SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:51:01 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: Play with Faecal Sludge Trucks! - by: muench
I was just wondering what should be the term we should be pushing for when talking about these vehicles? I am asking because I want to do a bit of a clean up operation on Wikipedia.

You called it a "faecal sludge truck" in your card game. Did that come about after long deliberations? I would be inclined to call it a "vacuum tanker".

On Wikipedia I also see pages on:
Vacuum truck:
Cesspool emptier:

I would merge them all into one and then have re-directs from the other terms to the new page (and of course mention the other names on that page).

But I want to make sure that I use the right term that a majority of people from SuSanA would support.
I see that the Compendium calls it a "vacuum truck":

I guess it is not really a vacuum because something is simply pumped from A to B but it is the most commonly used term, right?

Faecal sludge management Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:24:26 +0000
Faecal sludge technolologies in Malawi- modified treadle pump (pit pump) prototype - by: willychipeta Note by moderator: See related thread here:


My name is Willy Chipeta and I am 28 years old and pursuing a Master of Science in Sanitation by Research through the Department of Water Resource Management and Development at Mzuzu University in Malawi. I started the program in February 2014 and plan to finish by December 2015.

In 2013, the Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation was awarded a research project on “Solutions for Pit Desludging and Subsequent Sludge Management in Low income Urban Settlements in Malawi” with support from the Water Resource Commission (South Africa). Through this project, the Centre has offered me a scholarship opportunity working towards developing innovative tools and techniques for emptying, transport and treatment of pit sludge at a small scale working towards overcoming the great deal of challenges in this sector.

The main focus of my research study will be investigation on design and development of low cost technologies for pit emptying in low income urban settlements of Mzuzu City found in the Northern Region of Malawi. It is envisioned the benefits of undertaking the investigation can offer varying opportunities.

The opportunities of technology include enabling access to high density peri-urban areas and safe removal of human excreta at a more affordable cost than is the case with existing technologies. Therefore the aim is to ensure continued use of sanitary facilities as well as reduce public health risks arising from improper human excreta management in the urban environment.

To this end, a modified treadle pump (pit pump) prototype has been developed in pursuance of the aforementioned opportunities. Instead of using a rope, a chain similar to the one used in a bicycle will be used to drive the pulley. The length of the pump will be reduced to make it portable to carry to site.

The dual advantage of this design is it can enable pumping from outside the latrine, decreasing potential contact with fecal sludge by pit emptiers and ensuring their safety from possible collapse of latrine while pumping. Materials can also be manufactured locally to ensure sustainable operation and maintenance.

I welcome your comments and suggestions on my technology, and look forward to meeting many of you at FSM3 in January 2015]]>
Faecal sludge management Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:50:21 +0000
Re: Use of lime for faecal sludge treatment? (pilot project by iDE in Cambodia and other examples) - by: BlakeMcK
Currently sludge is being managed by households. This usually results in two practices. 1 - the unhygienic emptying of pits with buckets (as is the norm throughout the large majority of rural communities in Africa and Asia). 2 - use of two pits per latrine, enabling households to alternate to the second pit when the first becomes full. This is a 'better' option as the sludge can become safe to handle after a pit is sealed for a certain amount of time. However, its complicated as the amount of time depends on consistency of the sludge, presence of flooding, fully sealed pit or not, etc.

Neither of these are good enough solutions for managing fecal sludge in rural areas. iDE takes a market based approach to all our work, and the reality is simply that nobody has figured out FSM in a rural context - especially in terms of developing a viable business model around this service. Here is a great (but lengthy) report from Hystra looking at the Sanitation sector ( Among other things they found that "Today, there exists no financially sustainable business model that offers pit emptying services in rural areas. There are, however, technical workarounds such as double and off-flow pits." (Pg 35). Its really a great report to understand the complexity and challenges of dealing with FSM in rural areas.

iDE is exploring (just a pilot project) using lime to treat fecal sludge, to make current pit emptying practices more hygienic. This effort is still underway, so no results to mention yet.

