Upflow filter – Constructed wetland – July 2019

Organisation : NC

 

Short description of the emergency context

The humanitarian crisis caused by escalating violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State has been causing suffering on a catastrophic scale. According to UNHCR estimates, as of 31 December 2019, more than 910,619 (as of UNHCR_Population Factsheet – 20190515) forcibly-displaced Myanmar nationals are residing in Bangladesh. Different organizations have been providing humanitarian aid to these refugees including in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the makeshift camps as well as in host communities. Infrastructures and facilities – both those preceding the 2017 influx and those established in response to the influx – are already stretched due to population density. Rohingya community live in bamboo and tarpaulin made temporary shelters. In average, each family consists of 4-5 members and there is more than 50% women and children in the camp considered as vulnerable group.

Out of the 1.2 million people in need of WASH services, thus far the sector has only been able to reach 768,000 people with access to safe sanitation. At the initial stages of the emergency, shallow latrines were constructed, many of which have now been decommissioned. New latrines have been established but some of the emergency latrines are still in use. While septic tanks have been introduced in the camps, space is limited. Combined with limited partner technical expertise in faecal sludge management, this has greatly inhibited the collection and treatment of waste. Daily volumes of faecal sludge removed are much lower than the accumulation rate. It has been stated in Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis Joint Review Plan 2018 (JRP) that due to congestion in the camps, the Sector has been struggling to identify land for final disposal and treatment of faecal sludge. To address faecal sludge management, multiple and phased technical solutions are underway.

In response to the above scenario, Practical Action has intervened in Rohingya camps with a particular focus on faecal sludge management (FSM) which was initially overlooked by most agencies and which has now become a prime focus for Rohingya Response WASH Sector. Since November 2017 (immediately after the influx), Practical Action (PA) has established 18 FSM sites in five different camps (7, 8E, 8W, 9 and 15) which are adaptive to the camp environment. Through these FSM sites, Practical Action has desludged more than 3,500 latrines in these camps which resulted in more than 70,000 beneficiaries. With the existing PA FSM plant operation and coverage in above mentioned camps, PA has extended its service on 108,000 beneficiaries with 10 new FSM plants more along with hygiene promotion services at Ukhiya upazila in Cox’s Bazar district. Practical Action has also extended its technical support to other WaSH agencies i.e. World Vision, Gono Unnoyon Kendro, Christian Aid and Helvetas with 10 FSM plants in camp 8E, 13, 14 and 15. The FSM plant of three chambers adopting up-flow filtration technology has become a reliable method for the regular desludging of latrines as well as for engaging Rohingya community as FSM sanitation workers.

With a proven filtration system, safe water quality (in comparison to other FSM practices in camps), operation friendly plant design and higher level of community engagement (deploying refugees from the Rohingya community as sanitation workers), Practical Action has stepped in camp 7, 8E, 8W, 9, 13, 14 and 15 of Kutupalong and Balukhali makeshift settlements in Ukhiya Upazila, Cox’s Bazar District.

Practical Action FSM plant optimization has been affected by the absence of associated behaviour change communication (BCC) in terms of reaching its desired sanitation impact. As such, a BCC component has now been designed and integrated into the project extension period. According to a need assessment undertaken in Camps 7, 15 and 8W, there is a huge gap in terms of regular BCC interventions with a focus on open defecation.

The Rohingya settlements are quite large to manage in single hand. Various consortiums are activated to response in Rohingya crisis for example camp management, WASH management etc. The consortiums are working in a collaborated way to mitigate the sufferings of the Rohingya people with their resources. WASH sector has a close collaboration with Camp Management to ensure safe water and sanitation accessibility for all Rohingya people. Below is mentioned some local and international actors with active role in the community:

Site Management Agency:WASH NGOs:WaSH Governmental agency:
DRC, BRAC, CARE, Christian AidPractical Action, TDH, NGO-F, VERC, WVI, BRAC, Friendship, MSF-H, Mukti Cox’s BazarDPHE, Office of Civil Surgeon

 

According to the Health and Wash joint reports, Acute Water Disease cases such as Diarrhea, Cholera, Dysentery, Typhoid etc. are found in camp level. Practical Action is much aware of the wash related diseases and so thus has initiated environment friendly faecal sludge management services with hygiene promotion for the safely disposal of human excreta in camps. PA has also taken necessary measure to ensure health and personal safety for the staffs and sanitation workers.

