"Fishing" for solid waste in a pit latrine - have you seen people do it? (example from Malawi)

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  • nicolag
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"Fishing" for solid waste in a pit latrine - have you seen people do it? (example from Malawi)

Last week we went pit emptying in Blantyre, Malawi both with a a vacuum tanker and with a Gulper. I was struck by how much time was spent fishing for solid waste and the mess that it created. In both cases 200L+ solid waste was removed.

Our operators method of choice was a pronged fork (see photos attached) - the waste is pulled off the fork and put in a barrel.

I'm no stranger to the volumes of solid waste in pits - but I left these experiences thinking the overall emptying process can not get much cleaner/efficient overall unless this stage can be cleaned up.

Has anyone seen other systems for removal of solid waste? (NOT maceraters which will upset our treatment works!)

What can we do:
(a) an improved removal system?
(b) more work around preventing the solid waste getting into the pit in the first place?
(c) treatment processes that can deal with solid waste?

or will we be 'fishing' from pit latrines forever?!
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Fishing for solid waste - how have you seen people do it?

This is a direct and almost unavoidable result of inadequate open-pit latrines.
As much as I think the Gluper etc. are cool innovations and that they serve an obvious need for emptying existing legacy pit-latrines, they are a technological band-aid for a problem that has to be solved by switching to a different latrine technology.
Or to say it a bit differently: I think that this is a problem that can not be properly solved and even if theoretically a another technological band-aid could be found for it, it would be ultimately counter productive as open pit latrines are also inadequate for many other reasons (and I am not necessary just saying this to promote dry toilets, but flush toilets also suffer from this issue much less).
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  • FrancisdelosReyes
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Re: "Fishing" for solid waste in a pit latrine - have you seen people do it? (example from Malawi)

We've also seen the way they do it in Blantyre, Malawi.

Trash, unfortunately, is going to be there- as long as there are no solid waste disposal facilities. We have been working on the Excrevator, a screw auger for emptying pit latrines, and while it can handle solid waste, it will get jammed with too much.

We are now experimenting with new ways of doing "fishing", and Tate Rogers will go back to Malawi to test some new devices that hopefully will make the fishing process go faster. Again, the goal is not to take out all the trash, but get enough out so that the screw auger will not jam. On the other hand, if you use a vacuum truck, you probably need to get as much trash out of the pit as possible.

We will have these and other results for presentation at FSM3 in Hanoi next year.

-Francis
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Re: "Fishing" for solid waste in a pit latrine - Perhaps not necessary

I'm new to the world of sanitation, and this is my first Susana post, but I've come up with a pit emptying device that should take care of whatever trash is in the pit. It's low tech, just a bucket on a handle with a pivot, but it should work well both in pit latrines with thick feces and in septic tanks with diluted thin fecal matter. See the attached video, which shows the latest prototype (still very preliminary) in both thick and thin material. Both containers are contaminated with a variety of diapers, bottles, corn cobs, etc.

It was developed after attending a conference where a speaker said something like, "Gulpers don't work, buckets work better". This device is intended to essentially be a bucket, but still keep the operator out of the muck. Work is ongoing, with a more compact prototype being developed. For a location with a very small squatting hole such as in the pictures here, a separate clean-out port would be needed, and this port would be covered except when the pit is being emptied.

See what you think.

Dale Andreatta, Ph.D., P.E.
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Re: "Fishing" for solid waste in a pit latrine - Perhaps not necessary

Dale could you post a link to your video please, I don't see the upload.

Francis, any photos you can share of your fishing tools would be of interest.

Has anyone else seen anything used for fishing other than a metal rod similar to my photos at the start of this thread?
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Re: "Fishing" for solid waste in a pit latrine - have you seen people do it? (example from Malawi)

This is a followup from my previous message from about a week ago where I failed to attach the video properly. The link to the video is:



Again, this shows the preliminary version of a simple device to empty pit latrines and septic tanks without the operator getting into the pit. A more compact version is being developed. The device retains the simplicity of a bucket, but adds a long handle, rope, and pivot.
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: "Fishing" for solid waste in a pit latrine - have you seen people do it? (example from Malawi)

Dear Nicola,

you had written:

Francis, any photos you can share of your fishing tools would be of interest.


so when I saw the presentation by Francis & Tate in Hanoi at the FSM3, I immediately thought of you. :-)

Here is a picture from their presentation perhaps this is what you were looking for, or at least it will give you some inspiration:



The full presentation is here:
The “Excrevator” - Safe and Effective Pit Emptying, Tate Rogers, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
www.susana.org/images/documents/07-cap-d...1/2-1-3-6-Rogers.pdf

A previous discussion about their project is here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/99-fae...usa-and-south-africa

(I am so enjoying digging through the presentations from FSM 3 (all available here ), thanks to Trevor and his team; a wealth of information was shared at that conference)

Regards,
Elisabeth
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