Managing feces from UDDTs in sacks, plus online interview on UDDTs (Ecuador)

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Re: Reply: New video on Managing Feces in Sacks, plus online interview on UDDTs

fascinating, Chris - what a wealth of useful practical detail!

Squatting is good unless, in my experience, you are wearing tight-fitting pants (I mean underwear, but trousers might have the same effect). Thus shackled, or hobbled, you can end up tipping over and/or trailing underwear unhygienically on the floor.

I am interested in the implications because the majority of menstrual hygiene management practices advocated at present require tight-fitting pants. I wonder what the women you work with find to be their experience? Do they have strategies for managing tight-fitting pants? Or do they avoid them, with the attendant implications for menstrual management?

Thanks, Susannah

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  • canaday
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Re: New video on Managing Feces in Sacks, plus online interview on UDDTs

Hi Dennis and everyone,

Sorry for the delay. I have been a bit tied up.

It is a pleasure to help answer your Questions on UDDT Systems.

Q1. I personally am agreed on squat rather than sit for health reasons - is there
any discussion needed on this point?

Squatting is certainly the best position, in terms of health and hygiene. It is
also simpler and less expensive to build, plus we get better separation of the
urine. See
http://www.toilet-related-ailments.com%2Fbenefits-of-squatting.html
----This is very much a cultural matter. People who have grown up with sit-down
toilets will want to sit ... until they want to improve their colon health, have
better hygiene, and build their UDDTs less expensively.
----Convincing westernized people to even think about toilets for squatting in the
Western Hemisphere is an up-hill battle, since they have never previously seen a
presentable toilet for squatting, only funky, fly-filled latrines. People aspire to
having sit-down toilets, since that is what they see in fancy homes.

Q2. For those who need physical support while squatting (older / ill / disabled
people), particularly when cleaning afterwards, what have people seen and used that
is effective - or do we need to design some for low resource communities?

I have not done one yet, but I think it would be feasible to make a lightweight,
portable seat that can be placed on the squat toilet to allow people to sit. when
not needed, it can be placed out of the way.

Q2a. Are there useful designs (handles, grips, rails etc) for squatting support -
during, at cleaning and getting up after?

Yes, it is very good to put a handle for holding on to, especially if some of the
users are Westerners who are not accustomed to squatting. Sometimes, I cut the
handle from a plastic jug and nail or screw it onto the wall to hold on to. (The
rest of the 20- or 40-liter jug can hold the sack, see
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2012/04/aumentamos-un-tacho.html)

Q3a. What is used in low resource communities now where anal washing is the norm -
and how is the water supplied (simple bucket, tank with hose)?

Everyone seems to be wipers here, but from what I understand washers tend to use a
bucket. This seems very unhygienic, and I would like to develop something along the
lines of a TippyTap (www.tippytap.org) for this washing.

Q3b. What impact does anal washing (due to the extra water in the faeces) have on
the sludge in a UDDT scenario (i.e., the drying time, the smell, the attraction to
flies etc) - is it minimal or is it significant?

Anal wash water should be kept separate, maybe via a separate basin/funnel behind
the fecal drop hole (as some squat pans are made in India). This water should go to
soak pit or some sort of artificial wetland, for treatment. The amount of smell and
flies generated by mixing water into the feces would be variable, depending on
climate, cover material, intestinal health of the users, etc.

Q3c. And if significant, do you need to add an anal wash diversion into the system?
(which seems like a complexity I wouldn't want to get into)

As I said, yes. And it does not seem so complex. It would be more of a problem if
the unit produces smell and flies.

Q4a. For wiping cleaning - what wiping materials are being used in low resource
settings (newspaper, other paper, toilet paper, leaves, etc?)

Yes, all of the above. Here in the Amazon there are excellent, soft, perfumed
leaves. Some indigenous people use corn cobs or carefully prepared sticks.

Q4b. What impacts do the various wiping materials have on the sludge breakdown / processing?

No problem, as it all breaks down (even though the mentioned sticks take longer).
We almost never see toilet paper the next year, although this may show up more in drier climates.

Q4c. What wiping material have people found is most suitable for the purpose that is usually readily available in rural settings, is biodegradable and won't detract from the sludge processing / breakdown and is also non-damaging / painful to the user.

