New article: Methods to reliably estimate faecal sludge quantities and qualities

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Methods to reliably estimate faecal sludge quantities and qualities for the design of treatment technologies and management solutions

Dear all,

One of the big questions within faecal sludge management today is how to determine faecal sludge (FS) quantities and qualities (Q&Q) in a city or neighborhood. With reliable estimates of FS Q&Q, the design for management and treatment solutions can be significantly improved.
Here is the first hand glance at the build up to the Q&Q (quantity and quality) method proposed by my colleagues at Sandec (Eawag).

Read, use and spread: authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S0301479718307527

For more information, stay tuned for the Sandec news, an upcoming book on methods for faecal sludge analysis (beginning 2019) and further field testing.

Dorothee Spuhler
WG1 Co-lead
Working with Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (SSWM) based at seecon, Switzerland
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  • muench
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Re: Methods to reliably estimate faecal sludge quantities and qualities for the design of treatment technologies and management solutions

Thanks for telling us about this new journal paper, Dorothee (open access, too - yay!)

Do you think there will be a spreadsheet model coming out of this for all to use? Also, will it form part of any of the several existing FSM toolboxes (see in this forum sub-category: forum.susana.org/277-fsm-planning-tools-...boxes-and-guidelines )

Just to generate more interest in this thread, I copy here the summary of the paper:

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Methods to reliably estimate faecal sludge quantities and qualities for the design of treatment technologies and management solutions
Author: Linda Strande, Lars Schoebitz, Fabian Bischoff, Daniel Ddiba, Francis Okellob, Miriam Englunda, Barbara J. Warda, Charles B. Niwagabab

doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.06.100
Under a Creative Commons license open access

Highlights:
• We present a data collection method to estimate quantities and qualities of sludge.
• This method averages out complexities of individual containment technologies.
• Correlations to spatially available data can help predict quantities and qualities.
• Indicators include income level, users, volume, emptying frequency, and truck size.
• Correlations in characteristics could provide a way to reduce analytical costs.



Abstract
Sanitation access in urban areas of low-income countries is provided through unstandardized onsite technologies containing accumulated faecal sludge. The demand for infrastructure to manage faecal sludge is increasing, however, no reliable method exists to estimate total accumulated quantities and qualities (Q&Q) This proposed approach averages out complexities to estimate conditions at a centralized to semi-centralized scale required for management and treatment technology solutions, as opposed to previous approaches evaluating what happens in individual containments.

Empirical data, demographic data, and questionnaires were used in Kampala, Uganda to estimate total faecal sludge accumulation in the city, resulting in 270 L/cap∙year for pit latrines and 280 L/cap∙year for septic tanks. Septic tank sludge was more dilute than pit latrine sludge, however, public toilet was not a distinguishing factor. Non-household sources of sludge represent a significant fraction of the total and have different characteristics than household-level sludge. Income level, water connection, black water only, solid waste, number of users, containment volume, emptying frequency, and truck size were predictors of sludge quality.

Empirical relationships such as a COD:TS of 1.09 ± 0.56 could be used for more resource efficient sampling campaigns. Based on this approach, spatially available demographic, technical and environmental (SPA-DET) data and statistical relationships between parameters could be used to predict Q&Q of faecal sludge.

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant in Brisbane, Australia
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  • dorothee.spuhler
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Re: Methods to reliably estimate faecal sludge quantities and qualities for the design of treatment technologies and management solutions

Hi Elisabeth

Here is the anwer which I got from the part of Miriam Englunda (one of the co-authors):

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The publication of the Q&Q method is indeed a big YAAAY (!), it is useful to have a structured way of collecting faecal sludge data as a support for practitioners.
Much more material on this highly important topic is soon available, Sandecs research highlights are each year presented in an abbreviated manner to reach out to the public, In the publication Sandec news (will be published in near future). In coming issue the Q(uantity) & Q(uality) method will be presented in a applicable way. For more details the Methods for Faecal Sludge Analyses book, will include a full chapter on Quantities and Qualities (Q&Q) of Faecal Sludge for Planning and Management.

However, in future it would be interesting to work towards tools and models that easily can be used by practitioners, but since the method is still a baby, we encourage context specific adaption, and the method can be seen as a structured way of collecting data to support respective goal. If anyone have interesting ideas, Sandec is interested to hear your thoughts!

Sandecs department Management of excreta wastewater and sludge (MEWS) is also working on a publication about modelling of faecal sludge Q&Q with help from spatial available data, which also will be open access hopefully in the end of the year!

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I hope this answers your question.
Identifying appropriate treatment technologies for a given case is a very complex problem and there is unfortunately not yet any simple solutions to it. Here is a link to a brand new video which might be also relevant in this context:

Faecal Sludge Dewatering - Video

www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/FnKubxbsE-M

Faecal sludge dewatering is currently one of the biggest challenges for effective faecal sludge management. This video explains what dewatering is, why it is so difficult for faecal sludge, and shows some potential solutions for the future.

Dorothee Spuhler
WG1 Co-lead
Working with Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (SSWM) based at seecon, Switzerland
www.sswm.info / www.seecon.ch
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