SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:20:32 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb 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
Re: Is there a difference between faecal sludge and septage? - The issue of confusing terminology - by: dorothee.spuhler
I do agree with Jonathan, Sandec has done a great job and created a set workable definitions in the Compendium.
From the SSWM team, we try to stick to this definitions in order to avoid confusion. Th eCompendium uses the same Database as the SSWM Toolbox and we have recently updated the SSWM terms to make sure they are aligned with the 2nd revised edition of the Compendium:
Septage = A historical term to define sludge removed from septic tanks
( and

I have now also added the definitions of Faecal Sludge to the database ( and ).

I like the graph from the Compendium used for the explanations of sanitation products:

However, these are only the raw products entering the sanitation chain. When you read further in the definition of terms you then will also find additional terms for products such like sludge, dried faeces, pit humus, compost, organics, biogas, etc.
Septage is not part of this product as it is a variation of faecal sludge that in term is a variation of sludge, i.e.:
Sludge= wastewater sludge / faecal sludge
Faecal sludge= sludge coming from on-site sanitation technologies
And Septage= sludge coming from septic tanks and cesspits (but not for instance from pit latrines)
These definitions are useful in practice and help to avoid confusion - even though I assume that there are probably as much different types of sludges as as there are different sanitation technologies.

However, for the sake of clarification, I would suggest to update the current definition from the eCompendium as follows (inspired by the last post of Florian):

Septage = A term to define sludge removed from septic tanks. Septage has some specific characteristics as compared to faecal sludge as it has generally gone through some time of biological degradation and is at least partly stabilized. Feacal sludge defines a wider term and also includes fresher types of sludge from other on-site technologies such as pit latrines.

What do you think?

Faecal sludge management Wed, 10 Sep 2014 21:41:00 +0000
Re: Is there a difference between faecal sludge and septage? - The issue of confusing terminology - by: LindaStrande
Blackwater (the influent to septic tanks) describes the fresh mix of urine, faeces and flushwater, and is transported immediately (i.e. it does not remain as blackwater if it is stored).

Faecal sludge (FS) is a general term which is defined as “comes from onsite sanitation technologies, and has not been transported through a sewer. It is raw or partially digested, a slurry or semisolid, and results from the collection, storage or treatment of combinations of excreta and blackwater, with or without greywater. Examples of onsite technologies include pit latrines, unsewered public ablution blocks, septic tanks, aqua privies, and dry toilets. FSM includes the storage, collection, transport, treatment and safe enduse or disposal of FS. FS is highly variable in consistency, quantity, and concentration."

Septic tank sludge is a specific type of faecal sludge. Other terms we use to talk about septic tanks include scum layer and effluent.

For more information please refer to two of our recent publications, both of which can be downloaded for free:
Faecal Sludge Management: Systems Approach for Implementation and Operation

Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies (2nd Edition)]]>
Faecal sludge management Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:39:20 +0000
Re: Rate of filtration of septage through sand filter beds and technology for septage management - by: Florian
For the sake of completeness to this discussion, here alos the link to unplanted drying beds:]]>
Faecal sludge management Wed, 03 Sep 2014 11:30:38 +0000
Re: Rate of filtration of septage through sand filter beds and technology for septage management - by: canaday
I just want to add the link to the excellent page on Planted Drying Beds in the Ecompendium, which was recently posted here on the Forum by Dorothee. This page also includes links to relevant literature.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday]]>
Faecal sludge management Wed, 03 Sep 2014 10:13:33 +0000
Re: Sanitation Matters - Issue 6 - by: SudhirPillay
The results of the pilot have been shown in the magazine. But you can also have at the research report. I would also direct you to the recommendations part of the report. Hope this helps.]]>
Faecal sludge management Wed, 03 Sep 2014 07:45:04 +0000