Safety and hygiene: washing capacity availability

Yes

Safety and hygiene: PPEs availability

Yes

Practical Action has devised context specific Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) units, adopting ‘upflow filtration technique’ to ensure safe disposal of human waste at hilly terrain in Ukhiya for Rohingya camps. The settlements are so densely populated and having limited access to adequate wash facilities, PA has intervened such a community friendly technology with having no odor and chances of direct physical contamination and so thus achieved reliance as well as trust in the community. The design of MS stainless structure of FSM plant is so much flexible that it can be repaired or decommissioned whenever needed. There are some land specifications like at least 800 square feet plain land above ground water level of 10 feet and having no land slide and flooding risk. Rohingya community has been trained and engaged spontaneously in a way to operate and take care of the FSM units on their own to ensure its security and safeness. Community engagement is essential to sustain its effectiveness for a longer period.

Anal hygiene or anal glad cleansing, refers to hygienic practices that are performed on a person’s anus region, usually shortly after defecation. The community in Rohingya camps usually wash anus and buttocks with water using hands in order to remove remnants of feces.

Main characteristics of the raw sludge

ParameterRaw Sludge
BOD4800 mg/l
pH7.68

Considering local context, there are several methods of desludging from the latrine pits. Wash agencies did not give much priority on human excreta management at earlier period of influx, so a critical situation did arise when the latrine pits filled up with sludge and community could not have safe access to latrines. Several agencies have come up with various treatment technologies i.e. biological treatment (up-flow filtration, constructed wetlands, biogas plants etc.), chemical treatment (lime stabilization etc.) and on-site treatment. Most of the wash agencies collect sludge from latrine pits directly using hand pump machines and hose pipes. From distant latrines, there are some secondary transfer stations to store sludge temporally before final dumping.

Practical Action has devised context specific Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) units, adopting up-flow filtration technique to ensure safe disposal of human waste at hilly terrain in Ukhiya for Rohigya camps. A series of filtration chambers are for solid-liquid separation. The raw faecal sludge thickens at the lower part of each filtration chamber and will be removed to the burial pits with a sand envelop to ensure safe management. The liquid portion of the sludge will pass through filter media of each chamber and the final treatment of the effluent will be done through a constructed wetland, where the pollutants will be absorbed naturally by Canna Indica plants. Once digested, the buried sludge will be converted into compost and if needed, the compost can be excavated to reuse the pits.

Like other FSM technologies there are a few challenges to implement up-flow technology in camps. Population density in camps being too high, it is difficult to find appropriate land for FSM intervention considering public health and environment. Few of the latrines are situated at low land and are affected by ground water infiltration so it increases frequency of latrine desludging. Sludge collection against gravity is another challenge to find suitable places. Though suitable spaces are harder to find in hilly terrain, PA manages it by modifying plant design to specific land context. Many challenges were faced from the beginning of this project. Through adaptation and gradual changes of the plants these constraints were mitigated.

The challenges faced by Practical Action were the following:

  1. Place selection:
  • The refugee community interrupts the work for FSM plant construction
  • Availability of suitable place
  • Authority or other WASH partners hinders activity as sometimes it collides with them
  • It is difficult to construct in uphill areas
  1. Water crisis as water is needed for desludging.
  2. Carrying and handling of equipment in uphill areas
  3. Materials carrying in muddy road
  4. Slab of the burial pits are broken/ stolen.
  5. Security challenges for the protection of the plant area.

Practical Action has designed Fecal Sludge Treatment unit adopting proven technology of ‘up-flow filtration technique’. A series of filtration chambers has been designed for solid- liquid separation. The raw fecal sludge thickens after separation. The thickened sludge is collected after a certain interval and buried with lime in the designated burial pits having a sand envelop for ensuring safe management. After a certain time, the buried sludge will be converted into compost and if needed, the compost can be excavated to reuse the pits. The liquid portion of the sludge will pass through another two chambers for further filtration and the final treatment of the effluent will take place through a constructed wetland where the pollutants will be absorbed naturally by Canna Indica plants.

