Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

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  • depinder
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  • Depinder Kapur is currently Director Water Programme at Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi.
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

This is a good discussion - FSM for rural areas.

It will be good to consider the following questions while building a decision tree that have not been considered so far.

1. FSM in rural areas as opposed to urban areas. FSM management framework that we were looking at urban areas so far, may also need a re look. 
2. FSM framework for rural areas based on rural typologies - population, aquifer typologies, water scarcity.

A framework should be revenue and financing neutral to begin with. 
Depinder Kapur is Director Water Programme at Centre for Science and Environment. He has taight at Shiv Nadar University and has lead the Sanitation Capacity Building Platform(SCBP) of National Institute of Urban Affairs. His professional engagements have been with AKRSP(Program Officer Forestry), SPWD(Sr. Program Officer), CARE(Director NRM), Oxfam(Program & Advocacy Director), WaterAid India(Country Head) and WSSCC(National Coordinator) and as an independent consultant.

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  • nityajacob
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  • Water Policy Analyst and Author; Moderator of the SuSanA India Chapter; WASH Lead at Swasti
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Hi Depinder,

Would you like to comment on the capacity building work you have done in various states and how it can inform this discussion. This would be really useful to the audience.

Thanks,
Nitya
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  • nityajacob
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Interim Summary

The topic on FSM wasdiscussed by 9 members in the SuSanA forum page. The discussion was kick started byidentifying the following key challenges in terms of FSM in rural and per-urban
areas
  • What is the ideal treatment capacity one should design for a given cluster of villages? With varying scenarios across a single district, assessing ideal capacities which would cater to not just the present but future population is a challenging task
  • Even if infrastructure for treatment is built/provided, ensuring proper and timely desludging and discharge of the collected sludge at the designated point is another challenge and would require a much stronger institutional mechanism
  • With a different economic and administrative structure as compared to urban counterparts, neither the community nor PRIs may have sufficient resources or capacities to manage an FSM system which will require contextual and easy to manage low cost systems
  • Faulty construction of toilets and containment in many places could pose a demand risk for any newly set up FSM system
With limited financial resources and various behavioural challenges, itmight be difficult to attract private service providers into rural
hinterlands.Following questions were putforward for further discussion to build the decision tree for FSM in rural
areas
  • What is the ideal approach to planning the ideal capacity and location of an FSM system for a group of villages?
  • How can one ensure smooth functioning of an FSM system in a rural area in the current scenario? Please provide inputs on the administrative, legal, management, financial and social aspects
  • What could be your suggestions for making FSM systems a thriving services market in the rural scenario?
  • How can one overcome the acceptability challenge to this concept of treating human waste and using the treatment by-products in rural areas?
One major issue discussed in theforum for lack of FSM in rural areas was its unaffordable cost. In existing FSTPs across the country, the CApex and OPex are not cost effective. Hence local bodies in rural areas are unable to be involved. Transportation of huge FS away from households inrural areas is not a viable solution due to lack of such facilities in extremely remote areas as well as high transportation costs to the urban/peri-urban areas where it can be further treated. Hence focusshould be on on-site sanitation strategies. Public-private-socialpartnership is a way forward to resolve the following issue option using the hybrid annuity model (HAM) which was successfully demonstrated in Andhra Pradesh. Moreover, a concrete plan forrevenue generation from such plants is almost non-existent.  Resource recovery for FS needs to be properly demonstrated to make the system lucrative. Private players are also reluctant to be involved in FSM across rural areas due to inadequate priority for assessment of costs and risks, lack of clearly defined and practical monitoring process and lack of performance linked payment.

Moreover, a holistic approach needs to be implemented which would involve considering the socio-economic and cultural conditions of rural areas. Two existing revenue generation models of FSTPs have been discussed in the forum. The first FSTP is in Wayanad district, Kerala which was constructed by PriMove infrastructure and supported by UNICEF and local municipal corporation. O&M was conducted by PriMove for a year which was later handed over to the municipality. Though a deficit has been recorded by the municipality in the first year it plans to improve the situation by increasing the tipping fee and sell manure which is generated from the FS in the plant. The facility uses innovative, nature-friendly and organic ‘tiger bio-filter ‘technology, which uses earthworms for composting FS. The facility uses innovative nature-friendly and organic ‘tiger bio-filter’ technology, which uses earthworms for composting faecal waste​. The FSM plant is of capacity 10 KLD(Kilo Litres/Day) that can treat 10,000 litres septage per day. The second FSTP is in Dhenkanal town, Odisha which has 27 KLD (Kilo Litres per Day) capacity that can treat 27,000 litres per day. The main treatment steps followed in the FSTP are solid-liquid separation, stabilization, dewatering of sludge and pathogen removal. The revenue model is demand based collection which operates in one urban area and 49 gram panchayats. It demonstrated a scalable and sustainable model for septage management in India. These plants can be considered as model FSTPs which can befurther studied and then implemented at different rural areas across the
country.
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  • Aditya007
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

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Dear Friends,
 
I am attaching a presentation on how fecal matter can be treated using a bio remedial method without the use of electricity or chemicals. I feel that it will be ideal for rural areas in a cheap manner.
 
Any seed needs the right environment and nutrients to germinate and bloom. In the oceans, if the right nutrients are available, pores bloom into diatom algae, very low in the food chain. These algae absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and with the help of nutrients and sunlight manufacture food for themselves. This process generates oxygen as a by-product. This oxygen oxidizes the organic wastes and converts them into nutrients that can be used by organisms. Phytoplanktons and zooplanktons feed on this algae and then higher forms in the food chain consume these. Finally, fish eat this and clean the water of the dead organisms. Dissolved oxygen helps fish to survive and will add to the availability of food in rural areas. The treated water is safe for fish to flourish, indicating that the water is good for agriculture.
 
