SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Mon, 21 Apr 2014 02:28:27 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb SANITATION INVESTMENT TRACKER (SIT) - by: rochelleholm Does anyone have experience with the SANITATION INVESTMENT TRACKER (SIT)? Is it available for use yet?

Thanks much]]>
Faecal sludge transport Sun, 20 Apr 2014 03:52:16 +0000
Re: The excravator (power auger) to empty pits (North Carolina State University, USA) - now field testing - by: FrancisdelosReyes
In case you have been following this thread and are interested in my research project, then the upcoming webinar number 7 on “Adding missing links in sanitation value chains” could be interesting for you:

My presentation in this webinar is entitled:

Is a power auger "Excrevator" a suitable tool to empty pit latrines in South Africa and septic tanks in India?

The webinar will take place on:

Tuesday 25 February 2014, 16:30 - 17:15
(CET - Central European Time; time converter to find your local time:

More details of the webinar, which has 3 presenters, are available here on the forum:

There is no need to download any software to attend (simply go to this website: However, you must obtain the password to enter the room. To obtain the password, please e-mail Elisabeth von Muench: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

I look forward to meeting you at the webinar and answering any questions you may have. If you have questions about the content of my research before the webinar, please put them here on the forum.


Faecal sludge transport Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:16:37 +0000
Re: The excravator (power auger) to empty pits (North Carolina State University, USA) - now field testing - by: muench Faecal sludge transport Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:00:53 +0000 Re: The excravator (power auger) to empty pits (North Carolina State University, USA) - now field testing - by: BlakeMcK
Thank you very much for the response. I look forward to meeting you and the team. As noted, I will be in North Carolina Oct 13-17, 2014 but can come early or stay late as needed. If you have certain dates around that time that work better for you, please let me know so I can be sure my schedule meets your availability.

If possible, can you please send me your email address so that we can take this conversation off the forum so as to save the other participants? My email address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Faecal sludge transport Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:41:59 +0000
Re: Video of interview and demonstration for excravator - power auger to empty pits - by: ChrisBuckley
Thank you for your comments which were most useful.

Since my previous posting I have been pointed to a paper presented at the recent WWTmod 2014 conference ( entitled "Characterization and separation of unbiodegradable matter in WRRFs by Majdala Mansour-Geoffrion, Peter L. Dold, Alain Gadbois, Stéphane Déléris and Yves Comeau. The abstract of which follows:-
The purpose of this paper is to present a critical review on the characterization of influent unbiodegradable organic (trash) and inorganic (grit) particulate matter, to propose a fractionation of particulate unbiodegradable matter and to how the fractionation can be used to evaluate trash and grit removal efficiencies of physical separation units.

This paper (and references) presents a good starting point for the quantification of non-faecal material in on-site sanitation systems.

Our intention is not to provide a table of particle size range and mass fraction, but rather a practical inventory of material to add to a given mass of sludge simulant.
While a whole pit will be analysed, it is intended to determine the material in manageable batches of 25 to 50 kg. In this a more granular view of a pit will be obtained, but still it will not be able to discriminate layers within a pit.

A PhD student is about to start a project to determine the mass and composition of the material in screenings and scum within septic tanks serving community ablution blocks. This will lead on to techniques for the better management of such residues.

Faecal sludge transport Tue, 08 Apr 2014 17:40:24 +0000
Re: Video of interview and demonstration for excravator - power auger to empty pits - by: FrancisdelosReyes
As always, PRG is on the leading edge of fecal sludge

Trying to "standardize" sludge is an extremely important effort, and your group (PRG) is the best and most qualified to do this, particularly for South Africa VIPs. Initially, we tested on bentonite mixtures, and dairy manure, but as you pointed out, we need to consider sludge strength, viscosity, "stickiness", trash contents, etc. As you know, just using % solids is highly misleading, and I think we need to educate users (and funders) that it's not that simple.

A few quick comments on your proposed study:

1. Particle size can be measured in different ways (e.g., geometrical mean diameter). For the Excrevator, the "traditional" particle size distribution of soils/pure fecal material (say from microns to 50 mm) is probably not an issue: the auger can lift these. Larger particles up to 100 mm or higher may be the bigger problem, but I think the "shape factor" of particles may be the bigger issue. The "shape factor" would quantify whether it's a sphere or a rod, or some other irregular shape. For example, we have preliminary testing showing the Excrevator (in its current form) can lift 100 mm long pieces of rope of 10 mm dia. But how do we quantify paper (rolled vs flat), or plastic bags, or other trash? This would be very important for us as we try to think about "cutting", "shredding", or "screening" as part of the Excrevator operation.

