SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication http://forum.susana.org/ Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:18:13 +0000 Kunena 1.6 http://forum.susana.org/components/com_kunena/template/default/images/icons/rss.png SuSanA - Forum http://forum.susana.org/ en-gb Re: Update: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - by: rochelleholm http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/6138-solutions-for-pit-desludging-and-sludge-management-in-low-income-urban-settlements-in-malawi-mzuzu-university-and-policy-issues#10413 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/6138-solutions-for-pit-desludging-and-sludge-management-in-low-income-urban-settlements-in-malawi-mzuzu-university-and-policy-issues#10413 Mzuzu City Council gave an oral presentation. A local news article for more on the project can be found at: allafrica.com/stories/201306250338.html

SHARE grant does a great job in Malawi bringing together grantees, and sharing news and research findings.

Our Centre also has SHARE work, more information can be found at: www.shareresearch.org/NewsAndEvents/Detail/Rochelle's_blog

Unfortunately most of the sanitation research in Malawi is urban, rather than rural. This is a big gap in knowledge.

Regards,
Rochelle]]>
Faecal sludge transport Wed, 08 Oct 2014 03:14:28 +0000
Re: Update: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - by: muench http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/6138-solutions-for-pit-desludging-and-sludge-management-in-low-income-urban-settlements-in-malawi-mzuzu-university-and-policy-issues#10405 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/6138-solutions-for-pit-desludging-and-sludge-management-in-low-income-urban-settlements-in-malawi-mzuzu-university-and-policy-issues#10405
Thanks for this information. It looks like you had a really interesting workshop on FSM for people from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Would it be possible that you also post the presentations? I am particularly curious about the presentation from Mzuzu City Council, as I hadn't heard about their project before:

Mzuzu City Council, Lilian Chirwa (Director of Public Health). The focus of the presentation was detailing current projects Mzuzu City is undertaking such as the Peri-Urban Sanitation and Hygiene Project (PUSH) with funding from European Union and in partnership with Plan Malawi. In this project they are targeting areas with low and high water table in promotion of appropriate sanitation facilities including composting toilets (Ecosan/Skyloos), improved latrines, and Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines. Currently Mzuzu has no sewer [...].


Also I am wondering if you have any exchanges with a project that sounds a bit similar in Blantyre? I saw it mentioned here on Sanitation Updates recently:
sanitationupdates.wordpress.com/2014/10/...ject-and-ccode-work/

It's a project by SHARE and CCode: "SHARE’s work to date in Malawi has focused on Ecological Sanitation (Ecosan), which has been heavily promoted in urban areas. Blantyre in Malawi is also one of the cities included in the City-Wide Sanitation Project."

Are you having a good exchange with different cities in Malawi or is everyone pretty much doing their own thing?

Regards,
Elisabeth]]>
Faecal sludge transport Tue, 07 Oct 2014 10:44:06 +0000
Update: Solutions for pit desludging and sludge management in low income urban settlements in Malawi (Mzuzu University) - by: rochelleholm http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/6138-solutions-for-pit-desludging-and-sludge-management-in-low-income-urban-settlements-in-malawi-mzuzu-university-and-policy-issues#10362 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/6138-solutions-for-pit-desludging-and-sludge-management-in-low-income-urban-settlements-in-malawi-mzuzu-university-and-policy-issues#10362
Presentations from Participants:
1. Prof. Chris Buckley and Dr. Tina Velkushanova: Pit Latrines and Emptying in Durban, Southern Africa.

2. Mzuzu City Council, Lilian Chirwa (Director of Public Health). The focus of the presentation was detailing current projects Mzuzu City is undertaking such as the Peri-Urban Sanitation and Hygiene Project (PUSH) with funding from European Union and in partnership with Plan Malawi. In this project they are targeting areas with low and high water table in promotion of appropriate sanitation facilities including composting toilets (Ecosan/Skyloos), improved latrines, and Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines. Currently Mzuzu has no sewer and long standing plans are that Northern Region Water Board shall undertake this project. The City has three sludge ponds which are not well maintained and it is planned through the PUSH project rehabilitation shall be undertaken. Other plans include the need to construct neighborhood transfer stations for fecal sludge collection.

3. Presentation from Water for People Malawi by Mr. Magoya: Pit Emptying Technology (Gulper, Rammer and Solar Dryer).

4. Presentation from Polytechnic by Ass. Prof. Bernard Thole: Characterization of Pit Sludge Management, Sludge Biochemical Degradation, and Respective Impacts on Public Health in Unplanned Settlements of Malawi.

