Category Archives: Wastewater Management

Ushering a new era in sanitation value chain management in India

Report of a WASH Dialogue on faecal sludge and septage management.

By Anupama Sahay

Cambodia faecal sudge management-crop

Faecal sludge management in Cambodia. Photo: Dany Dourng

Is Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) an effective and long-term solution in the sanitation value chain? That was the question that Indian sanitation experts reflected on in Jaipur, the state capital of Rajasthan, at a multi-stakeholder dialogue on ‘FSSM Matters: Looking Forward’ on 10 January 2017. The dialogue was the second of the “Insights” series launched last year by the India Sanitation Coalition (ISC), IRC and TARU Leading Edge.

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33rd AGUASAN Workshop: “Circular economy – transforming waste into resources”

The 2017 AGUASAcircular-economyN Workshop will focus on analysing successful and failed approaches for transitioning from linear to circular water and sanitation models.

The workshop takes place from June 26 to 30, 2017 in Spiez, Switzerland.

Circular economy has great potential to drive the Water and Sanitation 2030 Agenda forward because it aligns directly with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.3 of improving water quality and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally and SDG 6.4 of substantially increasing water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensuring sustainable withdrawals.

Key questions and issues: 

  • What does the circular economy concept entail?
  • Which flows are relevant?
  • Which stakeholders need to be involved and how?
  • How can demand for recovered products be created?
  • In which context do these stakeholders act?
  • What are the drivers and barriers influencing the transition towards a circular economy?
  • Which circular economy approaches can we learn from for overcoming the identified
  • How should change from linear to circular water and sanitation be managed?
  • How can health risks be managed?
  • How to address public perceptions associated with recycling and reusing of human waste?

Please find the invitation letter, announcement and pre-registration on the website: www.aguasan.ch. Registrations will be accepted until March 19th, 2017.

AGUASAN is an interdisciplinary Swiss Community of Practice (CoP) that brings together a broad range of specialists to promote wider and deeper understanding of key water and sanitation management issues in developing and transition countries. It builds on committed sector professionals from various specialised institutions involved in Swiss development cooperation, humanitarian aid and research. Since 1984, the CoP provides an exemplary, vibrant and most pertinent exchange platform and think-tank serving the water sector, and constitutes an essential link in the innovation and knowledge management strategy of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Besides convening quarterly knowledge sharing events, every year members of the CoP organise an international AGUASAN Workshop in Switzerland

 

Information on fecal sludge management

4th International Faecal Sludge Management Conference (FSM4), February 19-23, Chennai, India. FSM4 will focus on innovative and practical solutions that can be scaled up, including three tracks: research, case studies, and industry and exhibition.

Sanitation Service Delivery (SSD) Program – Ghana, Ivory Coast and BeninSustainable Sanitation Alliance, November 2016. SSD is a USAID/West Africa urban sanitation project implemented in Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, and Ghana. The project aims to improve sanitation outcomes through developing and testing scalable, market-based models that contribute to structural change within the region’s sanitation sector. Several posts to this forum discuss the SSD program and provide links to SSD’s reports and webinars.

Fecal Sludge Management ToolsThe World Bank, June 2016. The World Bank has developed some tools to diagnose fecal sludge management (FSM) status and to guide decisionmaking. These tools do not provide predefined solutions, as the many variables and stakeholders involved demand interventions that are specific to each city and should be seen within the context of integrated urban water management.

Faecal Waste Flow CalculatorIRC WASH, 2016. The tool is developed to determine fecal waste volumes along the entire service chain, allowing city planners, service authorities, or any other users to determine where the biggest losses are and where interventions should be targeted. Less easily quantifiable issues such as the existence of policies and legislation, availability and transparency of plans and budgets, and presence and adherence to environmental and safety standards are captured with the use of score cards.

Fecal Sludge Management in MadagascarWASHplus, March 2016. This video discusses how USAID’s WASHplus project engaged the international NGO Practica to design and pilot a private-sector service delivery model to sustainably manage fecal sludge generated in the peri-urban area of Ambositra using low-cost decentralized technologies.

2016 WEDC Conference Presentations on Fecal Sludge ManagementSanitation Updates, August 2016. This post has links to each of the eight WEDC 2016 conference presentations on fecal sludge management, topics include analysis of fecal sludge collection efficiency and overcoming capacity gaps in fecal sludge management through education and training.

Smaller is Better when Investing in Fecal Sludge Management in AsiaAsian Development Blog, August 2016. This article discusses small wastewater projects that differ from the bank’s traditional approach of focusing on developing bigger centralized systems that involve large, extensive wastewater networks and infrastructure.

Is There Fecal Sludge on Your Salad? IWA Network, January 2017. This article discusses the Sanitation Safety Planning tool that helps optimize the reuse of wastewater, grey water, and excreta.

SFD toolboxSustainable Sanitation Alliance, January 2017. An excreta flow diagram (also often described as shit flow diagram, SFD) is a tool to readily understand and communicate visualizing how excreta physically flows through a city or town.

Assessing Public Health Risks from Unsafe Fecal Sludge Management in Poor Urban Neighborhoods: What Does SaniPath Tell Us about Exposure to Fecal Contamination in 12 Neighborhoods in 3 Cities? Sanipath, August 2016. This presentation compares the latest results of the SaniPath Study from three different study sites: Accra, Ghana; Vellore, India; and Maputo, Mozambique, and discusses the reliability of the SaniPath Tool data.

USAID – Infographic: Tackling Water Scarcity and Sanitation Challenges Across the Middle East

Infographic: Tackling Water Scarcity and Sanitation Challenges Across the Middle East, December 15, 2016. USAID. MENA_Water_infographic-V3.png

The American people, through USAID, have been investing in the water sector across the Middle East to improve access to clean water, reduce water losses, facilitate sustainable use of limited resources and improve access to sanitation.

Egypt
2.2 Million People – Since 2008, USAID invested in water systems and wastewater treatment plants, helping 2.2 million people gain access to clean water and sanitation.

850 Kilometers of Water Pipelines – Since 2012, USAID funded construction of 850+ kilometers of pipelines that serve 1.8+ million people in rural areas –many of whom received access to drinking water and sanitation for the first time.

Capacity Building – USAID supported billing and operation systems to strengthen and build the capacity of institutions.

Read the complete article.

Recycling sewage into drinking water is no big deal. They’ve been doing it in Namibia for 50 years

Recycling sewage into drinking water is no big deal. They’ve been doing it in Namibia for 50 years. WUNC, December 15, 2016.

On the outskirts of Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, there’s a huge, churning vat of nasty brown liquid. It’s so stinky that my guide, the man who runs Windhoek’s water department, tells me I might want to stay in the car.

But this is what I came to see — raw sewage, on its way to being turned back into drinking water.

The Goreangab waste treatment plant is where most of the wastewater from Windhoek’s 300,000 residents ends up. But it’s not your run-of-the-mill sewage plant. It’s the first stop in the city’s pioneering water recycling system.

Cities around the world are wrestling with whether they should build facilities like this. But here, in the middle of a desert in a remote corner of southern Africa, they’ve been recycling wastewater for almost 50 years.

It’s cutting-edge technology, but it’s based on the humblest of creatures — bacteria.

Read the complete article.

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