2. I know that testing on actual pits is difficult and expensive, but i fear that one pit may not be enough to capture variability (even in Durban).

3. The concept of "layers" - hard layers and soft layers, thickened scum and watery layers, compacted bottoms - it may be hard to simulate that. Layers can be revealed by field penetrometers, but in our lab, we've tried to think about how to simulate these layers, and it's difficult.

4. Any thoughts on septic tanks? These may be more a South Asia, SE Asia problem, where vacuum trucks take out the watery upper layer but leave the bottom compacted layer untouched. In addition to VIP sludge, perhaps quantifying septic tank sludge might also be in the works?

As always, it's refreshing to discuss FS with you. My hope is that in the near future we will have a clearer idea of which desludging techniques/equipment are best for different pits/regions. I'm not sure we will find one that will work for all types.

Faecal sludge transport Sat, 05 Apr 2014 16:05:30 +0000
Re: The excravator (power auger) to empty pits (North Carolina State University, USA) - now field testing - by: FrancisdelosReyes
We would be glad to meet with you in October. We have a lot of trips scheduled at this point (India, Malawi, South Africa), and we intend to iterate on the design, so the Excrevator may look a little different at that time. I think we may end up with different designs for South Asia's septic tanks and ZA's VIP sludge.

Faecal sludge transport Sat, 05 Apr 2014 15:37:11 +0000
Re: The excravator (power auger) to empty pits (North Carolina State University, USA) - now field testing - by: BlakeMcK
Like so many other people, I am very excited about the potential of this technology. Cheers to you and your team for all the great work so far.

iDE implements sanitation marketing projects in 6 countries around the world ( Many of the latrines we promote are pit latrines. In Cambodia, we Facilitate the adoption of the Easy Latrine - a pour-flush off set pit latrine. We are starting to hit scale there, as more than 225,000 of these latrines have been purchased and installed by rural households in the past 3-4 years. We are brainstorming around how to create hygienic latrine emptying businesses to service rural households with these latrines and the pit excrevator could be an enormously important technology innovation.

I am going to be attending the Water and Health Conference at UNC from Oct 13-17, 2014. Would it be possible for me to come visit you and the team to meet in person and see the technology? I think working together could be really beneficial for both of us.

Faecal sludge transport Fri, 04 Apr 2014 21:01:28 +0000
Re: Video of interview and demonstration for excravator - power auger to empty pits - by: ChrisBuckley
I was very impressed with the demonstration in Delhi. To assist you and other developers of desludging devices the PRG will undertake a complete particle size analysis (from +100 mm to 20 micrometer) of one full VIP. The purpose is to provide a recipe of non-faecal material that can be added to a homogeneous sludge such as the bentonite which you used. In this way we will try to establish a "Durban standard VIP sludge". In parallel with the particle size analysis we will measure viscosity in a number of different ways (shear rheometer and lab and field penetrometers)and a stickyness index (to describe the clearing of the material from the pump material. Your or other pit emptying device developer's thoughts on other appropriate tests will be appreciated.

Faecal sludge transport Wed, 02 Apr 2014 15:09:14 +0000
Re: Video of interview and demonstration for excravator - power auger to empty pits - by: FrancisdelosReyes
The link is here:

Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development Vol 4 No 1 pp 72–80 © IWA Publishing 2014 doi:10.2166/washdev.2013.183

Power earth auger modification for waste extraction from pit latrines

Tate Weston Rogers, Francis L. de los Reyes, Walter J. Beckwith and Robert C. Borden

Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7908, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The extraction auger was developed to meet the need for a low cost, effective method to empty pit latrines in difficult to access locations. The basic design consists of a motor that rotates an auger inside a pipe, lifting waste from a pit and depositing it into containers through a wye fitting at the top of the device. Laboratory testing of the auger showed increases in flow rates with increasing auger rotational speed and waste viscosity. An auger with an external hydraulic drive was capable of lifting dairy waste over 2.5 m, at flow rates of over 125 liters per minute. Field-testing showed the equipment was effective at lifting medium viscosity wastes containing a mixture of liquid and solid material. However, the auger was not effective in removing low viscosity, liquid waste that would flow backward down the auger reducing lifting efficiency. The auger was capable of drilling into dense solid waste, forming a ‘posthole’ in the waste. However, since the dense solid waste would not flow towards the auger intake, actual waste removal from the pit was limited. Improved methods are needed to mix liquid and solid waste in pits prior to removal with the extraction auger or other technologies.