5. Presentation from University of North Carolina by Tate Rogers: Pit latrine Auger (Excavator) development and testing.

6. Presentation from Mzuzu University by Daniel Nyirenda: Fecal Sludge Management in Mzuzu, Malawi: Investigating policy gaps.

7. Presentation from Mzuzu University by Willy Chipeta: Investigation on New Technologies for Pit desludging in Peri Urban Mzuzu, Malawi

8. Presentation from Mzuzu University by James Kushe: Investigation and development of new fecal sludge emptying technologies for peri-urban areas in Mzuzu.

Roundtable Discussion Summary:

Barriers to improved Fecal Sludge Management:
* Behavior change (rubbish in latrines is wide spread)
* New latrine designs are being developed without consideration of pit emptying
* Lack of awareness on re-use of Fecal Sludge safety in agriculture
* Low earning capacity resulting from people demanding low cost services for emptying latrine sludge with high rubbish content
* Research has not been done on safe threshold of fecal sludge reuse for agriculture in Malawi
* Infrastructure such as transfer stations for fecal sludge collection are not available in Malawi

Opportunities to improved Fecal Sludge Management:
* Awareness for community education on how to properly use a latrine
* Local Development Fund as a tool for financing sanitation
* Waste reuse: Recycling, pellets for agriculture

Next Steps Forward:
* Regional Forums (Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe) to review FSM practices should be continued at a higher level such as holding a national FSM review.
* eThekwini Municipality in Durban is a site for mutual learning.
* There is need for research on potential contamination of fecal sludge in areas within Mzuzu that have high water table.
* Involve District Environmental Health Officers (EHO) to begin to share experiences on FSM.
* Involve politicians to be part of knowledge sharing to raise awareness for behavior change.]]>
Faecal sludge transport Thu, 02 Oct 2014 11:02:10 +0000
Re: The use of anaerobic technology to treat pit latrine sludge for beneficiation (Zimbabwe) - by: KimAndersson http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/6423-the-use-of-anaerobic-technology-to-treat-pit-latrine-sludge-for-beneficiation-zimbabwe#10350 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/6423-the-use-of-anaerobic-technology-to-treat-pit-latrine-sludge-for-beneficiation-zimbabwe#10350 Thanks for introducing your project on improved fecal sludge management in Zimbabwe. According to your project timeline you should almost be halfway through the project by now. It would therefore be great to get a status update on the progress and the experience you gained so far.

Some questions that I would like to hear more about include:
Have you been able to develop and test the new sludge management model? What does it look like (e.g. technology, scale, business-driven)? Are you producing biogas as well as a sub-product apart from fertilizer? If you have implemented a pilot, what is the context? What challenges have you been confronted with and what have been the strategies to overcome them (for example, the engagement of decision makers or the acceptance of treated excreta products in agriculture)?

Kind regards,
Kim]]>
Faecal sludge transport Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:34:05 +0000
Re: re.source: Mobile Sanitation Services for Dense Urban Slums (Stanford University, USA) - by: kcrussel http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4002-resource-mobile-sanitation-services-for-dense-urban-slums-stanford-university-usa?limit=12&start=24#9463 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4002-resource-mobile-sanitation-services-for-dense-urban-slums-stanford-university-usa?limit=12&start=24#9463 It is always exciting to see threads that have been dormant still being useful. I’ll try and address each of the questions and comments in the order in which they were posted.

Cecília:
…mentioned that you were considering other treatment technologies and back-end products besides composting, such as the DEWATS and biogas. I am wondering how your research evolved in this regard. Would that be technically feasible considering that you are adopting UDDTs? I suppose you are using sawdust or some other dry material, wouldn't that interfere in other treatment processes?

Yes, you are correct we do not see the household cartridge-based toilet as strictly married to composting and the household toilets are urine diverting (I will use the acronym CBS for Cartridge-Based Sanitation). It really depends on the context in which the service and toilets will be used as to the most appropriate back end processing. In Haiti it made sense to use composting because, SOIL has done such a fantastic job of exploring and creating composting facilities. They have also spent a long time nurturing and investigating the market for finished compost in Haiti. There is evidence that compost markets appear to be rather robust in other locations including Africa and Latin America.