Carefully selected leaves, like Piper auritum
(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_auritum), are great, as are other selected Piperaceae and Melastomataceae.

(to be continued ...)

Best wishes,
Chris
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: New video on Managing Feces in Sacks, plus online interview on UDDTs

Hi Dennis,

Wow, that's a lot of questions (made me realise that more details are still needed for the Wikipedia page on UDDTs ;-)).

Just three quick answers or links to make you aware of previous discussions here on the forum (so that we don't re-discuss this from scratch):

Discussion on squatting versus sitting, please see here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/141-ot...squatting-vs-sitting

Discussion on UDDTs for people who use water for washing, please see here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/141-ot...nique-situation#6668

or here the discussion on UDDTs for Muslim users:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/34-uri...-in-muslim-countries

As for the covering materials - as the UDDT Technology Review and the Wikipedia article state - you can use basically anything that's dry and that is available. It doesn't even need to be biodegradable, e.g. you could also use sand (or lime). Just anything that doesn't harm the soil later if the dried faeces are buried or applied to the soil. I think people just use whatever is easily available.

Chris Canaday has written in several places on the forum about the use of compost as a cover material and Christoph Platzer has written several times on the forum that he is not in favour of that (due to safety aspects). I tried to find Christoph's post about it with the search function but couldn't locate it yet. But one of Chris Canaday's posts about it from 3 years ago is here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/34-uri...terial-in-uddts#2866

Hope this helps a little bit even though it is only a partial answer to your long list of questions. I am sure other people will also chip in to help answer them.
And afterwards, I am going to improve the Wikipedia page about UDDTs to "capture" these questions and answers.

Regards,
Elisabeth
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/
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Re: New video on Managing Feces in Sacks, plus online interview on UDDTs

Hi Chris (and any other readers, particularly Christoph who has been active in UDDT's for some time)

Questions on UDDT Systems

Have been working through the sanitation issues and challenges in my mind and have some questions which I hope others can help me with, (as I think about incorporating an overview of sanitation and UDDT's into training with with low resource, remote and rural communities soon) - and rather than belabour everybody over multiple posts, I thought I would simply lay them all out here.

Please feel free to comment as you see fit

Chris Canady, some relate directly to UDDT's and your system (as I have seen it from the blog and videos); others are of a more general nature

I have broken the entire sanitation system into components so I don't forget any parts (I hope:) - please view this as if you were tutoring a slow learner:)

Generally, my enquiries from this post are

a) did I get the system correct - nothing missed out, nothing I have misunderstood?

and b) answers to the specific questions in the components below

  • Toilet style - squat vs sit
Q1. I personally am agreed on squat rather than sit for health reasons - is there any discussion needed on this point?

Q2. For those who need physical support while squatting (older / ill / disabled people), particularly when cleaning afterwards, what have people seen used that is effective - or do we need to design some for low resource communities?

Are there useful designs (handles, grips, rails etc) for squatting support - during, at cleaning and getting up after?

(Even I, as relatively young - well 48 - and fit guy, can find squatting a challenge - but that's probably lack of practice:)

  • Anal Cleaning Options
Q3a. What is used in low resource communities now where anal washing is the norm - and how is the water supplied (simple bucket, tank with hose)?

I have seen and used spray hose (when you have piped water), small bucket (both from tap and from bucket or reservoir in toilet area) and bidet style (inbuilt into both squat and seated toilet)

Q3b. What impact does anal washing (due to the extra water in the faeces) have on the sludge in a UDDT scenario (ie the drying time, the smell, the attraction to flies etc) - is it minimal or is it significant?

Q3c. And if significant, do you need to add an anal wash diversion into the system? (which seems like a complexity I wouldn't want to get into)

Q4a. For wiping cleaning - what wiping materials are being used in low resource settings (newspaper, other paper, toilet paper, leaves, etc?)

Q4b. What impacts do the various wiping materials have on the sludge breakdown / processing?

