Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

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  • pkjha
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  • Working for over 30 years in the fields of sanitation, biogas from human wastes, septage management, waste water treatment in rural as well as urban areas in India and other developing countries.
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Dear Johnson
The traditional technology of WSP ( Waste Stabilisation Pond)  is almost the same that you mentioned.  Algae do not grow in sewage as it requires oxygen and in case of sewage there is generally devoid of oxygen. Algae grow in WSP only in 2nd chamber, after sewage passes through settling chamber. 
 To achieve DO level 8ppm through culture appears impracticable. Moreover, any culture itself needs oxygen source to be active. Any anaerobic culture can't produce oxygen. 
Growth of Tilapia in wastewater does not indicate sufficiently treatment of wastewater- safe for discharge in environment. It is not an indicator. In fact Tilapia grow in wastewater, That's why its market value is very low. 
WSP is not preferred now in India due to the fact that is needs large space and effluent quality does not need the norms.
Based on the concept, if you have implemented any technology, kindly post the details of the results. It may help  theForum professionals a lot. 
regards 
Pawan
  
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha

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

Thanks for your feedback Prof Seshadri.
The word manual scavenging has been replaced by manual cleaning, in the post. I second your thoughts that sanitation workers need to be entitled to decent and regular wages, and dignity. Moreover, they should be covered by health insurance and social security schemes as well as be entitled to free medical checkups and other benefits. Positively, with the FSTP in place, mechanical desludging services have witnessed improvement and fecal sludge is now safely managed, unlike in the past.

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  • Aditya007
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

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Dear Friends,
 
I am attaching a presentation on how fecal matter can be treated using a bio remedial method without the use of electricity or chemicals. I feel that it will be ideal for rural areas in a cheap manner.
 
Any seed needs the right environment and nutrients to germinate and bloom. In the oceans, if the right nutrients are available, pores bloom into diatom algae, very low in the food chain. These algae absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and with the help of nutrients and sunlight manufacture food for themselves. This process generates oxygen as a by-product. This oxygen oxidizes the organic wastes and converts them into nutrients that can be used by organisms. Phytoplanktons and zooplanktons feed on this algae and then higher forms in the food chain consume these. Finally, fish eat this and clean the water of the dead organisms. Dissolved oxygen helps fish to survive and will add to the availability of food in rural areas. The treated water is safe for fish to flourish, indicating that the water is good for agriculture.
 
If the construct of the STP should be such that gravity is used to transfer the fluids from one tank to another, it eliminates the need for electricity. Bio-remedial method eliminates the need for chemicals. This methodology will be sustainable for a long time if nutrients are added periodically so that the algae continue to bloom. The size of the tanks depends on the population that feeds the STP.
 
Regards,
Johnson

This is posted on behalf of Mr. Johnson. 

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

Interim Summary

The topic on FSM wasdiscussed by 9 members in the SuSanA forum page. The discussion was kick started byidentifying the following key challenges in terms of FSM in rural and per-urban
areas
  • What is the ideal treatment capacity one should design for a given cluster of villages? With varying scenarios across a single district, assessing ideal capacities which would cater to not just the present but future population is a challenging task
  • Even if infrastructure for treatment is built/provided, ensuring proper and timely desludging and discharge of the collected sludge at the designated point is another challenge and would require a much stronger institutional mechanism
  • With a different economic and administrative structure as compared to urban counterparts, neither the community nor PRIs may have sufficient resources or capacities to manage an FSM system which will require contextual and easy to manage low cost systems
  • Faulty construction of toilets and containment in many places could pose a demand risk for any newly set up FSM system
With limited financial resources and various behavioural challenges, itmight be difficult to attract private service providers into rural
hinterlands.Following questions were putforward for further discussion to build the decision tree for FSM in rural
areas
  • What is the ideal approach to planning the ideal capacity and location of an FSM system for a group of villages?
  • How can one ensure smooth functioning of an FSM system in a rural area in the current scenario? Please provide inputs on the administrative, legal, management, financial and social aspects
  • What could be your suggestions for making FSM systems a thriving services market in the rural scenario?
  • How can one overcome the acceptability challenge to this concept of treating human waste and using the treatment by-products in rural areas?
One major issue discussed in theforum for lack of FSM in rural areas was its unaffordable cost. In existing FSTPs across the country, the CApex and OPex are not cost effective. Hence local bodies in rural areas are unable to be involved. Transportation of huge FS away from households inrural areas is not a viable solution due to lack of such facilities in extremely remote areas as well as high transportation costs to the urban/peri-urban areas where it can be further treated. Hence focusshould be on on-site sanitation strategies. Public-private-socialpartnership is a way forward to resolve the following issue option using the hybrid annuity model (HAM) which was successfully demonstrated in Andhra Pradesh. Moreover, a concrete plan forrevenue generation from such plants is almost non-existent.  Resource recovery for FS needs to be properly demonstrated to make the system lucrative. Private players are also reluctant to be involved in FSM across rural areas due to inadequate priority for assessment of costs and risks, lack of clearly defined and practical monitoring process and lack of performance linked payment.

