Category Archives: Wastewater Management

BRAC WASH releases video on faecal sludge management

The BRAC WASH programme has released a short video about their ongoing study in Bangladesh on the use  of faecal sludge from double pit latrines as organic fertiliser.

The final evaluation of BRAC WASH I programme identified pit emptying and the safe final disposal of sludge as a key ‘second generation’ challenge for the near future. To address this, BRAC is undertaking action research to ensure the safe reuse of faecal sludge in the BRAC WASH II programme, answering the following questions:

  • Does the faecal sludge comply with the WHO Guidelines on microbiological quality after one year of storage?
  • What is the nutrient content of the faecal sludge?
  • Is it possible to make faecal sludge-based organic fertiliser production commercially viable?

In 2013, the UK-based School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds won a BRAC WASH II research call for secondary treatment options for faecal sludge. Their project is called Value at the end of the Sanitation Value-chain (VeSV).

The University of Leeds is working together with three other partners: Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), NGO Forum for Public Health (Bangladesh), and IWMI International Water Management Institute (Sri Lanka).

More information:

 

 

 

Brazil: toilet protest on Ipanema beach against sewage pollution

In the wake of the World Cup and the Olympics, activists in Brazil are taking to the streets (and the beaches) demanding more investment in neglected public services like sanitation. Activist group Meu Rio (My Rio)  sat on lavatories on Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro to raise awareness about the dumping of untreated sewage into the sea. The group also laid out coloured silhouettes of common bacteria found in sewage on the sand.

My Rio sanitation protest poster

Some 70% of Rio’s sewage is said to be untreated as it flows into the sea off the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and the Guanabara Bay, which will host several events at the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. Source: Sky News, 26 Jan 2014

Wastewater treatment made simple … by a 5-year-old

Five-year-old Wally has built a wastewater treatment plant with Lego. Watch him explain how it works.

 

USAID – Freshwater Conservation and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Integration Guidelines

Freshwater Conservation and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Integration Guidelines: A Framework for Implementation in sub-Saharan Africa, 2013.

Janet Edmond, et al.  Africa Biodiversity  Collaborative Group, Conservation International, and The Nature Conservancy.

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to health, development, and conservation professionals in sub-Saharan Africa on how to plan, coordinate, develop, and achieve mutually supported WASH and freshwater conservation outcomes. It was designed to provide an overall framework to consider when working across sectors.

A set of core guiding principles are included as critical elements to considerbefore developing and implementing integrated projects:

  • WASH projects should protect or enhance ecosystem health and water-related ecosystem services, such as sustainable water quantity and quality
  • Conservation projects should incorporate/consider WASH goals that provide social/environmental benefits in conjunction with conservation goals.
  • WASH and conservation programs should promote resilience to future changes in water use, availability, and climate patterns through adaptive management of both natural and built infrastructure.

 

The bathroom and kitchen of the future

How will urban households deal with hygiene, wastewater and solid waste in 2050? The solution, according to the combined vision of  Veolia Environnement and the London School of Economics (LSE), lies in “a circular economy based on continuous reuse”.

In a home free of bins, household waste gets sorted by nanoscopic robots, senso-cleaners scan your hands for dirt,  and plants and bacteria self-treat domestic effluents.

Baths require a minimal quantity of  water, ultrasonic vibrations will remove dirt without the need for soap.

All surfaces (wall, floor, roof and window) become self-cleaning thanks to a coating of epicuticular wax crystalloids and a minimal amount of captured rainwater or condensation (no detergent).

Read  more about the home of the future on Veolia’s Imagine 2050 web site.

Source: Veolia unveils bin-less homes vision, edie.net, 20 Nov 2013

Asian Development Bank and Gates Foundation set up new sanitation trust fund

Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund infographic

Infographic: ADB and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have set up a joint trust fund to expand non-sewered sanitation and septage management solutions across Asia.

The Gates Foundation will invest US$ 15 million into the new Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund, which will leverage more than US$ 28 million in investments from ADB by 2017.

The Trust Fund will pilot innovations in sanitation and septage management, provide grant funds for innovations in ADB’s sanitation projects, and support polices on septage management and sludge treatment for low-income urban communities who lack access to piped networks or safe wastewater disposal systems.

The Trust Fund will be part of ADB’s Water Financing Partnership Facility (WFPF), which has invested US$ 2.5 billion (out of a total of US$ 8.8 billion) in water supply, sanitation, and wastewater management projects since 2006.

So far the Gates Foundation has funded 85 sanitation research & development projects as part of their grant schemes such as the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge” and “Grand Challenges Exploration“. An overview of these projects and background information is available on the SuSanA website.

The BRAC WASH II programme in Bangladesh, which is co-funded by the Gates Foundation, includes a component for innovative action research on sanitation and water supply.

Source: ADB, 02 Sep 2013

What happens when the pit latrine is full?

Faecal sludge management seems to be the flavour of the month. Now it is the theme of the July edition of Waterlines. In the editorial Prof. Richard Carter writes:

In the typical population densities of urban slums, a sludge volume of between 5,000 and 10,000 cubic metres is produced every year per square kilometre of inhabited land. This overflows – or is deliberately caused to overflow – from full pit latrines. it contaminates soil, homes, surface water, and groundwater, with inevitable impacts on human health.

