Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

45.6k views

Page selection:
  • AjitSeshadri
  • AjitSeshadri's Avatar
  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions , Designation- Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, NGO, New Delhi, INDIA , Consultant located at present at Chennai, India
  • Posts: 244
  • Likes received: 54

Re: Reply: Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

Dear Heiner.
Nice to note that you have got an actual feel of vermi composting.
We did learn all these nuances on field work, when with field workers at various site.
At most times, they could get what has happened, its when in next stages one gets to .. when - why - how - .. we get the picture to assess in totality.. of any issue or problem. Apt for trouble shoot. Great learnings to gain in field work.
Our well wishes..
Ajit
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Heiner
  • Heiner's Avatar
  • I am a retired organic farmer and interested in nutrient cycles. As an volunteer I now travel mainly to poor countries and together with locals I would like to find new ways of sustainable agriculture. This is beyond the regulations of IFOAM.
  • Posts: 77
  • Karma: 1
  • Likes received: 63

Re: Reply: Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

Dear Ajit,

sad enough but understandable by your explanation.
You wrote you are composting in a pit. That sounds unusual to me. During the process of composting lots of CO2 is produced and this gas is heavier than air. So the pit can be a hazard in an area with hardly any wind. And then the cover on top.... But you found a high level of CH4?

I once crawled into the tunnels in Cu Chi in Vietnam. The old guerrilla tunnel of the vietcong. There was absolut no wind at that day and we were the first tourists in the morning. Half way through I started breathing very quick and out of the tunnel I had the explanation very clear in my mind. So I know what happened to your worms.

Have a nice day,

Heiner
Heiner, the old farmer.....
The following user(s) like this post: AjitSeshadri

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • AjitSeshadri
  • AjitSeshadri's Avatar
  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions , Designation- Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, NGO, New Delhi, INDIA , Consultant located at present at Chennai, India
  • Posts: 244
  • Likes received: 54

Re: Reply: Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

Dear Heiner -- -- Elisabeth,

Specific query was raised on the 1st stage of VC, anareobic in nature not likeable by worms Etc.

In a bio- waste compost pit, we had to give lids ie perforated covers on top ... to prevent birds not getting hold of worms..
Worms are like factory workers, our life line.

Due the congested environs, the spaces produced CH4, heat +8 C, and being devoid of O2, became acidic.. And sad 95%:worms collapsed , very few survived..

The survived 5% were nurture cared . Our worm ie like army men increased for all + ves.. Great learning indeed for practitioners.

In this same tpopic, will deliberate in detail the dangers in sewer lines and systems and how best to ensure safe man-entry Etc.

Better still is to use Robotics methods

.. w wshs.

Prof. Ajit Seshadri .
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager at GIZ and SuSanA secretariat, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3372
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 931

Re: Reply: Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

I have now moved the recent posts by Heiner and replies to here (as they were broader than just vermifiltration in particular):
forum.susana.org/17-fertiliser-soil-cond...e-as-a-package#28486

Hi Kevin (Saintie),
Could you please fill in your forum profile and signature a bit so we know more about you. Feel free to give the link to your company, too. Welcome to the forum!

You said:

The largest vermifiltration plant in the world serves a town of ~15,000, and the highest no.of plants in any one country is Australia (upwards of 5000).


Could you please substantiate this statement with some website links or other documents? I live in Australia (Brisbane) so have a particular interest in the 5000 plants that you said exist in Australia. Thanks!

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/elisabethvonmuench/
The following user(s) like this post: AjitSeshadri

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • saintie
  • saintie's Avatar
  • Managing Director of Wastewater Wizard Ltd. UK based wastewater treatment expert with over 25 years experience. First began experimentation with vermifilters in the 1990's. Excited about all things wastewater, treatment, worms and sanitation solutions.
  • Posts: 5
  • Likes received: 5

Re: Reply: Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

Hi nasirsahar, my company is based in the UK however we are in the market further afield. For instance I will be in India in December. Our systems are for various types of wastewaters including sewage (from domestic properties), tourist developments, breweries, distilleries, food processors and agriculture. We also can do sludge treatment (as a retro fit) for existing wastewater plants. Our sludge treatment technology is unique in this field.

