Appropriate Septic tank Cleaning (emptying) Frequency


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  • Engineer Planner, Senior Program Lead at Center for Water and Sanitation, CEPT University
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Re: Appropriate Septic tank Cleaning (emptying) Frequency

Hi Elisabeth,

Agree to most of the points highlighted by Mr. Pawan.

In India it is still not mandated to clean septic tanks at an interval of 2-3 years as prescribed by the CPHEEO manual. Also the septic tanks here have large cleaning frequency because of over sized septic tanks.

But here we do have General development control regulations (GDCR) and National building code that all cities have to follow. But this regulations only give an outline on how the septic tank should be designed for eg. length to breath ratio has to be 2:4, but this does not give a definite size of septic tank as per the user size and cleaning frequency as mentioned in the CPHEEO manual, 2013

Also in 2013, we had an advisory on septage management from Govt. of India which now prescribes that septic tanks need to be cleaned at an interval of 2-3 years and with new national programmes like AMRUT which lays emphasis on septage management, we are optimistic that this prescribed norms may just be mandated.

In the cities that we are working in Maharashtra we are developing this scheduled fecal sludge emptying plan and the city government is on-board with us with 3 year of emptying cycle and we are planning to finance this plan through introduction of a special sanitary tax on annual basis which comes out to be less than what the people are presently paying for getting their septic tanks emptied.

Also, there was a World Bank project in 100 rural villages of Punjab, where they had implemented settled sewer in these villages and it was mandated that households had to clean their septic tanks once in 2 years.

Aasim Mansuri
Senior Program Lead
Center for Water and Sanitation
CEPT University, Ahmedabad-380009, Gujarat, India
M: +91 98 98 324874 | O: +91 79 26302470

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