I think the WASH sector as a whole is finally waking up to the importance of FSM. We are seeing some possible solutions in urban areas, although these are still not profitable (as far as I know). We have seen little/no progress in rural areas with FSM. The largest remaining challenge we have in my mind.]]>
Faecal sludge management Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:59:06 +0000
Re: New FSM book available now! Free PDF download, or hardcover textbook - IWA Publishing - by: LindaStrande
In addition to the book, Sandec has had a number of FSM publications in 2013 and 2014. Here are a list of journal papers, let me know if you are also interested in fact sheets, sandec news, videos, cardgames, etc, etc.

1. Seck, A., Gold, M., Niang, S., Mbeéguéré, M., Diop, C., Strande, L. In Press. Technology development of unplanted drying beds for resource recovery from faecal sludge: fuel production in Sub-Sahara Africa. Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development.
2. El hadji Mamadou, S., Mbéguéré M., Diop, C., Niang, S., Strande, L. In Press. Effect of hydraulic loading frequency on performance of planted drying beds for the treatment of faecal sludge. Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development.
3. Bassan, M., Mbéguéré, M., Koné, D., Holliger, C., Strande, L. In Press. Success and failure assessment methodology for wastewater and faecal sludge treatment projects in low-income countries. Environmental Planning Management.
4. Tilley, E., Strande, L., Lüthi, C., Mosler, H.-J., Udert, K., Gebauer, H., Hering, J.G. 2014. Looking beyond technology to provide adequate and sustainable sanitation in low income countries. Environmental Science & Technology 48(17) 9965–9970.
5. Gold, M., Niang, S., Niwagaba, C.B., Eder, G., Murray Muspratt, A., Diop, P.S., Strande, L. 2014. Results from FaME (Faecal Management Enterprises) – can dried faecal sludge fuel the sanitation service chain? Accepted to 37th WEDC International Conference, Hanoi Vietnam.
6. Bassan, M., Dao, N., Nguyen, V.A., Holliger, C., Strande, L. 2014. Technologies for sanitation: how to determine appropriate sludge treatment strategies in Vietnam. Submitted to 37th WEDC International Conference, Hanoi Vietnam.
7. Schoebitz, L., Bassan,M., Ferré, A., Vu, T.H.A., Nguyen, V.A., Strande, L. 2014. FAQ: Faecal Sludge Quantification and Characterization – field trial of methodology in Hanoi, Vietnam. Submitted to 37th WEDC International Conference, Hanoi Vietnam.
8. Kengne, E.S., Kengne, I.M., Arsenea, L.N.W., Akoa, A., Nguyeng –Viet, H., Strande, L. 2014. Performance of Vertical Flow Constructed Wetlands for Faecal Sludge Drying Bed Leachate: Effect of Hydraulic Loading. Ecological Engineering 71 384–393.
9. Diener, S., Semiyaga, S., Niwagaba, C., Murray, A., Gning, J.B., Mbéguéré, M., Ennin, J.E., Zurbrugg, C., L. Strande. 2014. A value proposition: resource recovery from faecal sludge – can it be the driver for improved sanitation? Resources Conservation & Recycling 88 32-38.
10. Murray Muspratt, A., Nakato, T., Niwagaba, C., Dione, H., Baawuah, N., Kang, J., Stupin, L., Regulinski, J., Mbéguéré, M., Strande, L. 2014. Fuel Potential of Faecal Sludge: Calorific Value Results from Uganda, Ghana, and Senegal. Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 4:2 223-230.
11. Bassan, M.,Mbéguéré, M., Zabsonre, F., Strande, L. 2013. Integrated faecal sludge management scheme for the cities of Burkina Faso. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 3 216-221.
12. Bassan, M., Tchonda, A., Mahamane, I., Zöllig, H.P., Strande, L. 2013. Characterization of Faecal Sludge in Dry and Rainy Seasons, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. 36th WEDC International Conference, Nakuru Kenya.]]>
Faecal sludge management Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:31:05 +0000
Re: New FSM book available now! Free PDF download, or hardcover textbook - IWA Publishing - by: tmsinnovation
other than this major publication on FSM, what other well received publications on FSM have come out in 2013 and 2014?

I am trying to put an quick overview together.

Kind regards
Faecal sludge management Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:29:12 +0000
Re: Use of lime for faecal sludge treatment? (pilot project by iDE in Cambodia and other examples) - by: denniskl
RE removal and disposal of faecal sludge

Not sure if this or the other thread is the most appropriate for this question (which was previously asked by Christophe I believe but I didn't see an answer) - what about the faecal sludge? (By the way, I am leaving the whole lime issue out of this question, as I am less of an expert on that subject than anybody here I think)

Maybe Blake can provide a simple overview of how the faecal sludge removal and disposal is managed across the 100,000 toilets and how that can be scaled up for even larger uptakes?

I watched the videos of the marketing programme (or maybe that was Watershed but anyway), great success in uptake it seems, but what does happen with the sludge?

Is it household emptying and disposal (how and where?) or centralised service providers?or how?

I saw some reports in Ghana or Uganda where they were trialling sludge management practices which may be suitable for trial (also saw some reports from India where toilets / latrines installed were not being used because effective sludge removal had NOT been implemented so whole project was a bust).

Can you advise re this please Blake?]]>
Faecal sludge management Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:52:34 +0000
Re: Design parameter for Planted drying beds - by: Bertin Thanks for this nice information. Actually i am working on characterisation of faecal sludge therefore, i needed the most important information required from Faecal sludge to be treated by drying beds.
Faecal sludge management Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:03:06 +0000
My TED talk on sanitation: "Sanitation as a basic human right", TED Fellows Retreat 2013 - by: FrancisdelosReyes
I talked about sanitation at a TED event last year (TED Fellows Retreat).

The talk made it to the main website

I hope I did not make too many mistakes, and also am happy to feature the classic pit emptying photos by Florian Erzinger and Bobbie Louton. But it would be great if you all can watch it, and share with others, and use as you please to highlight the issues in sanitation.


Faecal sludge management Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:27:41 +0000
Re: Training sessions with pit emptiers in Mombasa, Kenya, using the Gulper: training materials we might use in our trainings? - and incentives - by: rsklar
Sorry for the delayed response as our field team has been very busy here in Mombasa. It seems like the UBSUP program in Nairobi has has made great strides in providing support to the utilities and making an impact on the immediate needs of communities.

Our informal sourcing team here at Pivot has done a series of trainings covering health, occupational safety, and entrepreneurial development. We are now in the process of getting the proper liscencing to the emptiers that have been identified. One of our main challenges in Mombasa is ensuring the protection of emptiers from reprimanding and arrest by the authorities who deem their emptying practices as illegal. It would be very helpful to learn more about your procedure to ensure the legal protection of the emptying entrepreneurs you work with.

While we understand the common use of "chura" as a derogatory term, in our initial meetings with the emptiers, we discovered that this name has been reappropriated to an extent that it is no longer a slur, but a marker of identity for many emptier groups in Mombasa. In fact, some call us part of their "team chura." Rather than assigning a group name to our partners, we have encouraged them to choose names that they prefer.

If you would like to read a bit more about our operations, we have started a blog on some of our activities in the community. Here is our first post:

It would be fantastic to the trainings that the SafiSan Sanitation Team holds. Are there any scheduled trainings this month? It would be great to have members of our field staff or emptier organizations come, learn, and share information.

Congrats on your project and it is great to be in touch!

Faecal sludge management Mon, 29 Sep 2014 06:38:03 +0000
Re: Design parameter for Planted drying beds - by: muench
You might also find some useful answers to your research questions in this thread on the forum:

It was called: "Rate of filtration of septage through sand filter beds and technology for septage management".

Let us know how you get on and if you have further questions.

And how about this thread, it could also be useful (nobody has replied in it yet):
"Simple Solar Sludge Drying During the Monsoon (experience in Bangladesh)"

Faecal sludge management Tue, 16 Sep 2014 07:34:14 +0000
Re: Design parameter for Planted drying beds - by: JKMakowka

While I am really not an expert on these systems, it seems to me like the construction design parameters are not possible to establish very well given the high impact of climatic conditions and the likely not very uniform sludge characteristics, i.e. yes the latter should have an effect on the design, but rarely are you dealing with a very uniform source and thus you will need to have a design that can deal with most sludges.