This process of up-flow filtration is more environment friendly as all the sludge is kept in the filtration chamber. The main advantage of these plants are that the solid and liquid portion of the sludge are separated. Also another major advantage is that the liquid portion of the sludge is treated with the 3 filtration chambers. There is almost no smell and the desludging process doesn’t follow any manual labor as all the activity is done with proper equipment. One FSM plant on average can cover 220 latrines around its 500 – 800 feet coverage area.

The faecal sludge management unit has four components:

  1. Dumping chamber
  2. Filtration chambers
  3. Constructed wetland and
  4. Burial pits

Dumping Chamber:
The sludge from toilets are mostly emptied using motorized collection equipment like super sucker or any other centrifugal pump and then dumped into the dumping chamber. The capacity of the dumping chamber is 300 liters. The unwanted materials, if any like cloths, sanitary napkins etc. are screened from the disposed sludge in dumping chamber. From the dumping chamber, sludge enters into the first filtration chamber of the faecal sludge management plant through gravity flow. The valve at the bottom of the dumping chamber regulates the flow of sludge into the filtration unit.

Filtration Chamber:
Each filtration chamber is made of steel structure with waterproof tarpaulin fitted inside the structure with a capacity is 5 m3 per day. Graded filter materials are placed inside the chambers. Each filtration chamber contains valves at its exit to control the outflow of sludge and effluent respectively at different elevations. Each chamber of the filtration unit is interconnected in a baffled system. The sludge flows through the filtration units following ‘up-flow system’. The solid portion of the sludge gets trapped at the bottom part while the liquid portion rises up through the filter media and flows to the next chamber.

Constructed Wetland:
‘Constructed wetland’ is a kind of shallow trench having Canna Indica plants over stone bed to absorb pollutants naturally. The bottom and sidewalls of the trench are lined with waterproof tarpaulin to avoid contamination by any seepage. The capacity of this chamber is at least 6 cum. While the effluent passes through the constructed wetland, the microbial contents inside the effluent form gelatin and the roots of the plants reduce the pathogenic organisms. From the entry into the filtration chamber to the final discharge point, the retention time of the effluent will be maximum 5 days. Finally, the effluent is collected and tested in laboratory to confirm parameters for safe discharge in surface water bodies.

Burial Pit:
The burial pit has been constructed using locally available RCC rings of having maximum depth of 7ft depending on the groundwater level of the site. Each pit contains a sand envelop of 4 inches that acts as a filter media at outer periphery and the bottom of the pit. Once the thickened sludge in the first chamber gets emptied every week and buried into the adjacent pit having sand envelop with lime. The same process takes place in the rest filtration units but rate of deposition is very slow and therefore burial of thicken sludge will be infrequent.

An expert team of Practical Action Consulting, a sister concern of Practical Action in Faridpur Upazila of north Bangladesh arranges or outsources all the necessary materials. According to the deed between Practical Action and Practical Action Consulting, they are also responsible to fabricate the FSM structures in camps. For the filter media Practical Action calls for tenders and collects estimated quotation from vendors. Through a comparative statement Practical Action selects a vendor to supply the required filter materials. Vendor selection is the most vital part of installation to ensure quality services for the Rohingya people.

Three tiers of monitoring are maintained during construction and installation of FSM plants. Technical experts ensure the installation process following proper guidelines and confirms the good quality of filter materials. The Field Coordinator and his team of Field Officers provide HR support to ensure proper arrangement of the whole construction and installation progress. The Monitoring, Documentation and Reporting Officer checks all the progress and gives alert for due activities. Despite of these technical and operations team, the Finance and Admin Officer does his designated duties in terms of payment and procurement procedures.

