Tag Archives: pit latrines

Extra funding for “breathable membrane” linings for pit latrines

Roof latrine

Roof latrine. Photo: Steve Dentel, University of Delaware

A team at the University of Delaware has received US$ 250,000 in additional funding to continue its research on “breathable membrane” linings for pit latrines.

The breathable fabric helps to prevent groundwater pollution, while also protecting sanitation workers from exposure to pathogens. Heat from biodegradation of the feces or from the sun gradually expels water vapour, but prevents the escape of particulate or dissolved constituents.

Professor Steve Dentel, who leads the research, explained how it all works in webinar held in February 2014. A  write-up of the presentation and discussion was posted on the SuSanA forum.

The first phase of the research (November 2011 – October 2013)  was funded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations Fund.

Dentel is piloting the membrane technology in the slums of Kanpur, India, in collaboration with WaterAid. He wants to get them in place before the beginning of the rainy season in June. Since the membrane is reusable, the cost of using susch a sophisticated technology can be reduced.

At the same time, Dentel is working with UD engineering colleagues Daniel Cha and Paul Imhoff to apply the technology in wastewater treatment facilities in the USA and South Korea.

For more information you can follow and take part in a discussion about the research with Prof Dentel on the SuSan Forum.

Source:  Karen B. Roberts, Bacteria fighting fabric, UDaily, 17 Apr 2014

 

 

BRAC WASH latrines will power business to turn faecal waste into energy

The BRAC WASH programme in Bangladesh is to conduct detailed planning to convert faecal matter from pit latrines into commercially viable fertiliser, biogas and electricity. The aim is to complete the sanitation chain by making material from millions of pit latrines safe and economically productive.

Babar Kabir, Senior Director of the BRAC WASH programme, says that there is a sound business case for investment in bio-energy units that could generate electricity on a large scale, but believes that investors must be in this for the long-term and that the most important payback will be improved health and sanitation.

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Research call for commercially viable processing of pit latrine contents

IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre announces a research call for: Commercially viable processing of pit latrine contents: using a mix of human faeces, chicken manure and silage material.

This call is part of the BRAC WASH II programme in which EUR 1.5 million will be used for innovative research, tendered to consortia of leading European and Bangladeshi research organisations.

The planned duration of the research project will be 12 months. The anticipated cost of the project is EUR 325,000.

Guidelines for research call

Application form

Send full proposal application forms to bracactionresearch@irc.nl by 30 August 2013

Pit Latrines and Their Impacts on Groundwater Quality: A Systematic Review

Pit Latrines and Their Impacts on Groundwater Quality: A Systematic Review. Environ Health Perspect, March 22, 2013. doi:10.1289/ehp.1206028

Jay P. Graham and Matthew L. Polizzotto.

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Department of Global Health, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Washington, DC, USA

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Background: Pit latrines are one of the most common human excreta disposal systems in low-income countries, and their use is on the rise as countries aim to meet the sanitation-related target of the Millennium Development Goals. There is concern, however, that pit latrine discharges of chemical and microbial contaminants to groundwater may negatively affect human health.

Objectives: Our goals were to 1) calculate global pit latrine coverage, 2) systematically review empirical studies of the impacts of pit latrines on groundwater quality, 3) evaluate latrine siting standards, and 4) identify knowledge gaps regarding the potential for and consequences of groundwater contamination by latrines.

Methods: We used existing survey and population data to calculate global pit latrine coverage. We reviewed the scientific literature on the occurrence of contaminants originating from pit latrines and considered the factors affecting transport of these contaminants. Data were extracted from peer-reviewed articles, books and reports identified using Web of ScienceSM, PubMed, Google, and document reference lists.

Discussion: We estimated that approximately 1.77 billion people use pit latrines as their primary means of sanitation. Studies of pit latrines and groundwater are limited and have generally focused on only a few indicator contaminants. Although groundwater contamination is frequently observed downstream of latrines, contaminant transport distances, recommendations based on empirical studies, and siting guidelines are variable and not well aligned with one another.

Conclusions: In order to improve environmental and human health, future research should examine a larger set of contextual variables, improve measurement approaches, and develop better criteria for siting pit latrines.

Rwanda, Kigali: more connections to sewerage system planned

Kigali Eco-Toilet. Photo: Eugene Dusingizumuremyi / SuSanA

The capital city of Rwanda has turned a delay in funding into an opportunity to revise its plans so that more areas get connected to a new centralised sewerage system. Construction of a US$ 70 million wastewater treatment plant in Giti Cyinyoni, Nyarugenge District, was due to start in 2012 but has been delayed by one year.

The lack of a centralised sewage system in Kigali (pop. 1 million) has been forcing real estate developers to provide onsite sewerage systems for new housing units. Schools, hospitals and other public buildings are already required by law to have their own sewerage systems. In future all these onsite systems will be connected to the new centralised system.

In 2008, according to a survey, 80% of the people in Kigali still used pit latrines [1]. These have proved to be not only hard to maintain, but also expensive to manage in the long run. That’s why the city council recently passed a bylaw that instructs developers to install flush toilets connected to septic tanks.

[1] Hohne, A., 2011. State and drivers of change of Kigali’s sanitation : a demand perspective : paper presented at the East Africa practioners workshop on pro-poor urban sanitation and hygiene, Laico Umbano Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda, March 29th – 31st 2011 . [online] The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. Available at: <http://www.irc.nl/page/64586>

Related website: Kigali City – Water and Sanitation Programmes

Source:

  • Susan Babijja, City Council reviews sewage management plan, New Times, 26 Oct 2012
  • Rwanda: Kigali sewage system delayed by funds, Rwanda Express /  allAfrica.com, 14 Jun 2012
  • Eric Didier Karinganire, Sewage in Kigali still an issue of concern, Rwanda Focus, 09 Apr 2012

A practical guide for building a simple pit latrine

Cavanna, S., Debus, J-P., and Nikiema, L.Z.P. (2011). A practical guide for building a simple pit latrine : how to build your latrine and use it hygienically, for the dignity, health, and well being of your family. Hardware Quality Project, Regional Global Water Initiative (GWI) West Africa Programme. 23 p.

Download the guide as a PDF file or view online on the CRS web site
Also available in French

This technical do-it-yourself guide provides step-by-step instruction on building simple pit latrines. It was designed for use at the individual household level to assist families in West Africa who have already decided to build their own latrines.

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Low-Cost Options for Sludge Management in Madagascar

Low-Cost Options for Sludge Management in Madagascar, 2011.

WASHplus partner, Practica Foundation, conducted a feasibility study of various technological options for hygienic sludge removal at two public-private toilet/shower sites in Madagascar. Both are currently emptied by informal sector workers under cover of dark, who face serious health hazards and engage in questionable disposal practices, with sludge dumped into waterways or buried nearby in shallow pits.

The assessment combines technical analysis and sociological observation and reporting, giving a vivid picture of the current state of sludge removal and potential for improvements and the impact on the environment and public health. It proposes innovative low-cost options for fecal management methods in three areas: sludge removal/transfer, transportation, and disposal/treatment.