Sanitation systems, what should they acomplish and what does it mean for re-use and disposal

  • Marijn Zandee
  • Marijn Zandee's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Student and part time Biogas and WASH consultant
  • Posts: 240
  • Karma: 21
  • Likes received: 111

Re: Sanitation systems, what should they acomplish and what does it mean for re-use and disposal

Dear Becky,

Do you have an introductory text on applying your risk based approach to sanitation. I would like to get my head around it a bit better.

Regards

Marijn

Marijn Zandee

Kathmandu, Nepal

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
You need to login to reply
  • JKMakowka
  • JKMakowka's Avatar
  • Just call me Kris :)
  • Posts: 841
  • Karma: 34
  • Likes received: 256

Re: Sanitation systems, what should they acomplish and what does it mean for re-use and disposal

Marijn Zandee wrote: Do you have an introductory text on applying your risk based approach to sanitation. I would like to get my head around it a bit better.


I think she is referring to the WHO guidelines:
www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/sani...water-guidelines/en/

and maybe:
www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/ssp-manual/en/

Microbiologist & emergency WASH specialist
Visit the new WASH Q&A at: WatSan.eu
The following user(s) like this post: Marijn Zandee
You need to login to reply
  • rcsindall
  • rcsindall's Avatar
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 1
  • Likes received: 11

Re: Sanitation systems, what should they acomplish and what does it mean for re-use and disposal

Marijn,

As Krischan said, the Sanitation Safety Plans Manual from WHO is a good place to start. Downloadable here is a handful of languages: www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/ssp-manual/en/

Becky
The following user(s) like this post: Marijn Zandee
You need to login to reply
  • goeco
  • goeco's Avatar
  • Self employed innovator with an interest in wastewater treatment systems and recycling of nutrients
  • Posts: 176
  • Karma: 7
  • Likes received: 89

Re: Sanitation systems, what should they acomplish and what does it mean for re-use and disposal

Hi Marijn,
Phosphate levels in urine are too low for use as a balanced fertiliser. On the other hand, water with very low levels of pathogens and containing high levels of balanced NPK is potentially a valuable product for agriculture. The leachate from my domestic vermifilter grows plants exceptionally well in my phosphate deficient (worse, phosphate retentive) soils.

In developing nations, consumers, engineers and planners tend (on majority) to want to emulate the lifestyle of OECD countries. This means that if we want non-sewer and re-use oriented technologies to become widely used in developing countries they first need to become widely used in developed nations.


I don't agree fully with this comment. I'll use recycling as an example... here in New Zealand recycling is very poor, with little interest from local authorities or government on reducing the huge volumes of waste going to landfill. I compare this with what is happening in India , which in my mind closely compares with ecological recycling . The problem is that huge volumes of untreated sewage are currently being used for fertilising food crops in developing (but not developed) countries because that is what is available... and there is a "market" for it. contrast this with the unsustainable mining of mineral nutrients by developed countries because they are "cost efficient".

My concern is whether we can safely assume that decentralized (or semi-centralized) solutions can reliably generate a waste water quality that is sufficient for re-use.


For me reinstating the nutrient cycle is imperative. The solution is to reuse effluents but ensure this is done safely. This doesn't have to mean burying "partially treated sludge and plant trees on top", but re-use of both liquids and solids in food crops using technological solutions. For example the added cost for twin digesters, just like twin pits, is minimal, but ensures a safe soil amendment. In my view this could be part of your "simple and relatively strict guidelines", especially "where there is a government that can enforce building standards successfully".
cheers
Dean

Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Go-Eco Sustainable Solutions
www.go-eco.co.nz
You need to login to reply
  • rcsindall
  • rcsindall's Avatar
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 1
  • Likes received: 11

Re: Sanitation systems, what should they acomplish and what does it mean for re-use and disposal

I'm really enjoying following this thread so first of all thank you to everyone taking part!

A couple of things that I have noticed in the last couple of posts:

1) There has been some discussion about what nutritional deficiency exist in different places. This is always going to be dependent on the soil type, the crop being grown and the farming history of the area. We know that nitrogen and phosphorus are both present in high quantities in faecal sludge (including urine) and there is general agreement that recovering those for reuse is beneficial. The exact process for doing that is never going to be one size fits all because of the variation in requirements. We don't want to have farmers using a product that is deficient in the key nutrient for their soil and crop types. We also don't want to be overloading soil with a nutrient that isn't required and will therefore leach off into watercourses when it rains. This is a great example of the need to localise sanitation and reuse systems. In an attempt to keep this post on topic, I agree that there is still a need for basic ground rules to ensure that localised reuse is done in a safe way.

2) Developing countries wanting to emulate developed countries concerns me. I agree that this happens (not all the time, but frequently) and I certainly don't blame consumers, engineers, planners and politicians in developing countries for this approach. You see something that works and that is better than the (sometimes non-existent) system that you currently have and you want that "upgrade". However, it's a really dangerous mindset and one that we all need to work to change. We have seen time and time again that developed country solutions are not guaranteed to be the right solution in developing countries. Hence the focus in Africa on FSM in an attempt to shift focus away from sewered sanitation for all. It's vital that people see good solutions that are relevant in their context. By all means, set some ground rules for what those systems are trying to achieve (as this thread is trying to do) but don't prescribe the system. With limited water resources, the effects of climate change and a need to move towards a circular economy to protect resources such as phosphorus, the developed country approach to sanitation also needs to change and adapt. Sanitation is an area where developing countries have the opportunity to leapfrog developed countries by moving towards dry sanitation systems and localised reuse systems without ever passing through the water-intensive and relatively linear economy model of sewered sanitation currently in use in developed countries.

Thanks,

Becky
You need to login to reply
Share this thread:
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 0.761 seconds