Category Archives: Wastewater Management

Untreated Wastewater: A Growing Crisis and Its Solutions

Untreated Wastewater: A Growing Crisis and Its Solutions | Source: Engineering for Change, Aug 31 2016 |

biopipe

The Biopipe is a decentralized pipe network that treats domestic wastewater for reuse in irrigation, comprised of a tank, pipe modules, circulation and water pumps, and a UV filter.

Aerial photos reveal a plume of brown fecal sludge drifting off the coast at Lavender Hill in Accra, Ghana. Every day, trucks drive dump 250,000 gallons of untreated sewage on the beach, wastewater pumped from latrines in neighborhoods that do not have sewer lines.

Susan Davis describes the disaster in the opening to a short but important piece at WASHfunders.org. Davis is the founder of Improve International and a contributing editor at Engineering for Change who wrote the first installment of a two-part series on the lack of wastewater treatment in developing countries and solutions to the problem.

The sector of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has largely ignored wastewater until recently, focusing instead of increasing access to toilets. But now the problem has gained global notoriety and wastewater treatment is a part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The second part, not yet published, will present a handful of solutions to the lack of wastewater treatment. The technologies are listed in E4C’s Solutions Library, where they can be compared to similar technologies side by side in a standardized format.

Craig Fairbaugh, an E4C Research Fellow, helped review the technologies and describes them in his forthcoming piece for WASHfunders.org. This is a brief preview.

Read the complete article.

SNV publications on urban sanitation

SNV’s Urban Sanitation & Hygiene for Health and Development (USHHD) programme works with municipal governments to develop safe, sustainable city-wide services. The programme integrates insights in WASH governance, investment and finance, behavioural change communication and management of the sanitation service chain. We engage private sector, civil society organisations, users and local authorities to improve public health and development opportunities in their city.

As part of our USHHD programme, we have a long term partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney focused on knowledge and learning to improve practice and contribute to the WASH sector knowledge and evidence. Our recent collaborative efforts have resulted in the following papers:

Are we doing the right thing? Critical questioning for city sanitation planning (2016)
Cities are clear examples of complex and rapidly changing systems, particularly in countries where urban population growth and economic development continue apace, and where the socio-political context strongly influences the directions taken. The concept of double-loop learning can be usefully applied to city sanitation planning. This paper prompts practitioners, policy-makers and development agencies to reflect on their approaches to city sanitation planning and the assumptions that underlie them.
Download full paper

Exploring legal and policy aspects of urban sanitation and hygiene (2016)
During 2012-2014, SNV did four country reviews of legal arrangements for urban sanitation and hygiene in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Based on these experiences, this guide was developed to provide support and guidance for WASH practitioners undertaking a scan of legal arrangements to inform the design (use of frameworks and tools) and delivery (advocacy for improvements) of urban sanitation and hygiene programs.
Download full paper

A guide to septage transfer stations (2016)
Septage transfer stations have the potential to significantly reduce the amount of faecal sludge entering the environment by providing a local solution for septage disposal. Localised transfer stations shorten the time required for local operators to collect and transport septage, and they will be able to use smaller vacuum tanks that can navigate the densely populated residential areas. This guide provides information on the salient aspects of selecting, designing, building, operating and maintaining a septage transfer station.
Download full paper

Financing sanitation for cities and towns (2014)
Planning and financing for sanitation in cities and towns in developing countries is often ad hoc and piecemeal. Stronger capacity to plan financing for sanitation infrastructure (and services) for the long term will lead to better outcomes. Planning for adequate long-term services requires consideration of the complete sanitation service chain over the lifecycle of the associated service infrastructure. This paper focuses on access to the upfront finance and other lumpy finance needs for initial investment and for rehabilitation and/or replacement as physical systems approach their end of life.
Download full paper

For further information about these papers or the organisations, please contact:
Antoinette Kome (SNV) – akome@snv.org
Juliet Willetts (ISF) on Juliet.willetts@uts.edu.au

IRC WASH Toolkit

tools_ghana

IRC has compiled a growing repository of tools and guidance for strengthening water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) service delivery.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of universal access to WASH by 2030 requires a systems approach, This means tackling all dimensions such as monitoring systems to see whether services are delivered; financing frameworks that define who pays for what and how; and procurement mechanisms for infrastructure development.

The toolkit is organised around the two related goals of delivering services and delivering change.

IRC toolbox

The toolkit covers both water supply and sanitation. Sanitation and hygiene-specific tools have been grouped under the sanitation and behaviour change blocks.

Included are best practices, case studies and approaches developed and tested in IRC’s work with governments, NGOs and other partners in over 20 countries.

The tools come from big, multi-country initiatives, such as WASHCost, Triple-S and WASHTech, as well as more focused pieces of work, such as our partnership with the government of Ethiopia to develop guidelines for self-supply.