Keywords: auger; pit emptying; portable]]>
Faecal sludge transport Tue, 01 Apr 2014 20:28:23 +0000
Describe local situation of pit latrines – A snapshot of pit latrines in peri urban Mzuzu What is a Mzuzu pit latrine? - by: RashidChiposa As first phase of my research, I will be analyzing the state of existing pit latrines in the study area as an illustrative local situation to suggest practical strategies for the good management of on-site sanitation facilities. The chiefs will provide information through face-to-face interviews on the history while the Department of Geology in Mzuzu will provide information on altitude, geology and water table of the study area. A questionnaire will be administered to selected households to gather information regarding the following local parameters: Population of Muslims and Christians, number of users per latrine, what is done for babies/children in terms of their waste, number of households that use additives in the latrine, the frequency of pit emptying, the age of the latrine and the number of households that are connected to piped water.
Physical measurements will include determining the dimension i.e. width, length and depth (height) of the latrine in order to calculate the latrine’s carrying capacity i.e. its volume. The increase in volume of the sludge in each latrine will be recorded at intervals for a specified period of time. Thus, the filling rate of the latrine will be given by increase in volume per unit time.
Extraction of actual feacal sludge will be conducted on selected latrines to analyze the constituents of feacal sludge in the latrine. It is during this same extraction process that it will be determined as to whether the latrine is lined or unlined.
My writing therefore, is to request members on this forum to provide additional relevant information which can assist me to successfully carry out this research. Furthermore, you can connect me to any individual who has undertaken this research before or send me any publication on the same.
Thank you,
Rashid Chiposa.]]>
Faecal sludge transport Tue, 01 Apr 2014 13:21:10 +0000
Low cost innovative technologies for Pit Emptying - by: willychipeta
The premise of the research focus entails that urban informal settlements present unique challenges to the provision of adequate and sustainable access to improved sanitary facilities. This focus is in view that most low income urban dwellers have many pressing need on their limited resource base that in turn forces budgetary allocations at household level to be constrained. Hence can only afford pit emptying services that are within their reach in terms of financial resources available.

Therefore in this write up I am seeking help in innovative low cost technologies for pit emptying technologies that are in practice in other cities in Africa or beyond. The purpose of such information is that they can be adapted to the context of Malawi through field testing of the aforesaid technologies.

Further to this, I am seeking support on best strategies to undertake a cost benefit analysis of the potential technologies so as to ascertain viability for use by urban dwellers with due consideration to resource base constraints. Any other advice on how the research can be undertaken successfully is welcome.

I will greatly appreciate any assistance and support that you can render to me.

Willy Chipeta.]]>
Faecal sludge transport Wed, 26 Mar 2014 13:25:58 +0000
Video of interview and demonstration for excravator - power auger to empty pits - by: muench

Here is the short interview (3 min.) with Francis, the project leader, to give the overall project story and current status:

And here is a demonstration of the "excravator" on fake faecal sludge (bentonite-water mixture) at the fair:

Francis told us that he met an Indian manufacturer at the fair who has expressed an interest in trying out one of his units.


Faecal sludge transport Tue, 25 Mar 2014 11:27:15 +0000
Re: Research project: Characterization of Pit Latrine Contents and scientific understanding - Kampala, Uganda (Makerere University) - by: Kiku The research project looks interesting, and it will complement ongoing studies that also involve the same actors in your project. Two studies that quickly come to mind are:
1. Kampala WATSAN Project Package 5a - Review of Water Supply Aspects in Informal Settlements and Developing a City-wide On-Site Sanitation Concept (with a strong bias towards FSM and Sanitation Marketing). NWSC is the implementing agency with KCCA, GIZ and KfW as partners.
2. City Partnerships for Improving FSM for On-Site Sanitation in Kampala using Service Level Agreements and Performance Contracts. KCCA is the implementing agency with NWSC, GIZ and Water for People as partners.

GIZ has a good working relationship with KCCA and we would be glad to leverage the same to support your research project. Please feel free to contact me/us.

Faecal sludge transport Fri, 14 Mar 2014 17:46:20 +0000
Re: Fecal Sludge Management Urban Policy - by: Daniel82
Thank you so much for the guidance you have given me. I find all the links you have shared very useful. As you you have rightly put it that most cities do not have a stand-alone FSM policy and that issues of FSM are found in urban sanitation policies, I would still appreciate if I can get hold of one such policy document or more research papers on the same.

The study done by Steven Sudgen of Water for People on Catalyzing Sanitation as a business also provides some insight on FSM but I still need a lot of literature to look at.

I will keep you posted on the developments regarding my study and I will not hesitate to bring more questions for discussion.

Thank you so much,

Faecal sludge transport Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:38:29 +0000