Sustainable Sanitation at coffee farms

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  • burmica
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Sustainable Sanitation at coffee farms

Hello together,

we want to intall ecosan toilets on a model coffee farm in Honduras. These should also serve as an example for other in this region. With a sustainable sanitation solution they will receive advantages in the certification process and the infrastructure of the coffee farms will be improved.

Are there already any ecosan experiences with coffee farms, especially in context with composting the pulp too, which accrues by coring the coffee fruits?


Most available documents are about double chamber toilets like on the rotaria del peru website. But why isn't it possible to create the toilet just with one chamber and removable boxes? Then you could mix it in an outdoor compost together with other organic waste like the pulp.

Are there disadvantages during the composting process by not separating the yellow water from the faeces stream, so that it all will end up in the same chamber like a simple composting toilet.


And very important, how much time is needed from the process of disinfection to the reuse of yellow water and of faeces? I found different data with times from two weeks up to six months, whereat two weeks seems to be very short.

As the coffee farmers usually don't speak english, are there any information, construction and use manuals in a simple Spanish available so that we can use it with them too.

I'm looking forward to your replies and
thank you very much for your help

greetings from Honduras,

Miguel
Technical Advisor Watermanagement
Catacamas, Honduras
GIZ - Young Professional
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  • philfei
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Re: Sustainable Sanitation at coffee farms

Dear Miguel,

there is a UDDT project running in Costa Rica at a Coffee Plantation. It seems that they have almost the same conditions as in Honduras.
Photos of the project on SuSanA's Flickr account: www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157623396634337/

Please contact Heike Hoffmann (working with Rotaria del Peru) for further information. If you interested I can send you her email address.

You can find information on the correct storage time for urine: www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=875 and further information on UDDTs (including faecel managament): www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=874

The SuSanA library offers currently 70 of 913 documents in Spanish: www.susana.org/lang-en/library?showby=de...ls=1&vbl_1=4&vbl_0=0 check also the posters section: www.susana.org/lang-en/library/rm-posters

Cheers,
Philipp
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Sustainable Sanitation at coffee farms

Dear Miguel,

I am sending you some answers here, and I hope others will add to it further. I am using the quote function to display your questions:

> Are there already any ecosan experiences with coffee farms, especially in context with composting the pulp too, which accrues by coring the coffee fruits?

Are you referring here to UDDTs (urine diversion dehydration toilets) connected to external composting systems? Which wastes exactly do you want to compost? I can't see why such pulp could not be composted. We can ask Wolfgang Berger, a German composting guru - but he would probably need a bit more information from you regarding the composition and quantities of the pulp.


> Most available documents are about double chamber toilets like on the rotaria del peru website. But why isn't it possible to create the toilet just with one chamber and removable boxes? Then you could mix it in an outdoor compost together with other organic waste like the pulp.

Yes, single vault UDDTs are also a valid option. Their set-up is described in this draft technology review which we are currently trying to finalise, have you seen it yet?
www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=874

If you plan to do composting in any case (as a secondary treatment option), then single vault UDDTs are probably indeed better than double vault UDDTs. What exactly would you do with the compost afterwards though? Remember you have to achieve pathogen kill and/or use the multi-barrier concept for reuse.

> Are there disadvantages during the composting process by not separating the yellow water from the faeces stream, so that it all will end up in the same chamber like a simple composting toilet.

Well the main disadvantage is odour, as you get a wet mixture. Are you thinking more of a composting toilet? This is different to the UDDT. In the SuSanA library we also have a technology review on composting toilets:
www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=878

Or see here more publications of Wolfgang Berger:
www.susana.org/library?search=berger

> And very important, how much time is needed from the process of disinfection to the reuse of yellow water and of faeces? I found different data with times from two weeks up to six months, whereat two weeks seems to be very short.

For urine: 2 weeks is sufficient most of the time - depending on the level of faecal cross-contamination which you may expect (see the urine reuse guide which Philipp mentioned).
For faeces: if just drying then design for at least 6 months, better 1 year or even 2 years. If drying + composting, then it is shorter (see also in the UDDT technology review mentioned above).

> As the coffee farmers usually don't speak english, are there any information, construction and use manuals in a simple Spanish available so that we can use it with them too.

See the link to Spanish documents in our SuSanA website which Philipp mentioned.

I hope this helps and don't hesitate to write back with more questions. Hopefully others from the region will also chip in. (although I am not yet sure if your questions are more about UDDTs or about composting).

How did you first get the idea of investigating the ecosan route? What is the current system of sanitation and waste management there where you work?

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Ulm, Germany
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  • madeleine
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Re: Sustainable Sanitation at coffee farms

HI Miguel
Please consult our Guidance on use of Urine in Crop production. For the specific coffee plant I am sure there is available research I will try to find our more for you.
www.ecosanres.org/pdf_files/ESR2010Pract...InCropProduction.pdf
You should join the group WASH peiiurbano, this is a network of water & sanition professionals in Latin America .They have a specific EcoSan group.
wash-periurbano.ning.com/
One chamber with removable is possible see the example from Peru
conference2005.ecosan.org/presentations/calizaya.pdf

There are several composting toilets technoliges available but urine separation is very good if you want to reuse the nutrients in an easy and hygienic way.

Cheers

madeleine
Madeleine Fogde
Program Director SIANI
Senior Project Manager at SEI
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