Although we tend to focus on larger scale applications you cannot ignore the requirements for many who face sanitation problems through no fault of their own. The Modi Government in India knows only too well the current problems; one just needs to see what is happening to the many water courses. Local (small scale) wastewater plants have been identified as the right fit solution due to inadequate sewerage infrastructure but local industry needs to clean up there act as well. A conservative cost here is $100B required year on year spend (for many years) to bring its waters up to an acceptable standard.

It is worth noting countries like India who are water scarce our solution (as well as treating the wastewater) would be to re-use the final effluent from our plants along with the worm casts. Today's problems require Circular Economy thinking to deliver real results, wastewater is one problem that is often overlooked to provide local benefits.
The following user(s) like this post: AjitSeshadri

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • nasirsahar
  • nasirsahar's Avatar
  • Posts: 19
  • Likes received: 5

Re: Reply: Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

Hi Santie,

Plz some more details about your verification technology. Anything have you done and where??
The following user(s) like this post: AjitSeshadri

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • saintie
  • saintie's Avatar
  • Managing Director of Wastewater Wizard Ltd. UK based wastewater treatment expert with over 25 years experience. First began experimentation with vermifilters in the 1990's. Excited about all things wastewater, treatment, worms and sanitation solutions.
  • Posts: 5
  • Likes received: 5

Re: Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

Long time lurker here and first time poster!

Folks please note what Prof. Sinha is talking about. Until his recent retirement he was the leading academic in this field. He has written many papers and knows what he is talking about. He wrote a fantastic review paper on this subject
www.scirp.org/pdf/TI20100300001_13953093.pdf
it may be nearly 10 years old but I have yet to see a more authoritative account of the many vermi technologies.

I have got to hand it you that every time you mention vermifiltration/vermifilters and how it can improve sanitation helps generate more interest in this technology. However what you may not know how it is more wide spread than you think. The largest vermifiltration plant in the world serves a town of ~15,000, and the highest no.of plants in any one country is Australia (upwards of 5000). There are companies that specialise in this type of technology (my one Wastewater Wizard is one of many). As well as treating sewage it can treat wastewater effluent from distilleries, breweries, food processors, tourist resorts, agriculture etc., so all in all quite an all rounder. I would be happy to answer any questions but I may be a wee bit slow as I am in Amsterdam next week at Aquatech.
The following user(s) like this post: fppirco, HarryTams, AjitSeshadri

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • hajo
  • hajo's Avatar
  • retired in Germany... but still interested in water and sanitation... especially in OSS... and especially in Africa...
  • Posts: 288
  • Karma: 15
  • Likes received: 154

Re: Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

Hi Dean,

Yes, the communities for whom we try to improve sanitation are quite unaware of any water and sanitation related diseases despite many awareness creation and training programmes undertaken by uncountable Government and development driven projects over the last 20 years.

The problem is that the danger of infection by unhygienic conditions cannot be seen, felt, smelled. It is invisible and therefore easily ignored. Why otherwise, there are still numerous projects at schools in Africa and Asia introducing ‘handwashing with soap at critical times’, i.e. after visiting the toilet. Because children haven’t be taught so at home.

Especially in sanitation, I have little confidence in education alone. It may have an effect in the long-term and in combination with enforcing means (penalties), as it succeeded in Germany with the safety-belt after 20 years, but in sanitation it will even take longer.

And another problem is management. How can we ensure that each batch of the VC humus from a community treatment plant is rested as long as required?

In order to avoid that the humus from a VC treatment plant and subsequently the technology as such receive a bad reputation because some humus hasn’t been rested long enough and it is found having infected people, I would require that the treatment includes a step which kills any ascaris at once, ‘nukes’ them as you called it, before the humus is released for reuse.

I know that this Is not in line with your approach, but you have to consider that you plan only for yourself, while I am involved in the planning of sanitation for numerous communities with thousands of people. This requires most likely a different approach in sustainable sanitation.

