SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:26:26 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Faecal sludge technolologies in Malawi- modified treadle pump (pit pump) prototype - by: willychipeta Note by moderator: See related thread here:


My name is Willy Chipeta and I am 28 years old and pursuing a Master of Science in Sanitation by Research through the Department of Water Resource Management and Development at Mzuzu University in Malawi. I started the program in February 2014 and plan to finish by December 2015.

In 2013, the Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation was awarded a research project on “Solutions for Pit Desludging and Subsequent Sludge Management in Low income Urban Settlements in Malawi” with support from the Water Resource Commission (South Africa). Through this project, the Centre has offered me a scholarship opportunity working towards developing innovative tools and techniques for emptying, transport and treatment of pit sludge at a small scale working towards overcoming the great deal of challenges in this sector.

The main focus of my research study will be investigation on design and development of low cost technologies for pit emptying in low income urban settlements of Mzuzu City found in the Northern Region of Malawi. It is envisioned the benefits of undertaking the investigation can offer varying opportunities.

The opportunities of technology include enabling access to high density peri-urban areas and safe removal of human excreta at a more affordable cost than is the case with existing technologies. Therefore the aim is to ensure continued use of sanitary facilities as well as reduce public health risks arising from improper human excreta management in the urban environment.

To this end, a modified treadle pump (pit pump) prototype has been developed in pursuance of the aforementioned opportunities. Instead of using a rope, a chain similar to the one used in a bicycle will be used to drive the pulley. The length of the pump will be reduced to make it portable to carry to site.

The dual advantage of this design is it can enable pumping from outside the latrine, decreasing potential contact with fecal sludge by pit emptiers and ensuring their safety from possible collapse of latrine while pumping. Materials can also be manufactured locally to ensure sustainable operation and maintenance.

I welcome your comments and suggestions on my technology, and look forward to meeting many of you at FSM3 in January 2015]]>
Faecal sludge management Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:50:21 +0000
The Nutritional Value of Toilets - by: F H Mughal No, I reckon, the obvious answer. O.Kay, then follow this link and enjoy!!

F H Mughal]]>
Nutrition and WASH Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:53:16 +0000
Re: latrine technology question about the use of two chamber rural latrine septic tanks - by: rhockkh
Thanks for your response - very interesting.

Essentially, I'm wondering if the additional piping (see red pipe in attachment 2) will ensure that 'safer' water will drain into the second soakaway tank than the original piping set up in attachment 1?

Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Thu, 23 Oct 2014 01:48:42 +0000
Re: Do you know about wastewater disposal in deep wells in US? - by: KeithBell
Here's a thread I started on the subject earlier this year:

EPA admits absolutely no focus on fecal sterols in drinking water:

“No published studies examining the presence of fecal sterols in treated drinking water have been identified.” US EPA, Distribution System Indicators of Drinking Water Quality, 2006″
Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:32:17 +0000
Re: sanitation 21 - by: jonpar
Thanks very for your message.

I agree the document could be longer (although initially we were trying to produce something quite a bit shorter that what is available. It could in fact be a full book but there are two reasons why it isn't

Firstly, although it would provide more comprehensive technical guidance, we didn't set out to prepare a book on the topic as we wanted a document that was more accessible.

Secondly, even if we had wanted to produce a book, it would have taken alot more time to prepare and we didn't have this time available.

It would however be great if it could be expanded with a SuSanA/IWA working group taking this on board.

Maybe I am not understanding your point but I am a bit confused by your comment in reference to Box 1 which describes the experiences from Dschang, Cameroon. The information is from PS-Eau. The predominant type of sanitation in the city is on-site not sewerage and therefore it would be of less relevance to cities which are predominantly covered by sewerage

best regards,

WG 6 (cities) Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:47:47 +0000
Re: Do you know about wastewater disposal in deep wells in US? - by: skdentel We have not tested this, but it should be the case for any non-volatile pollutants since only vapors pass through.
More is here.]]>
Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:29:07 +0000
Re: Health information on Wikipedia is going from strength to strength - can we do the same for sanitation (together with others)? - by: muench
Thanks for your notes, Chris and Pete. I agree totally with you both about getting students involved with assignments to work on Wikipedia articles, the different target group we could reach with Wikipedia articles on sanitation and also the idea of using the SuSanA working group members ro rally behind improving certain Wikipedia pages.

About the editor, please don't scare people off, Pete, because the new editor in Wikipedia (called Edit beta) is so easy, it is just like writing in Word! It is easier than this forum's editor.