It takes over a month generally 30-45 working days for site selection and site approval from CiC of respective camps. To intervene in a camp, Field Coordinator collects need analysis of FSM plants from respective Camp Wash Focal and then moves to RRRC office for taking approval of FSM intervene in the camps through submitting the need analysis report. In the meantime, the frontline staffs do transect walk and search for suitable places. There are some land specifications like at least 800 square feet site above ground water level of 10 feet and having no land slide risk. Moreover, field officers often avoid top hilly area as it is quite difficult to collect the faecal sludge from the latrine pits against gravitation. Field Officers select random sites with the collaboration of Camp Wash Focal and Site Management. Field Coordinator and Project Engineer then visit the identified sites and finalise the places that meet most of the land specifications. When Govt. authorizes the requested intervention in specific camps, field officers then secure the selected sites for FSM plant.

Project Engineer prepares the layout design for FSM plants considering land context. It usually takes 2-3 days for site preparation and site fencing depending on weather. A mason works with 3/4 assistants to construct RCC basement of the plant in 4-5 days. A sanitation worker takes care and waters the basement for 3 consequent days. An expert team of Practical Action Consulting fabricates the FSM structure within 3-4 days. A water leak test is run for 5-7 days to assess any leakage of fabrication before placing the filter medias in the chambers. Parallel construction of burial pits, soak well and wetland goes on within this period of fabrication and water leak test. After a successful water leak test, filter materials are placed in the chambers within 3-4 days and roofing is essential to protect the chambers from rain water infiltration. Water for filtration chamber leak test is a resource temporally needed for construction and installation.

The land is at least 800 square feet site above minimum ground water level of 10 feet and having no land slide risk. Moreover, it is essential to avoid top hilly area for site selection as it is quite difficult to collect the faecal sludge from the latrine pits in the lower part of the hill against gravitation. Field Officers select random sites with the collaboration of Camp Wash Focal and Site Management. Field Coordinator and Project Engineer then visit the identified sites and finalise the places which meet most of the land specifications. When Govt. authorizes the requested intervention in specific camps, field officers then secure the selected sites for FSM plant.

Sanitation workers are provided caps, goggles, gloves, gum boots and apron for their personal safety to avoid direct contact with the human excreta. They wear the PPEs for their regular services. The materials are provided regularly to ensure health and protection safety of the sanitation workers which itself is a challenge for check and balance between estimated budget and safety. The frequency of desludging activity decelerates during the monsoon season due to heavy rainfall and risk of land sliding. It becomes difficult to walk in the slippery pathways carrying heavy weighted machines.

Description of O&M activities:
HR: Field Officers, volunteer, sanitation worker
Equipment: Diesel engine machine, hi-cap sucker, hose pipes, joint cuff links,
Frequency: 4 times in a week, 60 – 80 pits per week
Objectives: to provide safe sanitation services in over populated camps
Challenges: improper maintenance of latrines, accessibility to the pits, solid garbage dumped in pits, lack of water for sludge stabilization

Security and safeness during O&M:
PPE: caps, goggles, gloves, gum boots, apron
Safety rules: Sanitation workers must need to wear PPE during sludge collection and dumping in the plant.
Responsibilities: FFs and volunteers to ensure sanitation workers are using PPE properly.
Challenges: PPEs to change periodically

Specific treatment challenges:
Filter materials clogging due to excessive level of solid sludge, long distance for water quality test (Camp to CUET, no authorized lab nearby), inlet clogging

Specific logistic challenges:
High cap sucker damage, hose pipe leakage, machine disruption, gate valve clogging

Main characteristics of outputs:
Environmental friendly: sludge cannot contaminate earth as it is stored in well protected (tarpaulin and stainless steel made chamber)
Odor is reduced completely through coal layer
Raw sludge is treated through 3 layers of filter media
Inlet and outlet water quality test results show that the treated water is equivalent to industrial water quality
BOD reduction 60%
COD reduction 55%
pH increase 76%
Solid sludge is used as a fertilizer

Put in practice measure and predispositions for eventual upgrade/decommissioning
Upgrade/decommissioning methodology (internal team or contractor, tender or employment procedure and challenges)
Upgrade/decommissioning methodology and resources
Resources temporally needed for upgrade/decommissioning (electricity, water, special vehicles, access permission, legal permission)
Needed remediation activities in case of decommissioning
Specific security and safeness during upgrade/decommissioning (type of PPE, specific rules, responsibilities, challenges)

Strengths

List of main strengths of the used treatment/disposal methodology considering the context (including opportunities, added values, benefits, possible innovations etc.)