Moreover, a holistic approach needs to be implemented which would involve considering the socio-economic and cultural conditions of rural areas. Two existing revenue generation models of FSTPs have been discussed in the forum. The first FSTP is in Wayanad district, Kerala which was constructed by PriMove infrastructure and supported by UNICEF and local municipal corporation. O&M was conducted by PriMove for a year which was later handed over to the municipality. Though a deficit has been recorded by the municipality in the first year it plans to improve the situation by increasing the tipping fee and sell manure which is generated from the FS in the plant. The facility uses innovative, nature-friendly and organic ‘tiger bio-filter ‘technology, which uses earthworms for composting FS. The facility uses innovative nature-friendly and organic ‘tiger bio-filter’ technology, which uses earthworms for composting faecal waste​. The FSM plant is of capacity 10 KLD(Kilo Litres/Day) that can treat 10,000 litres septage per day. The second FSTP is in Dhenkanal town, Odisha which has 27 KLD (Kilo Litres per Day) capacity that can treat 27,000 litres per day. The main treatment steps followed in the FSTP are solid-liquid separation, stabilization, dewatering of sludge and pathogen removal. The revenue model is demand based collection which operates in one urban area and 49 gram panchayats. It demonstrated a scalable and sustainable model for septage management in India. These plants can be considered as model FSTPs which can befurther studied and then implemented at different rural areas across the
country.

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

Hi Depinder,

Would you like to comment on the capacity building work you have done in various states and how it can inform this discussion. This would be really useful to the audience.

Thanks,
Nitya

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  • depinder
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  • Depinder Kapur is currently Director Water Programme at Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi.
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

This is a good discussion - FSM for rural areas.

It will be good to consider the following questions while building a decision tree that have not been considered so far.

1. FSM in rural areas as opposed to urban areas. FSM management framework that we were looking at urban areas so far, may also need a re look. 
2. FSM framework for rural areas based on rural typologies - population, aquifer typologies, water scarcity.

A framework should be revenue and financing neutral to begin with. 
Depinder Kapur is Director Water Programme at Centre for Science and Environment. He has taight at Shiv Nadar University and has lead the Sanitation Capacity Building Platform(SCBP) of National Institute of Urban Affairs. His professional engagements have been with AKRSP(Program Officer Forestry), SPWD(Sr. Program Officer), CARE(Director NRM), Oxfam(Program & Advocacy Director), WaterAid India(Country Head) and WSSCC(National Coordinator) and as an independent consultant.

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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

Dear SusanA Members, 
Ref Ms Nirma= 2 posts, very appreciative of the notings,
Ref Dhenkal Town data No 33260 Dtd 14.02.2022
1. Pl try avoid manual scavenging as far as possible, but if needed to use PPEs, give them the dignity and wages for them duly given. As the FS is risky, take adequate care to ensure we ll being in communities. 
2. Mechanical de sludging ie emptying of septic tanks done.
27 kl per day plant commissioned. 
Not sure if open site dumping is done for transfered FS, 
3. Co composting ie FS and bio waste or gobar / cow sludge dung or bio waste.  This when realised, use the produce manure in agri farms.. This  is good to sustain and generate revenue.
Rs 5/- per kg manure.. 
Well wishes 
Prof Ajit Seshadri, 
Vels University
Chennai 
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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  • Working for over 30 years in the fields of sanitation, biogas from human wastes, septage management, waste water treatment in rural as well as urban areas in India and other developing countries.
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Dear Nirma 

Information on FSTP at Dhenkanal town is quite interesting. 
Out of total revenue ( INR 22.68 Lakhs) generated in 2021 through emptying charge, 20.67 lakhs is spent on O&M of the FSTP. What is the CAPEX and what are the funding sources of the FSTP? Is there any resource recovery  and economic return from FSTP?
For any successful Business Model we need to see recovery of CAPEX also. 
Best 
Pawan Jha 
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha

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

Revenue generation model of the FSTP at Dhenkanal, Odisha

Intervention area
·       Dhenkanal town and district headquarter, Odisha​
·       District population of 11.9 lakhs and 2.7 lakhhouseholds (Census 2011)

The challenge
·       Dhenkanal town had around 15,000 households (Census 2011), all of which relied on some form of on-site sanitation systems, such as pits or septic tanks for containing and partially treating excreta generated from toilets.
·       Manual cleaning by sanitation workers was largely prevalent and mechanical desludging services by the Dhenkanal Municipality was not efficient and effective as the town lacked a dedicated disposal or treatment arrangement for the fecal sludge collected.
 
