Tue, 24 Mar 2015 08:05:21 +0000
Re: Reply: Bokashi and Sanitation? (and effective microorganisms, EM) - by: arno
When it comes to pit latrines, ie mainly aged anaerobic partly degraded organic material, volume reduction by adding just microorganisms is not in most cases going to do very much. Anaerobic breakdown is much less efficient than aerobic. The classic work of Chris Buckley et al in 2008 provided new insights into what is really going on in a pit latrine and why additives don't really do very much. See

The following excerpt is particularly insightful and describes the 4 zones in a pit latrine.

With regard to the Chinese use of EMs in composting (not normally added to pit latrines but to aerated composts), there is sophistication in their production in special fermentation labs. The mixtures are kept generally as trade secrets and few specialist professors keep the recipes and labs under lock and key. These mixtures are working mainly under aerobic conditions and they deal with both short and long carbon chains (ie bacteria, yeasts and molds). Even ammonia control is part of this mastery using nitrobacters to produce odorless nitrate. But when it comes down to it most of the EM bugs originate in soil to begin with. That's where all the evolution has taken place.]]>
Faecal sludge management Mon, 23 Mar 2015 22:47:08 +0000
Re: Overview on service models or fecal sludge emptying and treatment for dense urban areas …….wanted - by: eshaylor
We are doing something similar with Oxfam in the Philippines. we are about to start a septage management fund for local government to draw on to build a basic disposal site and buy one truck for desludging of septic tanks. Then over 5 years they pay back the money as well as expanding the services from rates paid to the municipality. We are about to launch the programme so will only have some useful feedback in a few months.

Faecal sludge management Thu, 12 Mar 2015 00:32:07 +0000
Re: Overview on service models or fecal sludge emptying and treatment for dense urban areas …….wanted - by: TanjaRosenqvist
To your point Elisabeth - where is local governments? I agree - this is one of the fundamental questions that should be asked sooner rather then later. In Indonesia there is currently a push for motivating and assisting local governments in setting up desludging services for private households and businesses with septic tanks. These efforts are (of course) an initiative by an international NGO, but focus is on building the capacity of local governments and supporting them in setting up and running the services.

I also find it important to question the current focus on sludge removal services. Many other sanitation related services could be imagined. In my PhD I e.g. focus more on O&M components, which, especially in the case of communal systems, could be imagined as a service.

I add two examples from Indonesia and Malaysia. The Indonesia example describes an initiative to setting up a local government run urban desludging service. The Malaysia case is an example of how a well evolved service model looks in a country that recently was battling a major sanitation crisis, but managed to turn it around quite dramatically.


Faecal sludge management Wed, 11 Mar 2015 23:53:51 +0000
Re: Overview on service models or fecal sludge emptying and treatment for dense urban areas …….wanted - by: eshaylor
Id like to add another model to the list. The attached paper is from a programme in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, where franchising was used as an approach to O & M of latrines. Disposal methods varied between deep row entrenchment and disposal into local WWTP.

The programme currently has 22 small business operators servicing school toilets across 4 educational districts and in 2 municipalities. While the programme is predominantly running in 3 rural districts, East London Educational District is a densely build up urban area. In these locations the model has to adapt from Pit latrines to water borne. Generally the O and M needs are of a different nature in this case requiring the skills of a plumber to tighten washers and replace cisterns. However the model is equally adaptable to both rural ad urban situations.

Faecal sludge management Wed, 11 Mar 2015 00:26:37 +0000
Re: Overview on service models or fecal sludge emptying and treatment for dense urban areas …….wanted - by: rkaupp and a presentation at the 15th SanCoP

Faecal sludge management Sun, 08 Mar 2015 15:40:41 +0000
Re: Overview on service models or fecal sludge emptying and treatment for dense urban areas …….wanted - by: muench
This list that you put together (Overview on service models or fecal sludge emptying and treatment for dense urban areas) could potentially be very useful.

As I wrote here on the forum, something that I realised again while attending the FSM3 conference in Hanoi is "where is the local government in all of this, i.e. in faecal sludge management; should we really leave the field just to NGOs and small or large businesses?" (see:

I also remember a point made by a sanitation expert at Asian Development Bank: "Show me working examples of FSM in cities, show me bankable projects where we as ADB could get involved with our funding mechanisms..".

