Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

  • washjfp
  • washjfp's Avatar
  • Posts: 4
  • Likes received: 2

Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

"If all the money and effort that is currently wasted of building some unsustainable toilets in remote areas was used to positively (i.e. without all the prejudice and coercive pressure) engage/subsidize house-owners in these dense villages to build houses with piped water and attached modern sewered toilets (something most actually seem to like, but can't afford), the actual outcomes in overall hygiene and happiness would be much better"

Kris I totally agree! I think that the idea of "low-cost sanitation" has become another way of saying pit latrine with very little thought put into it!
There has to be space for a Technical discussion of the merits of an outcome that include consideration of the behaviour change needed, but that doesn't get stuck into defeatist talk of saying it is something new/different and people wont use it!

Regards, Jemma
You need to login to reply
  • DavidAlan
  • DavidAlan's Avatar
  • David Crosweller
  • Posts: 88
  • Karma: 6
  • Likes received: 36

Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Kris and Jemma, and where will the water come from that these piped sewage system toilets need?

We are UDDT champions, as others will testify; they are not the lowest cost, but they are one of the more affordable sustainable solutions.
You need to login to reply
  • washjfp
  • washjfp's Avatar
  • Posts: 4
  • Likes received: 2

Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

UDDTs are a great example of thinking of solutions for the problems faced rather than doing what is the norm! :-)
Obviously piped water is an example of an outcome that wont be suitable in all settings! But in plenty of urban settings where other parts of the city has piped water it shouldn't be beyond consideration!
Regards, Jemma
You need to login to reply
  • DavidAlan
  • DavidAlan's Avatar
  • David Crosweller
  • Posts: 88
  • Karma: 6
  • Likes received: 36

Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Jemma, you will forgive me, how will that function in Cape Town where there is a major water crisis? In Tamil Nadu where we work there is an issue with water every single year. Northern India is exhausting its acquifer at an alarming rate.

If you're lucky 'zenrainman' won't see the thread and give you an in depth lecture on the issues of water in India.

Then, on another tack, how will this service be paid for? One of the reasons that no piped systems are considered is because of water usage and treatment plant costs, and who will pay for them? It is not those with money that don't have a toilet, it is those without money.

As a non-profit I don't want to be involved in systems that adds to the burden of the poor, I want to help alleviate that poverty so they can live their lives fully. Maybe in the long-term this could be sewer systems, but in the short-term for poor people it is a step too far.
You need to login to reply
  • washjfp
  • washjfp's Avatar
  • Posts: 4
  • Likes received: 2

Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Hi David,
this sounds like would be a fun conversation to have in person... but I don't have time to answer all your points properly online!
But as I said, the main point for me is to approach sanitation creatively rather than sticking to the norm, I am not 'for' or 'against' any solution. (therefore not trying to suggest piped sanitation will fit everywhere!).
Have a look at the Orangi Pilot project (if you don't already know about it) as an example of a great project resulting in low cost piped sewerage for the poorest people!
Regards, Jemma
The following user(s) like this post: goeco
You need to login to reply
  • goeco
  • goeco's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Self employed innovator with an interest in wastewater treatment systems and recycling of nutrients
  • Posts: 215
  • Karma: 6
  • Likes received: 110

Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

This topic is not about water use, nor about UDDT's, but pour flush pit latrines... thus acceptance of water for flushing. It is about acknowledgement of the problem of groundwater contamination and deployment of technical solutions.

This topic also acknowledges the benefits of the new sato diverter. In that context I would argue that fecal sludge will no longer be a problem and and emptying the pits is no longer a safety issue because users will not "directly connect both pits" and will only need to remove aged humus. The key issue that could justify sewered toilets is the potential for groundwater contamination. This issue may also be resolved with other technologies, such as what I have suggested above.

Pawan, thank you for acknowledging that India requires regulatory intervention to limit construction of pits to areas without high water tables. Could you please outline the sustainable technology being proposed where water tables are too high for pits?

cheers
Dean

Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Go-Eco Sustainable Solutions
www.go-eco.co.nz
You need to login to reply
  • ggrevell
  • ggrevell's Avatar
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: 1
  • Likes received: 2

Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Pawan, please let me also voice interest in learning more about the solutions you mentioned for high water tables. It's a topic in which we're very interested for rural Cambodia.

----
Geoff Revell
watershedasia.org | happytap.net
You need to login to reply
  • pkjha
  • pkjha's Avatar
  • Working for over 30 years in the fields of sanitation, biogas from human wastes, septage management, waste water treatment in rural as well as urban areas in India and other developing countries.
  • Posts: 148
  • Karma: 11
  • Likes received: 43

Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Dear Dean and Geoff
Sorry for the late response of your query. I was struggling to find a small hamlet of around 50 households in flood prone areas, with high ground water table in rural areas in Bihar state, where open defecation is still prevalent and households did not get any financial support from the government for the construction of toilets. Objective is to select community who are economically and socially backward. Selection of hamlet was required to be done in consultation with the local government. It is quite challenging to work with the local government in rural areas. Finally I got one such hamlet only last week in Supaul district Bihar. Detail mapping of households in term of feasibility of technical options of toilets is being carried out.
Photographs and design of toilets will be sent once toilets are implemented in households and tested. It has not been started yet. I hope to get the construction work started in next month with the help of local partner NGO. All the households in the hamlet will be provided with toilets under the project.
Best

Pawan

Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha
You need to login to reply
  • canaday
  • canaday's Avatar
  • A biologist working toward sustainability
  • Posts: 360
  • Karma: 18
  • Likes received: 140

Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Dear Pawan,

What options are being considered for these high-water-table areas? I have experience building UDDTs in flood-prone areas, such as here (with English text at the bottom):
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2009/05/inodoro...-zonas-de-altas.html

(On a side note, I would recommend that we use nicer terms than "economically and socially backward". Maybe one could say "low-income neighborhoods with low levels of formal education"? Why was this demographic specifically looked for?)

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
You need to login to reply
  • pkjha
  • pkjha's Avatar
  • Working for over 30 years in the fields of sanitation, biogas from human wastes, septage management, waste water treatment in rural as well as urban areas in India and other developing countries.
  • Posts: 148
  • Karma: 11
  • Likes received: 43

Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Dear Chris
UDDT is one of the better options for high ground water table and flood affected areas. However, most of the people in the targeted areas use water for cleaning and flushing and therefore, dry toilets are not culturally acceptable for them. Further, they are of the opinion that such toilets have some obnoxious smell. Proper awareness and motivation is required to make such toilet acceptable to them. Presently I am trying to implement affordable household pour flush toilets for high water table and flood affected areas.
There is financial incentive of INR 12000 (US$ 177) per household toilet from the government. The amount is not sufficient to construct a toilet. Over and above cost is borne by the beneficiaries. Depending on toilet design, such cost varies between INR 5000 to INR 12,000. Households of lower socio-economic stratum are mostly unable to bear such cost for a sustainable toilet. Moreover, one can get financial support from the government only after getting his/ her toilet fully constructed. Such community normally hesitates to construct toilets and prefer to defecate in open.
Since the project is partially supported by the WASTE, it was decided to select a small hamlet of households mostly living Below Poverty Line and can’t afford over and above cost for a toilet after the government subsidy. Households are encouraged to get only superstructure of toilet constructed under the government fund. Substructure is provided under the support from the WASTE. Our objective is to make such community Open Defecation Free and demonstrate technologies at mass scale to make aware other higher group of people to adopt the models for high ground water table areas.
It appears derogatory to use the term of socially and economically backwardness. However, even for different schemes of subsidy by the government, such criteria are mostly used for identification of beneficiaries.

Best regards
Pawan

Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha
You need to login to reply
  • DavidAlan
  • DavidAlan's Avatar
  • David Crosweller
  • Posts: 88
  • Karma: 6
  • Likes received: 36

Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Pawan, I would suggest you get in touch with my colleagues at Wherever the Need India in Pudducherry. We have constructed thousands of UDDTs in a high water table area of Cuddalore District and many communities are ODF. We have over 90% usage and the construction it is expected to last thirty years. We have eased back on our construction of family units because previously we could claim the subsidy from the Govt directly, but now this is paid to the family and that makes the system much more difficult.

I am afraid to say that unless you can get the highest level of Govt to accept UDDTs it will be difficult for this to be supported by municipalities, who stick to the technologies designated by Govt.
You need to login to reply
  • pkjha
  • pkjha's Avatar
  • Working for over 30 years in the fields of sanitation, biogas from human wastes, septage management, waste water treatment in rural as well as urban areas in India and other developing countries.
  • Posts: 148
  • Karma: 11
  • Likes received: 43

Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Dear David
UDDT is already a recognised technology by the Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation, Government of India. The book on Technical Options for on-site Sanitation, released by the Ministry ( written by me) mentions in detail its advantages and applicability. However, under the present financial support of INR 12000 per household toilets, by the Ministry, it is too difficult to construct such toilets. Most of the households do not agree to bear the over and above cost. Such households construct single leach pit toilet. However, the guidelines does not approve it; neither it is included in the above book. Such single pits are being constructed even in high ground water table and flood affected areas without considering pollution of ground water. There is almost complete lack of monitoring and regulation in implementing toilet technologies.
I have information about implementation of UDDT in Pudducherry, Tamil Nadu and Kerala states at larger scales and NGOs involves with the projects have done a lot of awareness and motivation. SCOPE has implemented a some community toilets based on UDDT in Tamil Nadu state. In some flood affected areas in Bihar also such toilets were implemented with the help from SIWI. However, it could not be replicated perhaps due to lack of proper commitment and or financial support.

best regards

Pawan

Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha
You need to login to reply
Share this thread:
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 1.468 seconds