The Solution:​
·       Fecal SludgeTreatment Plant of 27 KLD (Kilo Litres per Day)capacity that can treat 27,000 litres per day was established and  commissioned in October 2018.
·       The main treatment steps followed in the FSTP are solid-liquidseparation, stabilization, dewatering of sludge and pathogen removal. The separated liquid component is also treated to meet discharge standards. The faecal sludge is conveyed to the FSTP through desludging trucks.

Stakeholders
·       Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF),Arghyam, Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) Odisha- Financial support.
·       CDD Society, Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and PracticalAction- Implementing partners
·       UNICEF and CPR collaboration – Plug in GPs and others in the ‘cluster’ to available urban facility in the Dhenkanal district.

Construction and operations
·       The construction of the FSTP was initiated in 2017 and completed in 2018. The plant was commissioned in October 2018.
·       Blue Water Company was engaged by Practical Actions from 2019- 2020 to manage both collection/transportation of faecal sludge and the operation of treatment plant, which means ULB has only a single point of contact for managing the entire system. From August 2020, two Area Level Federations (ALF) of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) have been engaged, with one managing the desludging and the other, FSTP operations.
 
Business Model
·       Emptying scenario prior to setup of the FSTP: Prior to the set-up of the FSTP, the charges for emptying of septic tanks/pits manually
or by a mechanical desludger in urban areas were in the range of Rs 1,000-2,500.
·       Revenue model developed: i) Demand based collection: easy to access the desludging services through a toll-free number, managed by the O&M service provider ii) Service provided within 48 hours of the demand placed. iii) Cost: Rs 600/ trip for 1 KL capacity vehicle for households, Rs 1,000/ trip for 3 KL capacity vehicle, and Rs 1,500/ trip for institutions and commercial bodies. iv) Payments: Digital payments are possible via Point-of-Sale payments.  v) Tracking: GPS tracking vacuum trucks. vi) MIS: A database on collection and transportation is maintained regularly and shared with ULB periodically vii) Bridging the urban-rural divide: the FSTP currently serves one urban area (Dhenkanal Municipality) and 49 GPs.
·       Income generated: From January 2021- December 2021, the municipality recorded collection for total 2,564 trips generating an amount of INR 22.68 lakhs. The O&M cost borne by the municipality in the same period came to Rs 20.67 lakh. Thus, the FSTP demonstrate a scalable and sustainable model for septage management in India.

References

1. CDD india. cddindia.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/...P-Factsheet-2019.pdf

2. CSE. www.cseindia.org/faecal-sludge-treatment...henkanal-odisha-9722

3. Cost data received from CPR and UNICEF
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  • jamespharper
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Thanks to all for your input on this important issue.  I agree that in our capitalist societies, cost is the primary driver of poor rural FSM.  Having researched the perceptions and behaviors of household members and FSM service providers (i.e., emptiers, sweepers) towards FSM in Cambodia and Bangladesh, whose sanitation landscapes are similar in many (but not all) ways to India's and other countries', it is clear to me that transporting heavy FS away from households in rural areas is not a viable solution.  In short, the high costs of transport make traditional technologies (vacuum trucks, STPs, FSTPs, etc.) unworkable in rural areas.  Thus, I strongly believe that we should focus this decision tree on on-site treatment and disposal (ideally, reuse as fertilizer) of FS.  My thoughts and associated research are described in more detail in the Conclusion of my PhD dissertation (p. 162 - 171, particularly p. 168-169), which you can access at the following link (open access):

www.proquest.com/openview/8b5e7fac974ed8...lar&cbl=51922&diss=y

So, for this decision tree, I believe that we should have a simple question at the top of the tree that asks if the rural area is near to an existing FSTP/STP or near to where vacuum trucks already operate successfully (e.g., periurban areas like the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia) and have adequate road access throughout the year.  If yes, then the traditional-technology decision tree applies.  If no, then we enter this new decision tree that is being discussed here, which I believe should specifically focus on on-site technologies.