So anyway, I think your list could be quite important (and should perhaps be converted into something more accessible or structured, like you said). If it's made into a table then we could have a column to indicate whether it includes local government as a leader or not.

For now, I have put it in alphabetical order, tidied it up a little bit and added the example of ONAS in Senegal to it (and removed the one from Eawag in Senegal because that was just a research project).


UDDTs and composting (NGO driven)


Not sure how far this project went:

WSUP Clean Team:

From SPLASH project: (link not working, need to check)

SOIL (no active local government involvement):

And related to it is this one:

Water for People:

Community sanitation for urban slums:

Not sure if this project went very far?

UBSUP with Water Services Trust Fund:


Faecal sludge transport:

is this the same project?

Water for People:

SPLASH project: (link not working, check)

X-Runner, small pilot:

Water for People:

Water for People:

ONAS and faecal sludge management:

South Africa
Durban UDDTs

Umhlatuzi Municipality (Richmonds bay), Buffalo City Municipality (East London area), Winterveld Municipality:

Water for People and funding from WRC (SRFA project):

Also Water for People:

and another one?? (link not working, need to check)

in the same Splash another group

WRC research project:

(I don´t know if the above mentioned are service models or just providing the toilet. But at least it seems to be a municipal provider which does take the charge.)


Perhaps this is useful and could be built upon.]]>
Faecal sludge management Thu, 05 Mar 2015 09:50:44 +0000
Re: Fecal Sludge Omni-Ingestor (FSOI) suite of technologies for fecal sludge emptying and transport (contract by BMGF, USA and Senegal, India, South Africa) - by: jvaneynde for the past few months and we would like to take this opportunity to provide an update on the FSOI project.

Fecal Sludge Omni-Ingestor Project update

Start & End Date: 2011 – TBD (to be determined; the contract has been extended to accommodate a changing or growing scope of work)

Type of Funding: Contract

Funding Size: Not applicable as this is a contract and not a grant; contract amounts are not disclosed by the foundation. Funding is currently on-going.

Developing country(ies) where the research will be tested: The Omni-Ingestor will be tested in India, Senegal and South Africa, as well as other locations that are yet to be determined.

Short description of the project: The FSOI Project is developing a number of devices to improve On-site Sanitation.
  • FSOI Mechanical Pump will pump waste 50-100 meters, much further than vacuum trucks, enabling it to access 92-97% of the vaults in unplanned settlements in Africa. The pump is also capable of pumping waste from wet and dry vaults*, (0-40% TS) permitting mechanical emptying of nearly all sludge types. The pump is a stand-alone system that can fill a variety of sludge transporters, including vacuum trucks, tank trucks, and trailers. Because it is not attached to a sludge transporter, the pump is free to continuously fill one transport vehicle after another—increasing operational efficiency.
  • FSOI Mobile Pre-Processor is used to process sludge from wet vaults (0-5% TS). It will remove debris and grit from incoming sludge and render it safe for on-site disposal. The sludge will be thickened and the liquid effluent will be clarified, deodorized, and sanitized so that it can be discharged onsite. Only thickened sludge will be transported to a disposal site, significantly reducing transportation costs.
  • Two inexpensive oxidant generators. One oxidant is NaCl; the system uses water and easily sourced salt (table salt is fine) and produces batches of chlorine large enough to treat all of the heavies (grit, glass, metal) removed from influent. The other system generates inexpensive ferrate that can be used to treat the effluent from a sludge thickener.

* Beaumont has been using the term vaults because the use of pits implies latrine pits. We also do not use tanks because it implies septic tanks. We feel vault is more generic. Also, pits implies dry material and septic tanks implies wet material but this is not always the case. So Beaumont uses dry vaults and wet vaults, independent of the construction technique.

Goal(s) of the Project: Empty wet and dry vaults, Access vaults that couldn’t be reached before, Pump all contents not just the liquid fraction, Cut emptying costs

Current state of affairs: Two prototypes of the FSOI Mechanical Pump have been domestically field tested (i.e. in Puyallup, WA, USA), and the third and final prototype pump will begin domestic field tests at the end of February 2015. Domestic testing of the pumps involves pumping out septic tanks, latrine pits, and even some grease pits. Treatment technology is expected to enter field-testing in India, Senegal & South Africa in Q2 of 2015. The technology(ies) to be tested in the field have not been identified yes; the decision will be made after the third and final prototype has been domestically tested.