(Maybe even an aspect which has to be considered more often in discussions here on the forum? I am a friend of UDDT technology. I know Elisabeth was operating an UDDT in her family house in Germany. But I am wondering how the urine from 25,000 household UDDTs in a low-cost, high density compound in Lusaka/Zambia can be collected regularly for reuse?)

Ciao
Hajo
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. :-)
Albert Einstein
The following user(s) like this post: fppirco, AjitSeshadri

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • hajo
  • hajo's Avatar
  • retired in Germany... but still interested in water and sanitation... especially in OSS... and especially in Africa...
  • Posts: 288
  • Karma: 15
  • Likes received: 154

Re: Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

Hi Heiner,

We are not far away in such that we both think that the loop between sanitation and agriculture must be closed … the difference being that we (SuSanA) strive for sustainable sanitation and you for organic farming. Our major goals are quite different, and it has to be seen whether we will be able to close the loop between the two. The focus of our thinking is different. And the question is how much I will have to understand of agriculture, how much you will have to understand of sanitation, so that we will be able close the loop successfully.

I don’t think that humans have been excluded from the circle because of specific pathogens and non-degradable products mixed into the wastewater. I guess that in 1860 when sewers were built in Hamburg, it just seemed being the most efficient way of getting human waste out of town. Nobody considered that this technology deprives agriculture of nutrients and instead pollutes rivers and lakes with these nutrients.

If I understand your posts and contributions well, your motivation is trying to get away from industry driven agriculture which uses to much chemicals to increase yields and rather turn to natural methods of organic farming. And you can imagine that bringing human excreta back onto the fields could be one such method. I hope that a possible collaboration between WASAC and RUNRES as indicated in my above posting may show ways how to bridge the gap between sanitation and agriculture and bring human excreta safely onto fields of small-scale farmers in Africa.

Ciao
Hajo
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. :-)
Albert Einstein

Please Log in to join the conversation.

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: 323
  • Karma: 7
  • Likes received: 201

Re: Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

Hi Hajo, 
Maybe education should accompany step changes? Here in NZ we have fines for not wearing seatbelts and occasionally I still don't put one on. But perhaps I behave this way because although I am aware of the need, I choose to take risk. I am aware of the risk, as opposed to those who are unaware of the ascaris cycle and therefore cannot choose to break it?

Whether vermi-culture kills ascaris is not the question. I wouldn't expect the degradation process itself to kill ascaris, but once degraded to humus the ascaris has a very limited life. What has not been established is the time it takes for helminths to die in vermi-humus. Here is the opportunity for you to pioneer both the methods (cost/treatment effectiveness) of community-scale vermifiltration, but also to test and define the resulting products as an outcome of your project. The result would be the length of time required to rest faecal humus to be safe. That time may be more than one year, perhaps less. Taking into account the very low capital costs, this initial research would provide an informed decision point on whether to further scale the technology, based on a test case where the required behaviour change did or didn't take place. How important would that result be to humanity? The technology is low cost... but can poor communities adapt to it and break the helminth cycle? What is required for your community to best utilise the technology?

In terms of the most valuable product, the treated wastewater, this can be rendered safe for immediate use, nutrient-rich irrigation water, using vermifiltration. Because this makes plants grow so well it has value, provided land is available close to the treatment plant and the right crops were established. The nutrient loop is an essential component and must not be ignored. Vermifiltration doesn't produce treated effluent suitable for discharging to waterways, it is too rich in nutrients. I haven't yet seen a better method to close that loop.

cheers
Dean
Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Vermifilter.com
www.vermifilter.com
The following user(s) like this post: HarryTams, Heiner

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • hajo
  • hajo's Avatar
  • retired in Germany... but still interested in water and sanitation... especially in OSS... and especially in Africa...
  • Posts: 288
  • Karma: 15
  • Likes received: 154

Re: Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

dear all,

before responding to Heiner's latest post, i want to inform readers of this thread about the value of our forum: it is through the forum that we learned of a project being implemented under the name RUNRES (Rural and Urban Nexus Resilience) in Rwanda and in three other African countries.