Weaknesses


NC

Lessons learned

Could the quantity of raw sludge be reduced?
Could the quantity of outputs be reduced and/or the quality improved?
Did the used dimension rules consider all the parameters? Would you suggest other rules?
How can you reduce costs?
Which materials do you suggest to use or not to use?
Which partners do you suggest to work with? What is their adding value?
How can you reduce or you have reduced contacts between staff and sludge?
How can you make or you made the methodology sustainable?
How can you scale up the methodology?
Which was the impact on the health? How did you measure it? Which other activities may have influenced it? How can you improve it?
Which was the impact on the environment? How can you reduce it?
Did you have any social issues? How did you solve them?
Did you have any environmental issues? How did you solve them?
Do you have any other comments/suggestions/lessons learnt to share?

Gallery


Schematic Diagram of the System

Dumping chamber

FIltration chamber

Constructed wetland

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Indicators notice

Definition of indicator

The objective, in this case, is the desired treatment or modification of the input sludge before disposal or reuser.

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.

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.

Definition of Indicator

This indicator defines at the moment of design how long the faecal sludge treatment site should be operational..

How to measure or calculate it ?

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

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) of 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.

Definition of indicator

This indicates the level of knowledge and experience required to be able to design faecal sludge treatment site successfully.

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 such as a 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 potentially 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.

Definition of indicator

The indicator defines if the technology also works well if ground-water is less than 1 metre from ground levelat least for a part of the year

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 for information from the 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 contact 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).

Definition of indicator

It defines the type of sanitation infrastructures from which the sludge comes from

How to measure or calculate it ?

If existing, analyse the documents of desludging which report this information, otherwise observe the desludging activities and the sanitation infrastructures from which the sludge comes from. Talk with people in charge of desludging.

References, tips, examples

Hospitainer has developed specific solutions for hazardous hospital waste in the framework of S(p) eedkits : https://hospitainer.com/add-ons/sanitation/ . Both IBBK and A-aqua have developed sludge pasteurizers: http://www.a-aqua.no/Products-Services/Humanitarian-Aid/Hygieniser100-Sludge-Pasteurising-Unit ;

Why it is important to measure it ?

It is important to know the source to estimate the characteristics of the sludge and likeliness of contamination with pathogens (of course, any faecal sludge needs to be treated as hazardous material but waste from hospitals is likely to be more hazardous and needs special attention.)

Definition of indicator

Number of people who can benefit from the faecal sludge treatment service.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Analyse current population, its growth and movement trends. In a stable growing population, population to be served can be calculated as follows:
Pn = P0 * (1+i)^n
Pn = Population in year ‘n’ (refer to life expectancy indicator)
n = design period
P0 = Population in year 0
i = annual growth of the population
However in humanitarian context, this will usually depend on the security context (forecast of the population affected by the natural /manmade disaster).

References, tips, examples

Example:
n = design period (say 5 years)
P0 = Population in year 0 (say 1,000)
i = annual growth of the population (say 10% influx per year)]
P5 = 1,000 * (1+0.1)^5 = 1,610 persons, say 1,600

Why it is important to measure it ?

When the population is known, there is a solid basis for sizing the facility: sizing of the tanks AND sizing of any pumps, drying beds, etc.

Definition of indicator

This is the space occupied by the faecal sludge treatment site in relationship with the design beneficiary population (see indicator).

How to measure or calculate it ?

Measure in the field, or in the project designs, the total area of the faecal sludge treatment site and divide it by the design beneficiary population (see indicator).

Why it is important to measure it ?

In humanitarian contexts, the population is often obliged to settle in crowed areas with unfavourable environmental conditions. This has a consequence also on the availability of space for faecal sludge treatment sites and sanitation facilities in general.