One of the oxidant generators is intended for use on the OI. The other will be based in a facility and used to fill canisters of oxidant for use on the OI. The oxidant generators will not be available until there is a Mobile Pre-Processor. The companies developing the technology may choose to take derived products to market independently. Due to the fact that this work is contracted, and private IP is involved, the processes the distribution plans cannot be shared at this time.

Biggest successes so far: Several unique pumping technologies have been developed as well as two inexpensive oxidant generators.

Main challenges / frustration: Development of a reliable polymer dosing system and a commercially viable sludge thickener. Generally, dosing of polymer is done on a large scale (dosing 1000’s of gallons of waste water) based on the results of lab tests. The OI needs to pump and treat waste in real-time, or near-real time. That means we need a system that can adapt to the changing physical and chemical properties of the influent as the vault is pumped and between vaults.

Lead Organizatin: Beaumont is acting as the Project Manager, and is also developing some of the associated technology for the project.

Research and implementation partners include:
  • AGI Engineering – AGI Engineering, Inc. specializes in the design, construction and testing of custom, specialized tank cleaning, pumping and automated manufacturing equipment (Stockton, CA, USA) (
  • Beaumont – Beaumont provides industrial design, mechanical engineering, systems architecture, and project management services (Honolulu, HI, USA) (
  • DCI Automation – DCI Engineering has become the product development and prototyping arm of Columbia Tech (Worcester, MA, USA) (
  • Synapse Product Development – Synapse Product Development is a product development, product design, and technology development consultancy company (Seattle, WA, USA) (
  • FloHawks Plumbing & Septic – FloHawks provides residential and commercial plumbing and septic services (Puyallup, WA, USA) (
  • Cascade Designs, Inc, - (Seattle, WA, USA) (
  • Ferrate Treatment Technologies – FTT aims “to be the global provider of water treatment solutions based on Ferrate, the most powerful, multi-use, and environmentally friendly water treatment chemistry known. FTT will commercialize Ferrate to purify water, improve human health and clean up industrial contamination worldwide”. (Orlando, FL, USA) (

If you would like more information about this project, please visit]]>
Faecal sludge management Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:18:37 +0000
Re: Counting Shit - whats going into a latrine? - by: Lars
I am a colleague of Moritz and one of my research fields is quantifying and characterising faecal slugde on a city-wide scale. The hyperlink to the FAQ project, Moritz refers to in his post leads you to a website with publications about the approach we have implemented in Kampala/Uganda and Hanoi/Vietnam.

I could see the application of the latrine logger to better understand accumulation rates of faecal sludge within on-site sanitation technologies. I have read the information on the website you are referring to and please correct me if I am wrong, but do I understand it right that the latrine logger receives a signal if you "flush" at least one cup of water? Does this mean the logger would not receive a signal if applied in a dry toilet, which means it would "only" be applicable for pour-flush toilets? If we could measure the sludge height within the toilet in addition to monitoring the flushing events, we could potentially figure out sludge accumulation rates within these pits.

Faecal sludge management Tue, 03 Mar 2015 18:04:38 +0000
Re: Counting Shit - whats going into a latrine? - by: Moritz
Thanks. Works perfectly for me now.

The main application for us as a research institute I see in estimating faecal sludge quantities for design of faecal sludge treatment ( For lined latrines one could measure whats going in (Latrine Logger) and whats going out (e.g. number of barrels collected but gulper entrepreneurs). In the same way conditions (e.g. design of the onsite system, temperature) could be studied for which the amount of feacal sludge which need to be emptied is minimal.


Faecal sludge management Sun, 01 Mar 2015 15:08:39 +0000
Re: Modernising urban sanitation in Southern Bangladesh (SNV) - by: sahidul93 Beside these, we are working on business model.
Certainly, it will take time to show something as it is almost new issue for Bangladesh. Citizens and the city authorities are also not in serious position as it is not visualized such as solid waste or like flood or drought.
Positive thing is, they have just started to realize the issue.]]>
Faecal sludge management Fri, 27 Feb 2015 05:28:42 +0000