Typical sludge water content (and frequency of loading) might be an issue though, as you would want to prevent the beds from drying so much that the plants die. The above manual suggests an adjustable leachate outlet to control moisture content.]]>
Faecal sludge management Tue, 16 Sep 2014 07:26:28 +0000
Design parameter for Planted drying beds - by: Bertin My name is Bertin HARELIMANA from RWAnda, Currently doing Masters in sanitary Engineering at Unesco-Ihe. I am doing a research on Faecal sludge characterisation in which planted drying beds is one of the treatment option. So now i am getting challenged, does FS characterisation affect the design of a Planted drying beds?
Any helpful publication or explanation will be better,
Kind regards,
Bertin H.]]>
Faecal sludge management Tue, 16 Sep 2014 06:30:23 +0000
Re: Is there a difference between faecal sludge and septage? - The issue of confusing terminology - by: muench
This has been a very interesting discussion, where once again I learned a lot. Thank you.

What I found interesting is that right from the start, we discovered a discrepancy between the Sandec Compendium definition and the wikipedia page entry.

Sandec Compendium:

Septage: A historical term to define sludge removed from
septic tanks.

Wikipedia (

Septage is generally split into three parts in a septic tank:

  • Scum, which floats to the top and is generally where the bacteria live that treat the waste.
  • Effluent, which is the semi-treated liquid that comprises the majority of the material in the septic tank
  • Sludge, the solids which collect at the bottom of the tank

Now it could be a knee-jerk reaction to say "Sandec experts and reviewers know better than Wikipedia authors", but based on the discussion above we found out that there were differing interpretations of the term septage, and in my opinion this needs to be acknowledged rather than just using the adjective "historic".

Therefore, I would recommend for a future edition of the Compendium to say:

Septage: A term that is not clearly defined and which some people mean to denote sludge removed from septic tanks and others to denote the entire content of the septic tank. The authors of the compendium do not recommend use of this term anymore due to this confusion.

Now of course it could be years until there is a new hardcopy of the compendium. And it is inevitable that definitions of terms can slowly change over time. Therefore, I was wondering if the e-compendium would account for that (i.e. be dynamic and have any possible mistakes corrected) or if the e-compendium will remain static and be simply a 1:1 copy of the hardcopy. Based on Dorothee's post above, it seems that the e-Compendium could be deviating or at least giving additional links - unless I misunderstood the post (getting confused between SSWM glossary and e-Compendium glossary or are they identical)?

Another strategy that I would favor is to focus on the wikipedia pages. It must be possible to find people amongst the 4000 members of SuSanA who would spend an hour here or there to edit wikipedia pages? Then I ask myself: why am I not doing it myself? Hmmmm....

I recently read some interesting stuff about Wikipedia for health information. I will put that into a separate post.

Faecal sludge management Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:23:46 +0000
Re: New Article on Resource Recovery from Faecal Sludge — Can It Be the Driver for Improved Sanitation? - by: AquaVerde The question is probably more difficult than I state it now, but we are missing the management model and the support of governmental structures to support the development of such systems....
A lot of gas can be produced from FS if the management system motivates the operator.

I guess I tried to answer your question from July ahead in Feb 2014 already

Kindly see:

Maybe answers are too simple and too much profit orientated!?

All the Best
Faecal sludge management Sat, 13 Sep 2014 23:08:44 +0000
Re: Is there a difference between faecal sludge and septage? - The issue of confusing terminology - by: Florian
nice definition, I like it

However, from Linda's last post, it became clear that at Sandec, they prefer not to use the term "septage" and rather use "septic tank sludge", in order to reduce potential for confusion. That explains the word "historic" in the glossary entry for septage. Personally I can live with that.

Most important is that we have a reference glossary for definitions and terminologiy and I'd be happy if the Compendium / e-compendium becomes that reference.

Regards, Florian]]>
Faecal sludge management Thu, 11 Sep 2014 07:46:30 +0000