Update of the WG 04 factsheet on sanitation systems and technology options

  • rahulingle
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Update of the WG 04 factsheet on sanitation systems and technology options

Dear All,

As you probably know we from the SuSanA secretariat are compiling all the working group factsheets into one book right now and are therefore taking another close look at all the existing factsheets. Some of them have been worked on intensively by the working groups and are now available in an updated version.

I would like to initiate the process to update the factsheet of WG 04 on sanitation systems and technology options. The factsheet in its current state is online here:
www.susana.org/lang-en/library/rm-susana...peitem&type=2&id=433
It was published in 2009.

Elisabeth has kindly reviewed the factsheet and made some minor text improvements and also added some new sentences and references. I wonder if some new publications should be cited (as the reference list is supposed to list the most important publications in the field of the factsheet). E.g. The compendium from EAWAG on sanitation technologies, GIZ technology reviews documents etc.

So in short, please provide your input to updating this factsheet, we would like to hear from you (by 28 November ideally). - All main contributors will be named in the factsheet, either as authors or as contributors.

Best regards,

Rahul Ingle

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  • Ian
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Re: Update of the WG 04 factsheet on sanitation systems and technology options

Hi,

I have suggested some modifications to the fact sheet as attached. This follows some email discussions with Elizabeth von Meunch.

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  • rahulingle
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Re: Update of the WG 04 factsheet on sanitation systems and technology options

Dear All,

To simplify things I have now incorporated comments from Alexander, Arne, Lukas and myself in the attached document. So the attached document has comments from all and is the latest updated document ( except for the front page header which I will insert again later).


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You could use the attached document for reviewing the factsheet. However I should say that as we are short in time to finalise the factsheet, I would request you to send us your comments in the factsheet by Monday or latest by Tuesday.

Best regards

Rahul

Best regards,

Rahul Ingle

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  • rahulingle
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Re: Update of the WG 04 factsheet on sanitation systems and technology options

Dear All,

Please find attached a revised version of the Fact sheet on sanitation systems and technology.

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@ Ian and Alexander – As much as I agree with you new terminology should not be used, the entire factsheet which has its base in the sanitation compendium from EAWAG is entirely based on the concept of flowstreams. Changing this terminology would change the entire base of this factsheet. I would therefore suggest not to change the terminology especially for ‘flowstream’. But for ‘function specific technologies or spatial levels’, please feel free to suggest an alternative.

@Paul – Thanks for your comment. There is nothing new in the factsheet than the earlier one. We are just making sure the existing one is up-to-date before we finalise it for the book. I agree with you comment that ‘only solutions that have a clear economic value in one way or another, are sustainable.’ Could you kindly make a suggest for the text in the factsheet and where exactly we could include it.

I am now proceeding with formatting the factsheet. Minor changes can still be accommodated till Tuesday.

Thanks and Best regards,

Rahul

Best regards,

Rahul Ingle

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  • F H Mughal
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Re: Update of the WG 04 factsheet on sanitation systems and technology options

WG 4: Sanitation systems, technology options, hygiene and health
Sanitation systems and technology options

The factsheet is largely based on the sanitation scenarios, as they exist in the developed countries. Discussions on greywater, blackwater and on topics like “wet mixed blackwater and greywater system with semi-centralised treatment,” etc, are to the extent of confusion. The relevancy to the sanitation situation in the developing countries is missing.

In some developing countries, there is no separation of blackwater and greywater. It is all combined – wastewater. Under some settings, there is no urine diversion, and no dry anal cleaning. The factsheet does not seem to be appropriate in all settings.

A section on “Sanitation in Developing Countries,” should be added. And, this is what should be included in that section.

In the urban centers of the developing countries, the wastewater is conveyed from homes through sewerage system to the wastewater treatment plants. In most cases, due to poor workmanship, the sewerage system leaks. Since the drinking water pipes are laid close to the sewer pipes, the water contamination occurs.

While some urban cities in developing countries have an appropriate choice of wastewater treatment technology (trickling filters, activated sludge, aerated lagoons), others have poor choice of treatment technology (anaerobic ponds).

Quite often, in urban centers, the sewerage system is mixed one, meaning that both the municipal and industrial wastewater go in one sewer pipe. Since the industrial wastewaters are not treated, or even pre-treated, the toxic component of the industrial wastewaters, mainly the toxic heavy metals, poses problems for the municipal wastewater treatment plants. Rational approach demands that the industrial wastewaters must be treated by the industries, producing these wastewaters, or at least pre-treated before discharging in municipal sewer system. As is the situation in most countries, the poorly-treated wastewater is partly used for irrigation and, partly for disposal in water bodies.

In peri-urban areas, the problems of the jurisdiction of municipal authorities occur. The city municipal agency normally views peri-urban areas, as locations beyond their area of jurisdiction. As a result, peri-urban areas do not regular sewerage systems, as there is no agency to own the peri-urban areas.

Going down the scale of urbanization further, the secondary cities, or the second-tier towns have poor sewerage system. Wastewater is conveyed to ‘oxidation ponds’ for treatment, in some cases. In other cases, the wastewater is discharged directly into the receiving streams, untreated. The choice of the treatment technology is inappropriate, as towns also have industries located in their municipal limits. In addition, oxidation ponds are usually neglected, as far as the operation and maintenance is concerned.

The villages lack a proper sewerage system. In some cases, open drains are constructed which simply carry wastewater from homes to depressions, or vacant lands, creating unhygienic conditions. Villages need to have a full-fledged sewerage system, along with a wastewater treatment system that suits their economic status (e.g., aerated lagoons with locally manufactured rotors).

The scattered communities are the worst suffers and bears the burden of diseases. Either there are no latrines or the people defecates out in the open (open defecation), or, because of water scarcity, the latrines are poorly maintained. A septic tank-soakpit system is suggested for such isolated communities. Because of poverty, people may not enough finances to build the system. In such cases, the government, in partnership with NGOs and local groups should come to their aid.

F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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  • sjoerdnienhuys
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Re: Update of the WG 04 factsheet on sanitation systems and technology options

WG 4 sanitation systems.
I strongly agree with F.H.Mughal, as the factsheet does not appeal to the people who need it.
On par 3. The diagram does not reflect the general system prevalent in most developing countries.
The diagram should have a left column added with the water supply system as this is a major input to sanitation. The user interface needs to be extended with the pit latrine and dry toilet systems, making clear that these require much less water and subsequently do not have the sewerage problem. If the chart is not changed, because it is just an example, it should be very clear in the “figure 2” subscript that this is just one of the possible scenarios, and not easily sustainable due to high water demand and very high sewerage costs.

Top of page 2. It is more understandable for the reader if the text of the first sentence is depicted in a chart, or even better the whole paragraph. Listing all the options does not help the reader in making an educated choice.
On the bottom first column. I feel that a factsheet should help people to make a choice and understand the advantages and disadvantages of each system. These advantages and disadvantages should be clearly mentioned in the following paragraphs. A small diagram may help the reader better understand each system.
Under the a) and b) systems, also the small bore piping is possible.
Under the d) system it can be mentioned that urine can be sand/carbon filtered to make it odourless and that it can be applied (harmless handling) in diluted form for agriculture. Also Struvite can be made from it, being a solid, crystallized fertilizer form. The infrastructure is not at all complicated, just a double pipe and an adapted squatting pan. By presenting the system as complicated in the factsheet would put people off and search for other solutions, while UDDT is one of the most sustainable and income generating options.
Under e) a wrong impression is provided that the systems do not smell offensive. Nearly all these systems have an offensive smell unless they have sophisticated reception tanks that rapidly separate the urine or dry the faeces by ventilation and/or sun. A special disadvantage of most of these systems is the incomplete composting and therefore not safe handling.
Under f) the question arises why this is not combined with the d) text. ?
In the heading; There is no such thing as dry urine .
Under g) the difference with e) is not very clear without a picture. There is no system 5.
Box1. Clarify that the text refers to ‘untreated’ or ‘raw’ sanitation sludge. This is because biogas reactor sludge or effluent can with proper reactor design and sufficient retention period, be harmlessly used and handled for agricultural purpose.

In the table, under Impact on environment / nature, the CO2 and CH4 emissions should be separately mentioned; “air” is not enough.
Under the economical and finance issue, a separate line should be added for water supply cost.
Missing from the listing is some information about how an existing system can be replaced with another more economically and environmentally sustainable system (conversion cost). This will be often the case in urban areas. Can new pipes be placed inside old pipes or do you have to dig up the entire old sewerage system?
Under references: It is more practical if the references in the upper text are hyperlinks themselves as well.

Sjoerd from The Netherlands.
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  • StewMartin
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Re: Update of the WG 04 factsheet on sanitation systems and technology options

Dear rahulingle et al,

I agree with some of the points made above by these two distinguished gentlemen; but not all.

Allow me to take a different viewpoint, as a newer member of SuSanA and this Working Group. This is intended to be a document that describes sanitation systems worldwide (an enormous undertaking) in a succinct way, and part of a compendium. As such it needs to summarize all the different system approaches, yet provide enough detail to be of value to the reader, and lead to more detailed information.

A system approach can be one in which sewage is collected for entire municipality and treated as one ... or it can be a decentralized approach where each household, or cluster, follows a systematic method to handling with a commmon (community) result. This paper does not embrace this approach, and it should.

Also it should embrace the fast evolutionary pace of toilets and sanitation system designs. It may not be able to address all during such a pace of change, but ought to address most, show their path forward (as best understood) and provide a placeholder for those that will appear in coming months or years. At best, it would be regularly updated as each new systematic approach materializes and is confirmed.

There is too little here about UDDTs and Biogas - which can be centralized, clustered, or one per household. There is far to little about the emerging technologies, some funded by BMGF, and how they are turning into new systems, affecting local economies, agriculture-nutrition cycles, and benefits on carbon footprint.

So, please restructure to recognize the decentralized sanitation systems, include sections on the aspects described above, and find a way to make this a living breathing WG document. That will be an awesome start, reflect what's happening in the sector, and which can draw others into the SuSanA WG process.

Cheers,
Stewart

Stew Martin
Wasrag
Rotary Club of Seaside, D5100
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  • muench
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Re: Update of the WG 04 factsheet on sanitation systems and technology options

Dear Stewart,

Wow, you picked up on an old thread there which was dormant for two years. :-)
Just to make sure we are all talking about the same factsheet, the version of the factsheet how it was finalised in 2012 is here:

www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/433

Zurbrügg, C., Panesar, A., Rüd, S. (2012). Sanitation systems and technology options - Factsheet of Working Group 4. Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)

It is only 4 pages long and contains less detail than the other 8-page factsheets of the other working groups, which you can access here:

www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/1229

von Münch, E., Ingle, R., Mbalo, D., Kappauf, L. (eds.) (2012). Compilation of 13 factsheets on key sustainable sanitation topics - . Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) and GIZ, Germany

At the time when we updated all the working group factsheets, the authors of working group 4 felt that not very much needed to be changed. This factsheet is pretty much just an explanation of the systems approach that is provided in the Sandec-Eawag Compendium

(the e-version of it is available here: ecompendium.sswm.info/ )

So some of the the things you asked for are covered in the second edition of the Sandec-Eawag compendium that came out recently (and which is now also available as the e-compendium).

But otherwise, yes, if you can get some working group members of working group 4 activated to provide an updated factsheet, that would also be good. (there are plans to do this in a Wiki format in future, not to be confused with Wikipedia: www.susana.org/en/resources/wiki#akvopedia:Sanitation Portal)

Hope this helps a little bit.

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. Could you introduce yourself and your work a little bit, as you came out of nowhere without an introduction and your forum profile is also rather empty (although I did look at your website which has more detail on the work of your organisation The Rotary Foundation Wasrag)? I am curious. Thanks.

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum
(Funded via GIZ short term consultancy contract)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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