About OCTOPUS

The first collaborative online platform on
emergency faecal sludge disposal and treatment!

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Faecal sludge disposal and treatment is a significant problem in rapid onset emergencies. Low consideration is given to this issue when deploying emergency responses, and while general guidance and resources exist, improper decisions are often made. This generates health and environmental risks.
 
Share, develop, decide

To address this issue, Solidarités International has created the first collaborative platform called OCTOPUS. Intended for sanitation practitioners, OCTOPUS aims to provide them with a space for knowledge sharing, and to guide them in the development of their projects and decision-making.

 

Compare, improve, learn

The main objective of the OCTOPUS collaborative platform is to improve practices! OCTOPUS ensures the link between theory and practice, and helps sanitation stakeholders adapt their interventions to the different specific contexts of the crises they operate in. Each practitioner has the opportunity to document his or her experiences, to discover those implemented by other partners, and to compare the solutions and technologies used.

The OCTOPUS platform is part of a learning process as follows:

The advantages of OCTOPUS

  • Crisis-focused practices and guidance
  • One-stop emergency FSM website linking theory to practice
  • Links to sanitation resources and initiatives
  • Collaborative platform for peer-to-peer learning
  • Turning experience into guidance through the OCTOPUS learning experience.

Collaboration, the key to success!

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Indicators notice

Unit/value

Excreta containment
Solid/liquid separation
Urine/faeces separation
Sludge drying
Stabilisation of sludge
Sludge volume reduction
Reduction of odour/flies
Reduction of pathogens
BOD reduction
TSS and TDS reduction
Nutrient removal
Nitrification
Nutrient recovery
Biogas recovery
Water recovery
Biomass production
Other

How to measure or calculate it ?

If possible, revise design document and ask to the design team or consultants: the objective should have been considered to design and dimension the faecal sludge treatment site. Usually, the objective is related to the quality of input sludge and the environmental conditions of disposal sites or the desired reusing methodology

This is very important to design the faecal sludge treatment site and to evaluate the efficacy of the treatment

References, tips, examples

Why it is important to measure it
This is very important to design the faecal sludge treatment site and to evaluate the efficacy of the treatment

Unit/value
Short term (months)
Long term (years)

How to measure or calculate it ?

Identify immediate and long term needs. Analyse population growing and movements trends (see design beneficiary indicator), donors and implementing actors commitments for the future.

References, tips, examples

The size of the population today might be 1,000 persons (often referred to as ‘capita’), but in 1 year this may double and in 5 years this might increase ten-fold; moreover it is important to know how long the facility will need to last to determine the building materials to use

Why it is important to measure it ?
It is important to know the design period as this will help to calculate the designed beneficiary population (see indicator) by the faecal sludge treatment site. Moreover, it is important to know how long the facility will need to last to determine the building materials to use

Unit / value

Low skilled: general WASH officer
Skilled: FSM specialist

How to measure or calculate it ?

The indicator is determined by assessing the design process and understanding if specialists were involved or not

References, tips and/or examples

Example of different design skills in the same context: Design of large scale faecal sludge treatment site of Oxfam in Cox Bazar was implemented in collaboration with Borda (sanitation experts). The small lime stabilization faecal treatment site of Oxfam was implemented by the ‘regular’ WASH officers.

However it’s always preferable to check designs with FSM specialists as in practice the law of Murphy rules: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
So for example also during the design of a simple facility as septic tank the following mistakes are common:
– inlet and outlet are mixed up;
– plans and cross-sections are mixed up;
– capacity of the facility is far too large;
– absence of ventilation pipes;
– absence of infiltration facilities;
– leaking tanks;
Etc., etc. etc.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Faecal sludge is a potential dangerous material: a simple mistake impacts the lives of many people
This indicator is important for actors interested in implementing faecal sludge treatment for planning reasons.

Unit / value
yes
no

How to measure or calculate it ?
Check, at the end of rainy season, the groundwater table at the faecal sludge site by digging a pit and/or checking dug wells nearby (in the early morning before water is taken and water level drops).
If it’s not possible to do it at the end of rainy season, ask information to local population about water level in the wells during the year.

References, tips, examples

In areas with high water tables, it might be a challenge to dig pits/ tanks as pumps for keeping the pit dry might be absent. Even if pumps are available, care must be taken to avoid floating of empty tanks. Floating can be avoided by adding enough weight (stones, concrete) to the tank to prevent floating. Hence, above ground / raised facilities are advised such as raised Oxfam tanks.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Faecal sludge is potentially dangerous material and when in contacts with water, contaminants will spread easily and quickly. Moreover, construction in areas with high ground water table requires extra measures and more complex structures (expensive)

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