If the construct of the STP should be such that gravity is used to transfer the fluids from one tank to another, it eliminates the need for electricity. Bio-remedial method eliminates the need for chemicals. This methodology will be sustainable for a long time if nutrients are added periodically so that the algae continue to bloom. The size of the tanks depends on the population that feeds the STP.
 
Regards,
Johnson

This is posted on behalf of Mr. Johnson. 

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  • Nirma
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Thanks for your feedback Prof Seshadri.
The word manual scavenging has been replaced by manual cleaning, in the post. I second your thoughts that sanitation workers need to be entitled to decent and regular wages, and dignity. Moreover, they should be covered by health insurance and social security schemes as well as be entitled to free medical checkups and other benefits. Positively, with the FSTP in place, mechanical desludging services have witnessed improvement and fecal sludge is now safely managed, unlike in the past.
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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: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Dear Johnson
The traditional technology of WSP ( Waste Stabilisation Pond)  is almost the same that you mentioned.  Algae do not grow in sewage as it requires oxygen and in case of sewage there is generally devoid of oxygen. Algae grow in WSP only in 2nd chamber, after sewage passes through settling chamber. 
 To achieve DO level 8ppm through culture appears impracticable. Moreover, any culture itself needs oxygen source to be active. Any anaerobic culture can't produce oxygen. 
Growth of Tilapia in wastewater does not indicate sufficiently treatment of wastewater- safe for discharge in environment. It is not an indicator. In fact Tilapia grow in wastewater, That's why its market value is very low. 
WSP is not preferred now in India due to the fact that is needs large space and effluent quality does not need the norms.
Based on the concept, if you have implemented any technology, kindly post the details of the results. It may help  theForum professionals a lot. 
regards 
Pawan
  
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha
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  • mitaliagarwalmehta
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

FSM is essential because almost 80% of the water supplied, flows back into the ecosystem as wastewater. This can be a critical environmental and health hazard as untreated water has been recognized as one of the major sources of pollutants for rivers and other water bodies. 
Accordingly, the India Sanitation Coalition had compiled great examples of FSM from across ten states of India in its best practices compendium of the series, “Business of Change” titled "Models of Success in Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM)”. This compendium carries ten State level cases in a framework that inter alia captures inception & planning, institutional setup, operations & technology used, financial & business models, and successes & lessons learnt.
I am attaching the same here for reference and wider dissemination.
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  • Sharibal
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  • Consultant & Advisor in the Sanitation sector: Senior Project Manager at CDD Society
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Dear Prakash,

To clarify on your point- yes, the technology should be chosen as per a particular context and such that it can be operated and maintained sustainably by the local administration. The question was to direct the thoughts of the forum towards the usage and desludging practices as well since the scenario in the rural areas is quite different as compared to the urban counterparts.

Look forward to more insights and experiences from partners on ground.

Regards,
Sandhya
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  • Kleenviron
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Dear Mr Pawan,

For any algae to grow the pores need to be available. Since treated water is used for sanitation it is devoid of such pores. In the settling tank we need to initiate it with certain quantity of water from a natural pond. Normally these pores are available in such water. We do not add any cuture to it. The word culture was used in teh attachment to facilitate understanding. We add nutrients in nano form which creates an enabling environment for these pores to bloom into algae. The algae then multiply with continued availability of the nutrients. The stink goes off as soon as the algae bloom. In a few hours one can see oxygen bubbling out because of super saturation. If aeration increases the oxygen content to 8% this is known to increase it by 10x. 

It needs the space of a normal STP and ideally it needs to be open to sky for photosynthesis to take place. Space should not be a problem in rural areas. However, for covered STPs we need to provide illumination and it may need electricity (if available) adding to costs. it will need to be on a slope to facilitate gravity feed and avoid pumping to a higher level. The treated water can be used for agriculture. Further treatment may be needed to make it potable.

The analogy of fish was to indicate that the treated water is safe. The results of analysis of the treated water is in the presentation attached earlier.

Regards,

Johnson
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  • Nirma
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Dear Mr Jha,
Many thanks for your interest in the post.
The CapEx came to approx INR 2.51 crore. The funding agency was BMGF and Arghyam while HUDD supported with land.
The FSTP has a revenue generation model which is mentioned in the post.
Regards,
Nirma.
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  • Team1Biotech
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  • I am a Chemical Engineering by education and have a total of 22+ years of work experience in the field of environmental, agriculture and aquaculture biotechnology. I have hands-on experience working with microbial formulations developed over many years of understanding and solving customer problems.
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Hi, since Rural India has their own challenges, I believe the treatment should start at the source i.e, inside the septic tank. We have worked on many projects, were we have introduced robust microbial consortia  into the septic tanks. They eventually liquefy the faecal matter and biodegrade the same.  The end results may not be as good as an STP but even it we are able to reduce the pollution at source by 20 to 40% it means a huge amount of savings at the end of pipe treatment. The key to getting the results would be the quality of the microbial consortia and the mode of application. Having facultative bacteria helps due to unavailability of the needed DO inside the septic tank.
With Best Regards,
Tejas Gathani – CEO
9029040305
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.teamonebiotech.com
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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: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

 Dear Gathani
Use of microbial consortium has been discussed several times on the Forum. Most of the cultures are not effective as per the claims. If you have any detail results of such use of microbial culture ( with control) you may post. Efficiency of a well designed septic tank is around 60% reduction of BOD. 
regards 
Pawan Jha
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha
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