Here are some Youtube videos that show James Heilman in action, speaking about Wikipedia in higher education (at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada):


I particularly like this video where he explains how he got started on Wikipedia (during a slow nightshift in the emergency ward somewhere in rural Canada) and that "we from Wikipedia would not cite ourselves in Wikipedia articles!" (rather cite quality documents when writing a Wikipedia article)

I copy from the Youtube description for this video:

Dr James Heilman, UBC Faculty of Medicine, Wikimedia Canada Board of Directors. He is an active editor and administrator on the English Wikipedia involved primarily with Wikiproject Medicine. He is one of the top 1000th most prolific editors of the English site by edit count and has contributed hundreds of medical images over the previous 4 years. In 2009 he was involved with promoting and protecting Wikipedia's right to contain images in the public domain. In 2011 in collaboration with 18 other medical editors he published a peer reviewed article in the Journal of medical Internet research calling upon his peers to join in as editors.

I don't know about you but I am very impressed by this and very happy that someone like James has taken it upon him to also improve sanitation-related articles on Wikipedia! He is helping me a lot with the modest contributions I have made on Wikipedia so far.

I have mentioned in this post which Wikipedia articles I have already worked on in the last week or so:
(should you have any content feedback, please put it in that thread or write it directly in the talk page of the Wikipedia article)

Let me just repeat them here in case any of these topics are important in your opinion:
Dry toilets:
Pit latrines:
open defecation:
sustainable sanitation:
urine diversion:
helminths (just a little bit):
helminthiasis (just a little bit):
reuse (a little bit):
urinals (a little bit):
Stockholm Water Prize (added information about Peter Morgan to it):

I could of course just soldier on with this on my own (together with James) but it's so much nicer to be doing it as a team effort!

So next time when any of you look up something on Wikipedia - on any topic - please think of me and my lonely quest to improve the sanitation related Wikipedia pages and ask yourself if you could not donate a little bit of your time?


P.S. James, a Wiki Project for Sanitation sounds really interesting, or maybe it is wiser to keep is as part of the existing (and succesful) Wiki Project for Medicine for now?]]>
Any other topic related to sanitation or to SuSanA Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:00:27 +0000
Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar - by: F H Mughal "Can you also shed some light on the controversy between figures used in the book that were refuted by the Madagascan Minister?"

The publication, “Promising Pathways,” carries rather protracted foreword by KK (10 pp). While I had the delightful experience of meeting KK at World Water Forum 6, in Marseille, France in March 2012, I feel it is not quite acceptable, when given to understand that CLTS is a “near-universal” sanitation problems’ solution. CLTS in urban areas is not implementable, for the simple reason that, in urban areas, it is not the question of pit latrine or open defecation. We have a whole sewerage setup from sewage generation, transportation, treatment and ultimate disposal. Where do the predominantly rural CLTS initiatives fit in the equation?

F H Mughal]]>
CLTS (Community led total sanitation) Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:30:40 +0000
Re: sanitation 21 - by: F H Mughal
The publication is interesting, though it is too short (38 pp) for such an important topic. Kindly help me out on an aspect that is bothering me. The document is meant for urban sanitation services (pp. 11). Urban centers (for example, in Pakistan – cities like Karachi, Lahore, and Hyderabad) have sewer system laid and managed by the municipal authorities. We don’t have to undergo any headache. Domestic and industrial wastewaters flow in the sewer system, conveyed to wastewater treatment plants and onwards for disposal.

Box 1 says: “Install systems for safe management of pit latrine faecal sludge and septage from septic tanks.” This would pertain to the sanitary conditions in rural areas here, where households have pit latrines, or septic tank-soak pit systems. This is not quite clear to me, perhaps, you can help me out.

Or, is it that the publication was written for sanitation systems in developed countries?


F H Mughal]]>
WG 6 (cities) Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:02:06 +0000
Re: Ebola KnowledgePoint - by: ulrichl
Thanks for this information!
The following has nothing to do with the website, but I found it fits nicely into this thread and it could be of interest to the sanitation community:
The Guardian created an excellent visualization of how Ebola compares to other infectious diseases:

A guote from that site:
With Ebola panic spreading, we thought it might be timely to visualise the data on the infectiousness of various pathogens.
To give a universal metric for infectiousness, we’ve used the average ‘basic reproduction number’ (also ratio or rate). It’s a statistical measure of how likely and widespread an infectious disease outbreak might be - if nothing is done to control the situation.
Every disease has a basic reproduction number but the numbers are scattered across the literature. We’ve web-crawled and gathered them all here in one graphic, plotting them against the average case fatality rate - the % of infectees who die. This hopefully gives us a data-centric way to understand the most infectious and deadly diseases and contextualise current events.

