Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

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  • jamespharper
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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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  • 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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  • AjitSeshadri
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  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions , Designation- Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, NGO, New Delhi, INDIA , Consultant located at present at Chennai, India
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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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  • 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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  • paresh
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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
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
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  • Team1Biotech
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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.
With Best Regards,
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  • pkjha
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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
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  • Team1Biotech
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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
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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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  • 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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  • Sharibal
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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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  • 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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