However, in many contexts that may not be the case and it could be far less technically feasible to use composting. In those cases there are other technologies, which are being developed that could be slotted in and replace composting as the treatment methodology. The key is which technology is most appropriate for the situation and how will it impact the service.

1.) Waste Enterprisers in Mombasa, Kenya are doing some very innovative work with fecal sludge where they turn it into biofuel pellets that can be used in industrial processes in Europe. The waste coming from our system would be especially welcomed as it has much lower moisture content.
2.) The Climate Foundation is doing some really cool work with biochar. They are currently testing shipping container sized biochar units with Sanergy in Nairobi Kenya. The waste that Sanergy in collecting is very similar to the waste that SOIL is collecting in Haiti.
3.) Loowatt is doing some very interesting work with biogas and container based toilets in Madagascar. However, they are also using a proprietary bio-plastic film to seal the waste for transport. If you were considering biogas, the cover material choice would be very important and need to be considered carefully. Most Anaerobic digesters need a higher moisture content than what our waste has, and woody substrates tend to be harder to digest. Different digester technologies like high-solids anaerobic digestion could still be interesting. The choice of cover material is also important for composting (in Haiti, SOIL is using sieved sugar cane bagas and crushed peanut shells).
4.) Black Soldier Fly is something that SOIL has looked into in Haiti but as Steve Sugden noted they seem to really prefer other forms of organic waste, which was also true in Haiti. This is not to say that it can’t be done however it will have a much steeper learning curve.

Disposal is a key component but one that several teams are working on. CBS can work with multiple types of back end treatment which increases flexibility. The key is to find the disposal and treatment method that fits the location.

Cost of unit production - seems to be recurrent issue and I wonder if the wooden / concrete versions have the same appeal. We really need to agree on one design and then approach a single supplier and encourage them to invest in a mold. They usually talk in selling 10s of 1000 of units to enable them to recover their mold costs, so even if we got together, it would be a hard sell. Tim at Envirosan in South Africa may be interested and the may even have an existing design which could be used.

I agree that cost of toilet units is key. SOIL has been able to significantly reduce prices with their concrete models. As Steve has noted, there is potentially less aspirational value with locally produced wooden or concrete models. A key hurdle Steve also hit on and that we have encountered with our model specifically is the need to produce 10s of thousands of units to reach economies of scale. I think Envirosan is a great option for manufacturing. However, I would caution against modifying their current designs, as the ones we are familiar with are not well suited for compact, cartridge-based emptying. We fully agree with the idea of getting several organizations on board that are all interested in ordering units to reach the necessary scale. It may not be possible to have one universal design, however, as it could lead to a design that works ok for everyone but not great for anyone. If we could get all the interested parties to come together to express their needs and finalize a design that meets those we could really make some progress. This is an effort that re.source is very interested in leading.

Especially in rural India, it seems quite heard to push such toilet as people do not want to see their shit after they leave.

Satya,
You are completely correct, this model is not designed for rural areas. There are several reasons CBS is a poor fit in rural areas.
1.) Distance and transport costs are much greater.
2.) Demand for sanitation is much lower than in urban areas.
3.) There are much lower cost (or more culturally targeted) options that often make more sense like the Arborloo or the twin-pit pour-flush models.
4.) Space constraints are less of an issue.

Given the availability of such technologies for rural areas, we tend to view the challenge of rural sanitation as a demand creation, behavior change, supply chain, and business model challenge more than a challenge revolving around the toilet interface itself.

i see the chances of trying this in India is in urban communities where people do not have space at all in home for constructing toilet, neither they can go out for defecating. i also would love to know your experience in reducing the cost of this toilet if it is made of fiber. In urban areas, the business could be around collection and transportation if it is mechanical in India. It needs to be completely mechanical here in India because the low against manual scavenging.

As noted above you are correct, urban areas would be the ideal location to attempt this. We have explored toilets built from fiberglass as have x-runner in Peru and Mosan in Bangladesh. Fiberglass is great for low volume runs however; there is very little reduction of costs with scale. Fiberglass toilets are much higher quality than either wooden or concrete toilets and definitely easier to clean.

Finally, you are also correct that the legal situation is especially tricky in India. Other organizations have attempted efforts in India only to be limited in their scope. I think David makes a good point that before trying anything in the CBS or ecosan suite of options, it is best to get the buy-in not only of the community but from government and regulatory officials as well. The idea of having a demonstration community would be especially helpful in getting their buy-in. It is our understanding that Sulabh has some interest in CBS, and they may have the right relationships to be able to start exploring this system in India.

As for the units, we currently have an urban (slum) system that doesn't give us the life/cost ratio we want. We are trying to get the price down to $300 with a life cycle of 30 years, and are working on a 'virtual' final design as I write. Our model is self-sustaining over this kind of life-cycle.

David, thanks for sharing this information. We'd love to hear more about your toilet design, and particularly the constraints you're designing for- squatters and washers, I presume- but other considerations about space, any thoughts about material, waste removal interface, etc.

Thank you all and we of course would love to hear more comments and thoughts.
All the best,
Kory]]>
Faecal sludge transport Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:17:57 +0000
Re: re.source: Mobile Sanitation Services for Dense Urban Slums (Stanford University, USA) - by: DavidAlan http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4002-resource-mobile-sanitation-services-for-dense-urban-slums-stanford-university-usa?limit=12&start=24#9447 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4002-resource-mobile-sanitation-services-for-dense-urban-slums-stanford-university-usa?limit=12&start=24#9447
I would also say that you need to have a model village to which you can show future villagers. Work in clusters that are adjacent to each other and peer groups become your best motivators. Train and educate your first group, build your ecosan, wait a few months and start to take in SHGs and councils. Once they see the difference between a pit toilet (even twin pits) and an ecosan our experience is there is only one winner.]]>
Faecal sludge transport Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:11:54 +0000
Re: re.source: Mobile Sanitation Services for Dense Urban Slums (Stanford University, USA) - by: snghosh http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4002-resource-mobile-sanitation-services-for-dense-urban-slums-stanford-university-usa?limit=12&start=24#9438 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4002-resource-mobile-sanitation-services-for-dense-urban-slums-stanford-university-usa?limit=12&start=24#9438 i have enjoyed your discussions about this toilet and business around this. I would love to know your experience about the relation between acceptability of this toilet and culture of people or communities where you apply this. Especially in rural India, it seems quite heard to push such toilet as people do not want to see their shit after they leave. There are two key aspects in rural areas which play big role in sanitation behaviors and application of technologies. People who have place in house always want permanent toilet of their won. These people look for two kinds of design (1) septic tank and (2) pit latrine. The pit latrine ( twin pit) are good as it decompose on site and likely to be sustainable mainly for areas where water table is not high and not flooding. it might be similar to many other countries. the other thing that people do not like in India is dry toilet as the culture is using water after defecation. I think toilet in rural areas ( like India) only when majority of people have toilet and do not allow the poor to defecate in their land. In such social pressure poor have no choice other than such toilet.
i see the chances of trying this in India is in urban communities where people do not have space at all in home for constructing toilet, neither they can go out for defecating. i also would love to know your experience in reducing the cost of this toilet if it is made of fiber. In urban areas, the business could be around collection and transportation if it is mechanical in India. It needs to be completely mechanical here in India because the low against manual scavenging.


regards

satya]]>
Faecal sludge transport Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:59:39 +0000
Re: re.source: Mobile Sanitation Services for Dense Urban Slums (Stanford University, USA) - by: DavidAlan http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4002-resource-mobile-sanitation-services-for-dense-urban-slums-stanford-university-usa?limit=12&start=24#9427 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4002-resource-mobile-sanitation-services-for-dense-urban-slums-stanford-university-usa?limit=12&start=24#9427
We are currently doing the same thing in villages with single chamber UDDTs and a collection service, but it is too early to discuss the sustainability.

As for the units, we currently have an urban (slum) system that doesn't give us the life/cost ratio we want. We are trying to get the price down to $300 with a life cycle of 30 years, and are working on a 'virtual' final design as I write. Our model is self-sustaining over this kind of life-cycle.

We will have more information later this year or early next.]]>
Faecal sludge transport Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:33:03 +0000
Re: re.source: Mobile Sanitation Services for Dense Urban Slums (Stanford University, USA) - by: stevensugden http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4002-resource-mobile-sanitation-services-for-dense-urban-slums-stanford-university-usa?limit=12&start=24#9426 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4002-resource-mobile-sanitation-services-for-dense-urban-slums-stanford-university-usa?limit=12&start=24#9426
Black Solder Fly - I recently heard from elsewhere that they prefer other forms of organic waste to shit, and who can blame them?