Q4c. What wiping material have people found is most suitable for the purpose that is usually readily available in rural settings, is biodegradable and won't detract from the sludge processing / breakdown and is also non-damaging / painful to the user (based on personal experience, after a case of extended diarrhea from street food, using rough wiping paper is NOT recommended if you need to mind the house and kids (wife), go to the paddy field and work all day (husband) or concentrate in school (kids) - or just get through your day

  • Faecal cover materials
Q5a. For faecal cover materials - what cover materials are being used in low resource settings (leaves, soil, saw dust, etc?)

Q5b. What impacts do the various cover materials have on the sludge breakdown / processing?

Q5c. What cover material have people found is most suitable for the purpose that is readily available, is biodegradable and won't detract from the sludge processing / breakdown?

  • Impact of Urine in Faecal sludge
This component goes to the core of UDDT's - while I am a believer in onsite faecal drying and processing, to prevent the high cost and maintenance of sewered and septic tank systems and to retain the nutrients locally for agri use, I feel I need to ask the following questions:

Q6a. How detrimental to the overall process of drying the faeces is the urine really? is it make or break whether the urine is diverted or not?

Q6b. Or is it just that, if urine is not diverted or the anal washing water volumes are high, the faecal sludge drying process needs to be enhanced (via more cover material and / or improved solar or air drying systems) so that the faeces and urine mix is dried out quicker to prevent fly infestation and odour?

  • System Design
Chris, I see that you mentioned running a perforated urine pipe from the toilet to an area outside, so people didn't need to empty the urine bottle;

Q7a. Does the urine pipe need cleaning and if so, how often and with what? (Stale urine is a fairly bad smell to have around - not quite as bad as uncovered faeces but still ... so I guess you need to wash the hose / bottle occasionally)

Q7b. Does the addition of the urine pipe add to the complexity of the either design and / or installation to the point where it could be a turn off to users (or potential users)?

I assume you need to make sure you have enough pipe drop from the toilet to the dispersal point (with no flat / level parts) so you don't get pooling in the pipe anywhere

Q7c. Does the pipe get blocked at all at the perforations? (which could mean stale urine sitting in the pipe) - irrigation pipes do, so I guess this would too

Q8. Any comments / experience on the use of uddt system in high water table / flood prone locations?

Chris, your bin arrangement seems like would be high enough to accommodate reasonable water incursion and the stored bags too - and if major flooding, well god and allah's will be done:)

Cambodia (where I am heading but this relates to may countries) particularly around mekong river and tonle sap lake is high water table and flood prone so am bound to get these questions

  • Toilet Structures
Many of the sanitation projects I have read about failed because people paid for the toilet, but then had to wait for the structure to be installed (or wait until they could afford the structure, which often cost more than the toilet)

Q9. What low cost toilet structures have people seen that could be easily built by low resource communities?

I believe there needs to be more than just a wrap around cloth structure (people don't see that as sufficient I believe) but a design that is very low cost must be available - or could be designed

  • Collection and disposal
From Chris's video, the collection and disposal process for your system (all on site and managed by the household ) is workable but

Q10. can anybody advise whether, in either a community or peri-urban setting, they have seen the processing be centralised at a community level, so that for example, larger solar driers could be built and the community (either separately or via a collection service) could centralise the processing at one point?

I think that is it

Hope those with experience including Chris and Christoph (and even my new post colleague Kevin:0 can help me here
Creator of the RealChange Global Impact Fund and MCM GREENMAN GROUP

Solving housing quality , power reliability, water supply and sanitation management in developing countries with private sector impact investors money

Philosophy

* See a problem.
* Make sure it's the real problem (by talking to the people with the problem).
* Find people who are solving this problem somewhere in the world and collaborate - and learn from them to solve the problem
OR
* Create a new solution where none exists
* Find passionate people who care about the problem to help implement solutions

Our solution approach - what's yours?

