Health risks in connections with using UDDTs - example of eThekwini in South Africa

17.1k views

Page selection:
  • joeturner
  • joeturner's Avatar
  • Posts: 717
  • Karma: 23
  • Likes received: 185

Re: What do we know about odorous gases from composting toilets (or from composting in general)?

According to a paper at the FSM3 conference:

Since 2002, eThekwini Municipality has installed over 80,000 Urine Diversion (UD) double vault toilets at the household level in rural areas. This technology was selected to replace Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines (VIPs) as the Municipality’s basic onsite sanitation option as it was expected that the UD systems would produce a degraded sludge which could be safely removed and buried on site by the resident. This approach eliminated the challenges and costs encountered when servicing VIP systems, which included access to pits and sites, removal of sludge containing solid waste, and transport and disposal of sludge.

However, a number of concerns have since arisen over the removal of faecal sludge from UD toilets. These include health risks to residents who handle the potentially pathogenic sludge and dissatisfaction amongst household owners over the expectation that they will remove the sludge from their systems themselves while other recipients of basic sanitation receive a free service from the Municipality. The Municipality therefore needs to identify other safe and economically feasible faecal sludge removal options which can be provided to the 80,000 (and increasing) homes.


It appears from that that the health risks of emptying the UDDTs was a concern leading to the need to provide removal options to the homes.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager at GIZ and SuSanA secretariat, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3372
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 931

Re: What do we know about odorous gases from composting toilets (or from composting in general)?

(I think we need to tidy up this thread and break is off into a separate thread as the heading doesn't match with the content of the last few posts)

I am with Christoph on this one: pragmatic solutions are needed which are good enough ( meeting minimum standards, yes), rather than theorizing about a miracle technically perfect solution - which is actually affordable).

Yes at eThekwini municipality they are now also emptying the content of UDDTs free of charge (see two related threads on this forum, one about LaDePa and one about their new business model with black soldier fly larvae
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/53-fae...it=12&start=24#12590
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/147-pr...ipality-south-africa).

But I understood that the main reason for this move is NOT because anyone has fallen sick from emptying a UDDT or burying the material (there is no reuse there). The main reason is rather to make it fair for everyone, as those people owning VIP latrines also get those emptied free of charge. EThekwini municipality is quite unique in Africa with their free emptying services...


++++++++++

Related comment by Chris Canaday (which has now been moved to another thread ):

(Joe, that eThekwini Municipality mentions health risks from extracting biosolids from properly used UDDTs is apparently due to psychology and social norms, not documented cases of people getting sick. So many people, including you, have the mindset that ''once feces, always feces, thus the world human population is gradually converting all of the non-feces in the biosphere into feces.'' The biosolids that come out of a properly used UDDT are not feces any more, based on microbiology or any other variable you choose. They had been feces for a while and before that they were other things, including soil if we turn the clock back far enough. There may be some Ascaris eggs, but we can fine tune things to control them also, as I have done here in Ecuador.)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/elisabethvonmuench/

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • joeturner
  • joeturner's Avatar
  • Posts: 717
  • Karma: 23
  • Likes received: 185

Re: What do we know about odorous gases from composting toilets (or from composting in general)?

I understand that after consideration the authorities in eThekwini have decided that is not good enough and are emptying and collecting the faeces in the UDDTs for central treatment.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • christoph
  • christoph's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Moderator
  • Sanitary engineer with base in Brazil and Peru, doing consultancy in other countries of LA
  • Posts: 309
  • Karma: 19
  • Likes received: 145

Health risks in connections with using UDDTs - example of eThekwini in South Africa

The following 14 posts used to be in this thread about composting toilets:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/70-com...omposting-in-general

+++++++++++++

Joe,

But surely we want good solutions not just any old solution?

For me (sufficiently, minimum) good is: a double UDDT bench system with a drying period of 1 year were the feces are buried in the garden and the urine is infiltrated, acompained by a control (kind of the former eThekwini situation). If possible I always would have a real service model by a service utility (which could be just burying in the garden as minimum solution).

I understand that this is not sufficiently good in your view. Right?
Christoph

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
Page selection:
Share this thread:
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 0.089 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum