Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

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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

I completely agree with you Mr. Jha. That's why I had written " right microbial consortia" & "the mode of application". Since this is my new venture which has started very recently, i don't have any case studies in our company's name. All my work done and case studies were  with my previous employees, but will definitely share our case studies once we complete few of our current on going projects. It is extremely important to know, what microbial strains are being used, in what concentration, in what mix ratio, qty of addition and mode of application. These are few of the reasons for failure for many out there.
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

This is such a well timed discussion.

Some suggestions based on an on-going study in a few towns: 
  • Nearby towns already provide emptying services in villages. The arrangements could be institutionalised instead of reinventing the wheel. When such towns build FSTPs, additional capacity to extend treatment service to these villages would save a lot of resources and efforts. Forming such partnerships should be at the top of the agenda. 
  • Integrated planning of FSM and SWM is necessary, especially in large and dense villages. This also enables harnessing the synergies between the two closely related services.
  • Treatment technology should be as simple as possible. Best if the FSTP does not use electricity and does not have mechanical components 
  • Support of the state (capacity development, financial resources, guidelines, developing robust monitoring and information systems) is key. 
  • SHGs could play an important role in operations, in both emptying and treatment plant. They may need handholding support initially, but will create livelihoods for local people and ensure long term sustainability. 
  • Use of dried sludge in composting needs to be tested and closely monitored. The risk of helminth eggs entering the food chain cannot be ignored.
  • Monitoring and regulation of performance of FSTPs has not received adequate attention. The pollution control boards probably are short of capacity to deal with the number of FSTPs being established.
  • Involving local colleges/university students in planning, operations and overseeing service provision could be a game changer. This will not only support the local government but also raise awareness among the youth and such trained students will also demand accountability. This will improve the overall governance at the local level.
Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
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  • pkjha
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Dear All
I have a few comments/ observations
1. To carry FS/ septage from rural households to STP at a distance of 20-25 km is not a practical option. Additional cost to carry such wastes will have to be borne by the households. Village panchayats generally don't have fund to bear the cost. ( Most of such toilets have been totally funded by the government, with additional costs of awareness, motivation etc). Now, demanding additional cost to dispose of septage from   households to STPs is unrealistic).  Moreover, there are rarely functional STPs in districts. Such STPs. even if available, can't take additional load of septage.
2. About 40% households have single pit toilets. Through sludge pump, contents of such toilets can't be emptied as it is more thick due to leaching of water in soil. It is a serious issue for septage management from single pit toilets. 
3.   Trenching of FS/ Septage should be avoided. It is not a technology for safe  management of FS. It is simply a disposal system, requiring much more space. There is no consideration of health and environmental aspects or safe reuse of septage during trenching. The method was applied long ago in some developing countries that has now been banned. It should not be encouraged. 
4 In rural area, depending on the population with % age of septic tank/ single pit toilets, FSM capacity of 5-10 cum should be sufficient. Attempts should be made to make it cost effective, with no O&M  and complete resource recovery in the form of of solid as well as liquid manure.
regards
Pawan  
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
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  • AjitSeshadri
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Respected Dr PK Jha and et a
I am in total agreement with the notings given by Sir.

Under Sr. No.4:
The guidelines as given may be followed. 
All the FS accumulated in the respective ST'S and covered trenches need to be evacuated from the Rural homes, and taken for disposal by co-composting method.
GPs may keep these data and facilitate collection and disposal to be done free of charge.
The night soil converted as manure may be put to use in agri- farms Etc..
Also in urban areas, STPs have not performed well.
The gap exists in FS treated and FS generated. Even treatment is not done right.
This is another issue, to be dealt with..

w wshs. 
Prof Ajit Seshadri 
The Vigyan Vijay Foundation  
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India
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  • tejasdeshmukh301
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Technical options for treating FS
The possibility of treatment of fecal sludge at an existing STP/FSTP needs to be explored, before deciding if there is a need for a new FSTP. There are two options for using existing treatment infrastructure:
1. Co-treatment at existing STP
2. Disposal at existing FSTP
Such existing STPs/FSTPs in urban centres within a radius of 10 km or 30 minutes driving time (preferably) or up to 15-20 km or 45 minutes driving time (in extreme cases as an interim solution) can be identified. The district, in coordination with the competent authority responsible for the O&M of the STP/ FSTP can consider the technical aspects of the existing facility in detail. This is a critical
step to ensure its smooth functioning after accepting additional fecal sludge. Finally, an estimate of the quantity of faecal sludge that can be treated at the facility should be arrived at.
This estimate needs to be used to form a cluster and map them to a specific STP/FSTP facility for disposal. The district can enter into a formal MoU to this effect with the respective ULB.
The district can further ensure that there is proper communication and coordination between respective authorities and set up a monitoring system for proper and safe disposal of collected fecal sludge.
Way Forward
There is a need for MoU between the nearest Municipalities and Gram Panchayat for convergence on the FSM initiative for villages lying in the proximity of 50km radius from the nearest STP. Villages lying in the vicinity of 50 km can be mapped and categorized into five categories of areas falling under 10/20/30/40/50 km for the purpose of fixing tariff slabs.
Interested rural HHs (HH having toilets with single/septic tank) may send their septage/fecal sludge to the STPs/FSTPs of the nearest ULB on payment of notified service. These Gram Panchayats can be encouraged to utilize the entire value chain of FSM, starting from availing the cesspool vehicles to STP/FSTP of respective ULBs. The cost of the services can be fixed through a joint dialogie between ULB and District Panchayats.
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

This is a good discussion, and there are many good ideas.  I'm wondering if starting a Wikipedia page would make sense.  We could work collaboratively on developing this decision tree and easily make it open access for sharing and improving over time.  Let me know, and I would be happy to start one.
​Cheers,

​​James Harper, PhD, PE (he/him/his)
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  • Aditya007
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Thank you Mr. James for your wonderful suggestion on starting the Wikipedia page.  We will definitely look into it and if possible start it as soon as possible. 
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  • pkjha
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Dear Tejas
Do you have number of functional STPs in Gujarat, meeting the norms of effluent discharge as per the NGT. I don't expect even a single. Pl. correct if you have authentic data with location of STPs.
What will be cost and who will bear it in transporting septage from 10 - 50 Km. Do you expect households to bear additional cost? 
Co-treatment is feasible only when a nearby functional STP, capable to take additional organic load, is available.  
pawan
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Dear Dr P K Jha Sir and others

We are needed to appreciate Rural citizens for nicely dealing with voluminous excreta from live stock - cattle, goats and others.

If this excreta matter is duly handled and evolved as produce ie compost or cow dung fuel-cakes or others, then FS ex human excreta, could be easily dealt with.
In this Pandemic times, it is all the more important to ensure safe and secure dealing with this matter, bio- waste and waste-water too.
Even ensuring disposal by incineration method, may be done at local village level itself.
For all the above mentioned practices, it will be needed to provide OJT Training to designated GP officials and local villagers Etc.

If school or PHC premises or common spaces exist at the village level, then these locations can be used for handling safely the FS, and other bio waste matter termed as resource matter.
The principles may be formulated with practices demonstrated and put to service for the communities, and produces evolved in these processes are duly consumed for overall benefit of communities. 

Doing it right, will locally address
all the pollution issues,
SDG targets achieved .
Even the scrupulous habit of open- burning of agri- waste and waste from other paths may be curtailed totally.

Above notings issued in the social and environmental interests of the rurals.

Well wishes to All
Prof Ajit Seshadri. 
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India
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  • nityajacob
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Dear all,

We are happy to share the draft synthesis document on the discussion and webinar. The document is being reviewed and will be updated subsequently. We are also working on the decision tree and will share it here for your comments.

Thanks to all of you who responded to the discussion.

Regards,
Nitya

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

Dear all

Here is the final synthesis document. Thanks to Sandhya for facilitating the discussion, and Mitali for the webinar.

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

Completed "Introduction to Faecal Sludge Management" a MOOC produced by EPFL, about a year ago. It is an intensive (free at the time) and extensive course providing a huge amount of resources, including those useful in the referenced Topic.

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