We are in the early stages of development, so for now the toolkit is a beta product. We encourage you to use and build on our work. We do, however, request you to acknowledge the source and share your experience with us. We also welcome your feedback as we continue to expand and refine the toolkit. Please send your comments, questions and experiences to info@ircwash.org.

The toolkit is available at: www.ircwash.org/wash-tools

 

Don’t think of treatment plants: building factories to meet the sanitation SDGs

Rwanda  - Pivot fecal sludge treatment 1

Pivot Works factory in Kigali, Rwanda. From left to right: Fecal sludge receiving tank, flocculation tanks, mechanical dewatering machine. Photo: Ashley Muspratt

4,900 days from now, in 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals will expire.  If that feels like a long time, consider the work ahead.  And by work, I dare not attempt to wrap my head around all 17 goals; I refer specifically to the WASH goal – SDG #6 – and even more specifically to the sanitation targets.

From my admittedly invested perch – I run a sanitation company – the most exciting thing about transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs is the belated inclusion of treatment.  There’s finally recognition that “improved sanitation” without treatment is not improved sanitation.  The WASH community’s new mandate: “halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally” (SDG 6.3).  But consider that the urban population still requiring “safely managed sanitation” today stands at 3.214 billion [1]. Serving them entails expanding safe management, i.e., some form of treatment, to 625,000 people each day for the next 4,900 days.  That’s basically a city a day.

How can we achieve such a massive expansion of safe fecal sludge and wastewater management?  For starters, let’s stop building treatment plants. Heresy? There’s a better way.

Continue reading

Policy Guidance Manual on Wastewater Management with a Special Emphasis on Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems.

Policy Guidance Manual on Wastewater Management with a Special Emphasis on Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems, 2015. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and Asian Institute of Technology (AIT),

The Policy Guidance Manual on Wastewater Management with a special emphasis on Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS) highlights adequate policy and sustainable practices from the South-East Asia (SEA) region and worldwide. The primary objectives of the Policy Guidance Manual on DEWATS for SEA are three-fold:

(a) to guide national and local policy-makers and experts of SEA in enabling pro poor policies, strategies, legal, institutional, social, environmental and financial frameworks for sustainable sanitation services;

(b) to advocate DEWATS to accelerate sustainable sanitation services in peri-urban areas and secondary towns along the Mekong corridor; and

(c) to suggest solutions and options for reforms aimed at sustainable delivery of sanitation services towards the achievement of the country’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for sanitation, and to contribute to the post-2015 development agenda and SDG6 on Water and Sanitation.

Positive Progress: 3 Trends in Wastewater Treatment

Positive Progress: 3 Trends in Wastewater Treatment |Source: Ralph Exton, Triple Pundit, July 5 2016 |

Water has become one of the foremost challenges affecting the world today. In developing countries, millions of people lack access to clean, safe water. Weather extremes, such as drought are creating dangerous situations; meanwhile, a new released report predicts that by year 2060, more than a billion people worldwide will live in cities at risk of major flooding as a result of climate change. drops-of-water-578897_1280-1

Then there’s the rapid population growth and economic development in regions, such as the Middle East, where water resources are being pushed well beyond natural limits. And as cities’ aging piping and distribution infrastructure continues to crumble, trillions of gallons of water are lost.

Municipalities in particular are taking the brunt of these challenges. Yet, I believe some of the greatest opportunities for solving the problems exist within their wastewater treatment plants. Last month, leaders in the global water sector convened in Munich, Germany, for the 50th anniversary of IFAT – an influential conference for innovation in water, sewage, waste and raw materials management. Three wastewater treatment trends – and solutions – dominated the discussion.

Read the complete article.

Identification and quantification of pathogenic helminth eggs using a digital image system

Identification and quantification of pathogenic helminth eggs using a digital image system. Experimental Parasitology, July 2016.

Authors: B. Jiméneza, C. Maya, et. al.

A system was developed to identify and quantify up to seven species of helminth eggs (Ascaris lumbricoides -fertile and unfertile eggs-, Trichuris trichiura, Toxocara canis, Taenia saginata, Hymenolepis nana, Hymenolepis diminuta, and Schistosoma mansoni) in wastewater using different image processing tools and pattern recognition algorithms.

The system allows the helminth eggs most commonly found in wastewater to be reliably and uniformly detected and quantified. In addition, it provides the total number of eggs as well as the individual number by species, and for Ascaris lumbricoides it differentiates whether or not the egg is fertile.

The system only requires basically trained technicians to prepare the samples, as for visual identification there is no need for highly trained personnel. The time required to analyze each image is less than a minute. This system could be used in central analytical laboratories providing a remote analysis service.