Dennis McMahon
From Australia; based in Malaysia
www.mcmgreenmangroup.com (R & D and project implementation)

www.RealChangeImpact.com

Funding from the private sector, giving market level returns

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Re: New video on Managing Feces in Sacks, plus online interview on UDDTs

Hi Chris

any comments / experience on the use of your uddt system in high water table / flood prone locations?

your bin arrangement seems like would be high enough to accommodate reasonable water incursion and the stored bags too - and if major flooding, well god and allah's will be done:)

cambodia particularly around mekong river and tonle sap lake is high water table and flood prone so am bound to get these questions

thoughts or mods to suit?

my background

very briefly, i am a marketer / entrepreneur looking for problems to solve (ex Australia). have been living in malaysia now for 6 years

seems like asia developing countries can fit that need of mine:)

development experience limited but now contracted to develop mobile vocational training in cambodia from january for about 4 years

believe there is a need for developed country project managers and funders to pass on development capacity skills and knowledge to locals - and then get out of the way:)

currently building out a training programme "The JigSaw Puzzle Workshop" and related business programmes to do just that

if interested, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and i will send flier, could be useful for south america and africa as well
Creator of the RealChange Global Impact Fund and MCM GREENMAN GROUP

Solving housing quality , power reliability, water supply and sanitation management in developing countries with private sector impact investors money

Philosophy

* See a problem.
* Make sure it's the real problem (by talking to the people with the problem).
* Find people who are solving this problem somewhere in the world and collaborate - and learn from them to solve the problem
OR
* Create a new solution where none exists
* Find passionate people who care about the problem to help implement solutions

Our solution approach - what's yours?

Dennis McMahon
From Australia; based in Malaysia
www.mcmgreenmangroup.com (R & D and project implementation)

www.RealChangeImpact.com

Funding from the private sector, giving market level returns

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Re: New video on Managing Feces in Sacks, plus online interview on UDDTs

Dear Dennis,

Thanks for the encouragement. Please let us know how things go in Cambodia ... and if we can be of any help. Dry toilets are the toilets of the future, if people want to be civilized with their neighbors, with future generations, and with nature. It is also key if we want to eat in the future, as it allows us to safely recycle nutrients back to our crop plants, especially after the non-renewable chemical fertilizers have run out. Please tell us more about you and your organization.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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Re: New video on Managing Feces in Sacks, plus online interview on UDDTs

Great video Chris and nice interviews as well

I am inspired by the work you do - heading for Cambodia soon and intend to see what communities know of, and think about, UDDT's.

And if hearts and minds can be won away from flush and sewer systems to the new cool UDDT (it's aspirational marketing that will win out at the end of the day:)
Creator of the RealChange Global Impact Fund and MCM GREENMAN GROUP

Solving housing quality , power reliability, water supply and sanitation management in developing countries with private sector impact investors money

Philosophy

* See a problem.
* Make sure it's the real problem (by talking to the people with the problem).
* Find people who are solving this problem somewhere in the world and collaborate - and learn from them to solve the problem
OR
* Create a new solution where none exists
* Find passionate people who care about the problem to help implement solutions

Our solution approach - what's yours?

Dennis McMahon
From Australia; based in Malaysia
www.mcmgreenmangroup.com (R & D and project implementation)

www.RealChangeImpact.com

Funding from the private sector, giving market level returns

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  • elizabethtilley
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Re: New video on Managing Feces in Sacks, plus online interview on UDDTs

very nice video, Chris!

I like how clean and simple you show the emptying to be- so much different than what many people imagine.

Liz
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University of Malawi- The Polytechnic

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Managing feces from UDDTs in sacks, plus online interview on UDDTs (Ecuador)

Hi everyone,

I would like to invite you to see a 4-minute video that a friend and I just did concerning the management of feces from UDDTs in woven, polypropylene sacks. All of the info is in Spanish and English subtitles, so you can either turn the lively Australian didgeridoo sound track up or down according to your preference.



We did this video to show that the option of storing feces in these sacks is very simple, practical and scalable (and not so terrible as people may imagine), plus to demonstrate the feasibility of reusing the cover material after a prudent detention time, especially in the context of the recent discussion of GIZ's new Technology Review of UDDTs. The video also shows the rain-filled TippyTaps we make from rescued plastic bottles.

I would also like to take this moment to announce a 2-part interview with me about the problems with water-based sanitation and the benefits of UDDTs:
www.chekhovskalashnikov.com/water-sanitation/
www.chekhovskalashnikov.com/human-waste-disposal/

This includes links to numerous relevant webpages and videos, while avoiding technical jargon, thus we hope it will be useful for EcoSan consciousness-raising.

As always, please let me know if there are things to be corrected or polished in this video or in this interview.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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