This issue of Waterlines includes the following four papers, which:

reinforce the message that the problems of faecal sludge management require systematic solutions which pay due attention to technology, economy and demand, business models and business planning, and public policy and institutions.

Adventures in search of the ideal portable pit-emptying machine,  p. 187-199
David Still, Mark O’Riordan, Angus McBride, et al.
DOI: 10.3362/1756-3488.2013.020

The importance of understanding the market when designing pit-emptying devices,  p. 200-212
Steven Sugden
DOI: 10.3362/1756-3488.2013.021

Inefficient technology or misperceived demand: the failure of Vacutug-based pit-emptying services in Bangladesh,  p. 213-220
Aftab Opel, M. Khairul Bashar
DOI: 10.3362/1756-3488.2013.022

Development of urban septage management models in Indonesia,  p. 221-236
Kevin Tayler, Reini Siregar, Budi Darmawan, et al.
DOI: 10.3362/1756-3488.2013.023

View the full list of contents at:  practicalaction.metapress.com/content/g66j1n45143m

To order a single copy (cost £30.00), send an email to: publishinginfo@practicalaction.org.uk

Individual articles, except the editorial, are available only to subscribers or as pay-per-view (www.practicalactionpublishing.org/waterlines).

Gates Foundation-DfID partnering on sustainable sanitation for the urban poor

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the UK Department for International Development (DfID) have initiated a partnership to focus on solutions for the sustainable provision of sanitation to the urban poor. They are jointly seeking proposals to test how cities can use binding service-level agreements and performance-based contracts with private sector partners as way to ensure the city-scale delivery of sustainable sanitation services.

The selection of the cities will be a two-step process. In Phase 1, up to ten cities will be selected to develop an informed plan and full proposal to solicit a grant. Out of these proposals, 2-3 cities will be selected for a larger Phase 2 grant to support implementation of their proposed plan. The duration of the Phase 2 grant is expected to be 2-3 years. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are priority geographies for consideration.

Phase 1 budgets have a maximum of US$ 150,000, but no budget limits have been set yet for Phase 2.

The application deadline for proposals is 13 September 2013.

In 2012, the Gates Foundation published a study on fecal sludge management in 30 cities across 10 countries in Africa and Asia.

For more information on the “City Partnerships for Urban Sanitation Service Delivery” request for proposals (RFP) go here.

Full-chain sanitation services that last

Full-Chain-Sanitation-cover2.6 billion people are waiting for a toilet and the faecal sludge of an additional 1.5 billion people never gets treated.  In the face of these indeed formidable challenges, the sanitation sector seems to have forgotten to celebrate the growing sense that we are getting a grip on how to tackle the problem of non-sewered sanitation.  A new IRC paper [1] is an invitation to everyone to contribute by commenting on the framework and by sharing lessons learnt.

The framework presented for non-sewered sanitation is based on a few key principles:

  • Sanitation is a public good and hence, national and local governments have a key responsibility to ensure that sanitation services that last are provided to all.
  • The parameters for a sustainable sanitation service need to be built around access and use; operation and maintenance and safe faecal sludge management.
  • The framework identifies political and individual commitment as a key condition for sustainable sanitation services.
  • In addition, a sanitation service contains the following components: the enabling environment, the creation of demand, the supply chains, and well aligned financial arrangements and incentives.
  • With increasing sanitation coverage, the focus of a sanitation service needs to shift from increasing access to and use of latrines (getting onto the sanitation ladder) to O&M and the safe disposal or productive uses of faecal sludge.

The framework serves as a starting point for the development of a functioning sanitation service.  However, the main argument of the framework is not towards a certain approach for demand creation or sanitation marketing but towards including and interlinking all four components and to consciously create political support for sanitation – creating a sustainable service that lasts.

We welcome your feedback and comments to further improve the framework and we are especially keen on learning from you how different components of sanitation framework can and are being operationalized and interlinked.

Most of all we want this framework to support the improvement of our collective impact so that the long wait for 1.6 billion can end.

Looking forward to hear from you,

Joep Verhagen

[1] Verhagen, J. and Carrasco, M., 2013. Full-chain sanitation services that last : non-sewered sanitation services. The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. 14 p. : 2 boxes, 1 fig., 2 tab. 13 ref. Available at: <http://www.irc.nl/page/79976>

ADB workshop on innovative wastewater management in Bangladesh

ADB-Sanitation-Workshop-BD

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is organising an “Action Planning Workshop on Promoting Innovations in Wastewater Management in Bangladesh” in Khulna  from 1-3  July 2013.

This is the follow-up of a conference held in January 2013 when the ADB launched its Promoting Innovations in Wastewater Management in Asia and the Pacific project.

This in-country workshop will bring together key stakeholders, including donors, to finalise an action plan to bring wastewater and fecal sludge/septage management in the city of Khulna and coastal towns in Bangladesh.

ADB is organising the workshop in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) , JICA, DANIDA, KfW, Cities Development Initiative Asia, and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.

One of the presentations will be on the  ADB-BMGF Pilot
Partnership in the Coastal Cities Project. See the full programme here.

Source: ADB