Cost of unit production - seems to be recurrent issue and I wonder if the wooden / concrete versions have the same appeal. We really need to agree on one design and then approach a single supplier and encourage them to invest in a mold. They usually talk in selling 10s of 1000 of units to enable them to recover their mold costs, so even if we got together, it would be a hard sell. Tim at Envirosan in South Africa may be interested and the may even have an existing design which could be used.]]>
Faecal sludge transport Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:24:33 +0000
Re: re.source: Mobile Sanitation Services for Dense Urban Slums (Stanford University, USA) - by: CeciliaRodrigues http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4002-resource-mobile-sanitation-services-for-dense-urban-slums-stanford-university-usa?limit=12&start=24#9424 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4002-resource-mobile-sanitation-services-for-dense-urban-slums-stanford-university-usa?limit=12&start=24#9424
Thank you all for this very interesting thread. I am learning a lot from it.

@Kory, I watched the video of your presentation at the webinar and there you mentioned that you were considering other treatment technologies and back-end products besides composting, such as the DEWATS and biogas. I am wondering how your research evolved in this regard. Would that be technically feasible considering that you are adopting UDDTs? I suppose you are using sawdust or some other dry material, wouldn't that interfere in other treatment processes?

Kind regards,
Cecília.]]>
Faecal sludge transport Tue, 22 Jul 2014 05:25:05 +0000
Re: Sanitation Community of Practice Workshop - WISA Biennial Conference 28 May 2014, Nelspruit, South Africa - by: SudhirPillay http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/3109-sanitation-research-fund-for-africa-srfa-managed-by-wrc-in-south-africa-pit-characterisation-and-pit-emptying-updates#8913 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/3109-sanitation-research-fund-for-africa-srfa-managed-by-wrc-in-south-africa-pit-characterisation-and-pit-emptying-updates#8913 forum.susana.org/forum/categories/21-eve...lets-in-south-africa) on behalf on Mr Jay Bhagwan on the Sanitation Research Fund for Africa project, a joint initiative between the BMGF and the WRC.]]> Faecal sludge transport Tue, 10 Jun 2014 09:04:09 +0000 Re: Video of interview and demonstration for excravator - power auger to empty pits - by: twrogers http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4252-the-excravator-power-auger-to-empty-pits-north-carolina-state-university-usa-now-field-testing?limit=12&start=24#8834 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4252-the-excravator-power-auger-to-empty-pits-north-carolina-state-university-usa-now-field-testing?limit=12&start=24#8834 Pits with trash pose several challenges for emptying. For the "Excrevator", fibrous materials such as bags, rope, hair, etc. can get caught in the auger and cause jamming, which leaves us with two main options:
1) Put a screen around the inlet to prevent objects from entering
2) introduce a cutting device at the inlet to reduce the size of the material coming in to a point at which it can move up the auger.

The difficulty with option 1 is that often the sludge in the pits does not readily flow, so it would not pass through the screen or make it into the auger. If the sludge does pass through the screen, then your faced with the problem of trash clogging the screen and preventing flow into the auger.

The cutting designs we are currently working on here at NC State, would connect directly to the end of the Excrevator. The blades will shear materials that pass through it to sizes that will flow easier through the auger in addition to mixing the surrounding sludge to make it flow easier into the auger. Larger trash items such as shoes, large rocks, etc. would not make it into the auger and can be removed manually after the sludge has been removed.

In regards to having small pieces of trash mixed in with the sludge, this will be more or less of an issue depending on the downstream treatment process. Some technologies (like the LeDePa I believe) have a screening process on the front end that can remove trash before treatment. Also, if the treatment process involves some sort of combustion the trash may not be a big issue. Another option may be to have a screening process at the outlet of the Excrevator to separate the trash and sludge before transport.
We are early in our cutting technology development and will know more about the feasibility of the design after testing in South Africa in July and August.

As mentioned in the webinar, the best comprehensive solution for trash in pits is to design the toilets or to incentivize the users so that trash is never introduced to the pits. Programs like the one in Ethekwini have shown a significant reduction in the amount of trash found in the pits. Hopefully, in the near future trash will not be a huge issue, but currently it is a problem that needs solving for pit emptying technologies.