I invite your comment and look forward to continuing this discussion!
​Cheers,

​​James Harper, PhD, PE (he/him/his)
​Civil Engineering ​Researcher​ and Educator
Noble Pursuit​s, LLC
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mobile, WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, Skype: +1-858-216-5585

Improving lives in low-resource communities through comprehensive research, engineering and education services
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  • Nirma
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

Revenue generation model of the FSTP in Wayanad District, Kerala

Intervention area: 
·       Kalpetta, town and municipality, Wayanad district, Kerala
·       Town population- 31,580 and households-7,519 (Census 2011)

The challenge
·       The cesspool operators who removed faecal sludge from toilets in houses and institutions dumped it in open places, owing to the lack
of septage treatment facilities​
 
The Solution 
·       The project is a part of rehabilitation measures initiated and organised by UNICEF after Kerala received severe floods in August 2018. ​
·       Uses innovative nature-friendly and organic ‘tiger bio-filter’ technology, which uses earthworms for composting faecal waste​.
·       Fecal Sludge Treatment Plant of capacity 10 KLD(Kilo Litres/ Day) that can treat 10,000 litres septage per day.
·       O & M support provided prior to handover to the respective municipality in 2020​.

Stakeholders
·       PriMove Infrastructure Development Consultants Pvt. Ltd.- Contractor for the FSTP.
·       UNICEF - Financial and technical support.
·       Municipal Corporation along with the district administration- Support with regards to provision of land, water and
electricity supply.

Construction and handover
·       The construction of the plant started in March2019 and completed in May 2019. For a year the O&M was conducted by PriMove. In August 2020, the plant was handed over to Wayanad Municipality.
 
Business Model
·       Emptying scenario prior to setup of the FSTP: Prior to the set-up of the FSTP, the charges for emptying of septic tanks by private desludgers were in the range of Rs 5 to 7 per litre or approximately Rs 10,000 per trip by the transporter with a truck capacity of 4,000 litres. The vehicle service providers had to travel long distances, to find a place for safe disposal of the waste matter.
·       Revenue model of the FSTP : The Municipality developed a revenue model wherein it charges a tipping fee of Rs 5,000/ trip from households for emptying their septic tank. Of this amount, the septic vehicle service provider is paid Rs 2,700/ trip for emptying and transporting the fecal sledge while the municipality retains Rs 2,300/ trip or evacuation.
·       Income generated: From January 2021- December 2021, Kalpetta municipality recorded payments for 121 trips @ Rs 5,000/- per trip. It paid the operator of suction truck @ Rs 2700/- per trip and itself earned Rs 2,300/- per trip amounting to a total revenue generation of Rs 2.78 lakh by the Municipality. The O&M cost paid to PriMove in the same period was Rs 6 lakh. Thus, there has been a deficit, but the municipality has plans to increase the revenue generation in 2022.
·       Proposed expansion for beak-even: i) Expand the geographical coverage of septage collection from the current Kalpetta town to the entire district of Wayanad, including the rural areas. ii) Increase the rate charged from households/ institutions from Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000/ per trip. iii) Currently, the FSTP generates 100 kg of manure/ year, which the municipality plans to sell out at Rs. 10/ kg.
With these three initiatives planned for 2022, a break even could be possible. 


Reference:
Revenue related data obtained from PriMove Infrastructure Development Consultants Pvt. Ltd
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  • pkjha
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Re: Faecal Sludge Management in Rural Areas – Building a Decision Tree

 Dear All
 The most serious issue for FSM in rural as well as urban areas is its unaffordable cost. NIUA has compiled the details of some of the FSTPs implemented in urban areas and as per their book- “Faecal Sludge Treatment Technologies in India – Compendium”, average CAPEX ranges from 1.1- 1.4 million per cum and OPEX @ around 100,000 per cum. Obviously, the cost is much higher than the sewerage / Septic tank system that takes care of total waste water including faecal sludge.
    Perhaps that could be reason for unavailability of any FSM implemented by ULB from its own resource in unsewered areas at full town level. Most of the FSMs are implemented through convergence of funds from different sources. There is no support for OPEX and most of the ULBs are unable to afford such high OPEX.    
    For rural areas,  as per the SBM (G) II guidelines, financial support for FSM has been fixed @ INR 230 per capita. It appears reasonable but very lower than the existing cost in urban areas. It may be quite difficult for the companies/ agencies involved in urban FSM to get involved in rural areas where only a few FSTPs have been reported so far that too at demonstration level.
   In India, old and traditional technologies for decentralized waste water treatment, in series, are normally implemented for treatment of effluent from unplanted or planted filter beds and most of the technologies don’t meet the norms of effluent discharge of EPA. Further,  resource recovery for faecal sludge/ septage needs to be properly demonstrated to make the system lucrative. This aspect is almost completely lacking. 
There is urgent need to make the CAPEX and OPEX cost effective, acceptable to local bodies.
   The NFSSM is advocating FSM at all levels. They should realize the issue and propagate for lowering the cost of the FSSM.
There are several other issues. The discussion on the Forum needs to be more realistic and practical, taking into account socio-economic and cultural conditions of rural
areas.
Regards        
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha
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