Health, hygiene and disability issues Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:41:36 +0000
Re: Reseach Topic Assistance - Otji toilets (UDDTs) in Namibia - by: JKMakowka
Does your University have laboratory facilities you can use to test for example faecal bacteria contamination in the diverted urine? Might be interesting to see how well the system deals with watery diarrhoea and what extra precautions might be necessary before applying the urine as fertilizer then.]]>
Urine diversion systems (includes UDDT and UD flush toilet) Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:13:39 +0000
Re: Ebola KnowledgePoint - by: rkaupp
Thank you for moving the thread. KnowledgePoint is an initiatie by a few NGOs (WaterAid, RedR, Practical Action, EngineerAid, IRC...) to provide a place to ask technical questions, where specialists can answer. This is because these NGOs all had their internal "technical support" services, but without good platforms to do so). So KnowledgePoint is used both internally (for instance in WaterAid we use it to link fundraising and comms teams to technical advisors), and to allow people from other NGOs or the public to ask questions as well.

The main website is on where you can ask questions anonymously or register, and there are sub-sites for specific organisations, and for instance for Ebola as well.

So, to use it, just search for existing answers, or ask a new question, it's free to use! There are no dedicated times for Q&As as it is not "live", more a repository of knowledge. As it is broader than WASH as it goes into energy, infrastructure, organisational issues, etc.

Best wishes,
Health, hygiene and disability issues Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:31:26 +0000
Re: Please take part in our SuSanA Discussion Forum User Survey - and win one of over 150 prizes! - by: Florian
So I want to join those above in encouranging everybody who has not yet, to take the 5-10 min and fill out the form. Its done really quickly and will help to have a much more meaningfull result of the survey. It's also a good chance to express wishes for new or better forum features.

Regards, Florian]]>
By SuSanA secretariat or core group Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:18:28 +0000
Re: latrine technology question about the use of two chamber rural latrine septic tanks - by: Florian
The baffle separates the tank in two compartments (some design have even 3 compartments), which helps retaining solids, either sludge sinking to the bottom or floating scum. The clarified liquid can be further treated or infiltrated. After a certain period, accumulated solids need to be pumped out, as otherwise volume for accumulation would become too small and solids start to be carried over to the next chamber or the soak pit.

Single chamber systems are less efficient for retaining solids, so more solids start entering earlier in the soak pit, where over time they lead to clogging.

The main difference between a well designed two-chamber septic tank and a single chamber tank is the life time: if the 2-chamber tank is properly maintained (desludged according to design intervalls) its lifetime is basically unlimited. A single chamber system will becomed clogged at some time (how fast depends on soil characteristics) and need to be replaced.

As for the contamination of groundwater, there is no difference between a one or a two chamber system. In a one chamber system, the solids will also be retained, just in the soil matrix around the soak pit rather in the tank itself. In both system, clarified wastewater (containing up to 50 % of the total BOD and still an important load of pathogens) will infiltrate and may contaminate the groundwater. If contamination of groundwater is really a problem depends of densitiy of the septic tanks, of soil properties, and of the type of use of the groundwater.

It's a bit different if the tanks do not drain into a soak pit but into suface water or a drainage ditch. Then pollution from single chamber systems (or badly maintained two-chamber systems) is definitely worse than from well maintained two-chamber septic tanks.

This is all generally speaking. I'm not so sure what exactly is the situation you are dealing with. Your attachment 2 shows the same as 1, also a 2 chamber system, just with some difference in the placement of the pipe connecting the two chamber.

I know that in Cambodia (and elsewhere) single chamber systems, soak pits are common in rural pour flush latrines. These fill up after some time and need to be replaced (often designes foresee two of such pits, to be used alternatively.

Regards, Florian]]>
Sanitation systems for special conditions, resiliant risk reduction Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:08:32 +0000
Reseach Topic Assistance - Otji toilets (UDDTs) in Namibia - by: Maria123

Next year will be my final year and I will be required to conduct a research in any area relevant to my field of study. I've chosen to focus on water and sanitation in Namibia as that is where I have identified a gab in most of the rural areas. My main focus being on the Otji-Toilets which are recommended for most poor communities in the south of Namibia.

I know what I want to research on but I'm finding it difficult to come up with a topic for my research.

Suggestions on any researchable topic that has to do with sanitation are highly welcomed.]]>
Urine diversion systems (includes UDDT and UD flush toilet) Wed, 22 Oct 2014 09:57:35 +0000