One focus of the project is closing the loop between sanitation and agriculture/nutrition, the same as our vermi-culture endeavors discussed in this thread. I have made contact with RUNRES and we had already a first meeting where we noticed that we really should collaborate trying to close the loop.

We will continue reporting on our activities under this thread but want to make you aware that you will also find interesting information about closing the loop and beyond sanitation under the RUNRES thread.

ciao
Hajo
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of a genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
E.F. Schumacher
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. :-)
Albert Einstein
The following user(s) like this post: Elisabeth

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Heiner
  • Heiner's Avatar
  • I am a retired organic farmer and interested in nutrient cycles. As an volunteer I now travel mainly to poor countries and together with locals I would like to find new ways of sustainable agriculture. This is beyond the regulations of IFOAM.
  • Posts: 77
  • Karma: 1
  • Likes received: 63

Re: Promote VERMIFILTRATION Technology for WASTEWATER PURIFICATION by EARTHWORMS to produce clean water

Hi Hajo,

I don't agree: the way to understand each other is not very long. Actually I think we are very close.

As I understand mother nature works in a circle like this:
Producers (plants and other organism able for photosynthesis)
Consumers (Animals, people)
Destruents (bacterias, (your) worms, fungi a.s.o.).
I see two reasons why we took the people out of this circle. One are the different forms of pathogens and the other are the thousands of non degradable synthetic products. And here in Germany the authorities are proud to burn the sludge of the sewage plants! Not realising it is a big loss in terms of humus. Not realising it is "slash and burn" in an industrialised country and takes us any right to blame Bolsonaro for burning the Amazonas.
When I was young it was common to offer the sludge from the cities to the farmers. And we took it because of the benefits I don't have to explain here.
I know only little about pathogens, thats your job and I hope to find help here when I need.
We both can do little about the roundabout 1000 endokrine disruptors we have in the environment by know. The good news are it becomes more difficult for the Bayers the Roches, the Mercks, the Sanofis and so on to get new non degradable products on the market. In Europe it is result of the REACH agreement some years back. As far as I know.
What I know as a farmer is: I need the leftovers from the 7 or 8 billion people to keep the soil fertil in a sustainable way. One of the most common scientist in organic farming in europe told me he estimates a yield increase of 20 to 30% in organic farming if we do so! Funny part: due to the ifoam rules we could the products not call "organic" any longer. But I really don't care.
As a farmer I can use sludge, urine or feces. Or a mixture. It is up to the local sanitation system. Your job to find the best local way ;-)

To me urine feeds the plants and feces feed the soil. The humus content is of highest importance for a farmer who does not buy any mineral fertilisers (low input farming). And so is the shit of your worms. In agriculture we talk about clay-humus-complexes which are a stable basic for fertility and which are produced on the field as well, when enough feed and water in the soil. And temperature is suitable, of course.

But there is another possibility to use the energy in the feces: biogas. So if you sanitation guys built a biogas plant it is okay for me too. The minerals are not destroyed in a plant only a little part of the ammonium is lost. But: CH4 means C is taken out of the system because of the gas production. As a result the C which is needed for the carbon cycle to keep or improve the Humus content, is lost. There is a argument going on on this topic since years. But this is not of importance for our questions here because we talk about a today not used resource.

Back to your post: to me there is no such thing like waste in nature. We have to close the circles as mentioned above.
I come here (and wherever I show up) as a farmer and accept the offers you sanitation guys make. A healthy soil needs feed and is able (at least can help) to crack down organic stuff of all types. Heavy metals (not the music) must be measured and calculated but is not really complicated as I know from producing baby food.

As a farmer I finally need an analysis of the product of you sanitation guys. And then I call some wise guys and we decide where to put this quality: very bad (full of pathogens) only for windbreaks, medium quality perhaps fruit trees and good quality veggies.

This is all simplified, I know that. I just wanted to show you the frame of my thoughts.

Hajo, I think we are not too far away.

Have a nice day!
Heiner, the old farmer.....
The following user(s) like this post: HarryTams

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
Page selection:
Share this thread:
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 0.099 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum