New WaterAid guide on Faecal Sludge Management


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  • jamespharper
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  • Freelance Civil Engineering Researcher and Educator, specialized in global engineering and development in low-resource contexts with a focus on basic needs (e.g., sanitation, water, power, housing, nutrition)
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Re: New WaterAid guide on Faecal Sludge Management

Thanks, Rémi and WaterAid!  The larger compendiums and comprehensive texts are certainly important but so are subjective and more contextual texts.  I will definitely be using this text in my work!

​​James Harper, PhD, PE (he/him/his)
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  • pkjha
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  • 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.
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Re: New WaterAid guide on Faecal Sludge Management

    Dear Remi
The new guide on Faecal Sludge Management is well written. It gives  an overview of the existing situation and summarizes technological and management and other aspects to manage FSM. I have a few observations: 
  1. Septage from septic tanks is almost stabilized as it is emptied from tanks after 3-4 years (depending on the capacity of tanks). In such case, it is not suitable for biogas generation.  In the Guide, it is mentioned that produced biogas can be used for electricity generation, compressed for sale etc. What is rate of biogas generation from septage and how much septage is required to make the system viable? 
  2. Co-composing with solid part of septage with vegetable wastes is mentioned in other books as well. Again, in case of septage from septic tank, due to the same reason, co-composting is not very effective, after the solid part is completely dried in Sun on filter beds. However, semidried/ wet solid can help co-composting as it contains plenty of hydrolytic bacteria that can help decomposition of organic wastes.
  3. If we consider a Business model right from collection of septage to its treatment,  it is  always profitable, as there is good economic return from collection of emptying charges from households. However, to make a Business model solely on treatment of septage, is a challenging task. It is too difficult to recover CAPEX through selling of solid and liquid manure. 
  4. For treatment of liquid waste, conventional wastewater treatment technology can’t give desired result as BOD and COD of such filtrate is much more than normal wastewater treatment. There is a need of improvement of technology taking into account socio-cultural and economic condition of community. Such efforts are almost lacking in developing countries.
Pawan Jha
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
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  • rkaupp
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  • Rémi Kaupp Executive Director, Container-Based Sanitation Alliance
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New WaterAid guide on Faecal Sludge Management

Hello, WaterAid has just published a new guide on Faecal Sludge Management, on , and also attached for convenience.

I find it really interesting, well laid out, so useful, and of course I am no saying this just because I co-wrote it :-) (together with Dr. Mbaye Mbéguéré, and making good use of previous contributions by Dr. Abdullah Al-Muyeed and many other colleagues in WaterAid, as credited in the document).

Now of course you may ask why we need yet another guide where there is the FSM book , the sanitation compendium , the guide to sanitation reuse products , or the FS treatment guide . My answer is that I love these resources and use them all the time, but we wanted to offer a smaller and subjective selection of approaches, principles, tools and technologies that would be most relevant for WaterAid colleagues - though hopefully more people can benefit from it. So it is not an exhaustive guide, but rather a reference when designing programmes, with links to more detailed resources when needed.
Rémi Kaupp
Executive Director, Container-Based Sanitation Alliance

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