Tate Rogers]]>
Faecal sludge transport Mon, 02 Jun 2014 19:45:35 +0000
Re: Modernising urban sanitation in Southern Bangladesh (SNV) - by: sahidul93 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/8402-modernising-urban-sanitation-in-southern-bangladesh-snv#8606 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/8402-modernising-urban-sanitation-in-southern-bangladesh-snv#8606 Thanks,]]> Faecal sludge transport Tue, 13 May 2014 14:43:23 +0000 Re: Video of interview and demonstration for excravator - power auger to empty pits - by: muench http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4252-the-excravator-power-auger-to-empty-pits-north-carolina-state-university-usa-now-field-testing?limit=12&start=24#8587 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/4252-the-excravator-power-auger-to-empty-pits-north-carolina-state-university-usa-now-field-testing?limit=12&start=24#8587


The Playlist list for the entire webinar is here:
www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0gMdVBup...ymOPomtqL_XYT5YtLTSK

The video includes the presentation as well as a question and answer session which I briefly summarise below (the questions start here in the video: youtu.be/sc5PUtWvsbw?t=7m17s):

(1)
Arno asked how the Excravator deals with the solid waste (trash) that is in the pits of VIPs (or any pit that doesn't have a water seal on the toilet), since people tend to use the pits also as a general rubbish dump?

Answer by Francis: One aspect is education to teach the households to throw less trash in the pits (example eThekwini Municipality) (my own addition: or to give them alternatives for solid waste collection).

But in terms of the Excrevator: what enters the auger, normally gets pushed up due the rotational force. They are working on new designs to cut the trash by using the rotational power from the hydraulic motor - to "slice" the materials. So it should be able to handle some trash; they are experimenting with how the auger can deal with ropes and fabrics. But some other larger trash items will be left in the pit and it is then perhaps easier to take that out manually (once the rest of the sludge is gone).

--> follow-up question: a disadvantage of cutting of the trash is that you end up with e.g. small pieces of plastic mixed into your faecal sludge which will could reduce the reuse potential of the faecal sludge (in agriculture). From that point of view is it perhaps better to leave the trash as larger pieces would could be removed at a sorting facility of some sorts later?

(2)
I asked how easy or difficult it is for a professor in the USA to do research on pit emptying and what academic twist (research questions) can be put on it.

Francis highlighted that the "currency" of academics everywhere is publications and results. When you dig deeper into this topic (pardon the pun!) you realise how many open questions and knowledge gaps there are about the details, and this gives room for scientific publications. It gets more exciting the deeper you dig.
Research questions: Mechanical properties, operation, design, how people would use the tool, keeping the costs down --> it all becomes quite a challenge.

The students are actually very keen to do work on developing countries issues. It's not glamorous work but the students enjoy the challenge of this type of work

One problem is that it is very hard to simulate the pit content and pit empyting in the lab! The key is to go out in the field and to iterate in the field and that's what they will do this year. For example: How do you standardise trash content in a VIP pit (collaborationg with Uni UKZN in Durban, South Africa) - pit contents will be different in India to South Africa, differences for toilets with water seal (pour flush) to toilets withoug etc.

(3)
Question by Brian: you are working on cutting technology for the input solid waste to augers, is this something you would collaborate on with other grantees (like with us)?

Answer by Francis: "Yes, sure. We have a new design that we are testing in the lab, we feel that we can harness the rotational motion and power of the auger for cutting. The auger will hopefully also change a bit the quality of the sludge and the size of particles as the faecal sludge passes through the auger during the pit emptying. The input of energy will alter the sludge characteristics."

In the general discussion video, Francis was asked again by Mutala about source separation, i.e. how to get less trash in to the pits.

You can listen to Mutala's question and Francis' answer here:
youtu.be/OXY5vUz4_v8?t=0m21s
The answer to this question is more or less the same as given under Point 1 above.

The general discussion video for the entire webinar is here:



I hope you found this useful and I am curious to know what other people who are working in the field with similar devices think of the Excravator? Sounds great but too expensive in practice? Or price OK, but too difficult to operate? Or all great? What are your thoughts?

Regards,
Elisabeth]]>
Faecal sludge transport Mon, 12 May 2014 16:06:30 +0000
Re: Low cost innovative technologies for Pit Emptying - by: willychipeta http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/8330-develop-new-innovation-for-pit-latrine-emptying-in-peri-urban-mzuzu-malawi#8514 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-faecal-sludge-transport/8330-develop-new-innovation-for-pit-latrine-emptying-in-peri-urban-mzuzu-malawi#8514 Faecal sludge transport Wed, 07 May 2014 13:26:38 +0000