Definition of indicator

This indicator, in this case, defines the general slope of the area of the sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

If some types of topography are equally present, please provide multiple answers.

Why it is important to measure it ?

The topography may determine the type of treatment facilities to be built and may influence the transport and pumping costs.

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines for which sludge flow the facility has been designed.

How to measure or calculate it ?

If possible, revise design calculation document and ask the design team or consultants. The design input flow should have been considered for dimensioning. Usually, if it’s not possible to measure in the field, the input flow is estimated as follows:
For emergency simple pit latrines emptied at regular intervals and with poor pit infiltration: it is estimated 2.2 lcd (1 for anal cleansing and toilet cleaning + 1.2 for faeces)
For emergency simple pits where effluent can infiltrate and latrines are emptied at regular intervals consider the following sludge accumulation rates:
 Wastes retained in water where water is used as anal cleansing material: 25 litres per capita per year (lcy);
 Wastes retained in water where degradable anal cleansing materials are used: 40lcy;
 Wastes retained in water where non-degradable anal cleansing materials are used: 60lcy;
 Wastes retained in dry conditions where degradable anal cleansing materials are used: 60lcy;
 Wastes retained in dry conditions where non-degradable anal cleansing materials are used: 90lcy;
For pour-flush facilities where water cannot infiltrate, emptied at regular intervals: it is estimated 4.2 lcd (2 for additional flush water),
For small network (small bore sewerage, solids free sewerage) where domestic drinking water network is available: it is estimated 80% of the drinking water supply ends up in the sanitation system.
For some environmental conditions and infrastructures, groundwater infiltration inside the sanitation facilities should have been considered.

References, tips, examples

Example:
Simple pit latrines emptied at regular intervals and with poor pit infiltration: only water used for anal cleansing and cleaning the toilet enters the receptacle together with the volume of urine and faeces. Typical volume for anal cleansing is 1 litre per person per day (lcd or litres per capita per day). Typical volumes of fresh urine and faeces 1.2 lcd. Hence, for 1.000 people: 1.000 * (1+1.2) = 2,200 litres or 2.2 m3/day;
Pour-flush facility where water cannot infiltrate, emptied at regular intervals: water used for anal cleansing AND manually flushing the toilet enters the receptacle. Typical volume for pour-flush is 2-3 lcd. Hence, for 1,000 people: 1,000 * (3+1.2) = 4,200 litres or 4.2 m3/day;
Small network (small bore sewerage, solids free sewerage) where domestic drinking water network is available. When wastewater is collected and conveyed and treated, usually taken as 80% of the drinking water supply ends up in the system. Hence, if for example drinking water is 25lcd, wastewater is 25 * 0.8 = 20lcd. Hence, for 1,000 people: 1,000 * 20 = 20,000 litres or 20 m3/day.

Why it is important to measure it ?

When the design flow is known, there is a solid basis for sizing the facility: sizing of the tanks AND sizing of any pumps, drying beds, etc. Sludge can easily be much more than the volume of urine and faeces and has a big impact on the sizing. If this is neglected, the facilities are too small and retention / treatment times are shortened, resulting in poor results.

Definition of indicator

The indicator defines if the main outputs of the faecal sludge treatment site are composed only of sludge, effluent or both

How to measure or calculate it ?

Observe if two different outputs originating from solid/liquid separation mechanisms can be distinguished on the basis of their density and solids content.

References, tips, examples

For example, the ratio between the two in the simplest treatment system (sludge drying beds) has been assessed as following:
septage (contents of a septic tank) % of solids (typically 1-2 %)
faecal sludge from pit latrines with a high % of solids (typically 10-15%).
Solids content is an important parameter to estimate the volume of dried sludge to be removed from the drying beds of sludge treatment plants. After 2 weeks drying period the typical solids content is 40% dry solids. Hence, 1 m3 (1,000 litres) of septage containing 1% of dry solids has been decreased to 1,000 *1%/(40%) = 25 kg of biosolids. The remainder (typically 1,000-25 = 975 litres has partially evaporated, partially drained away. The drainage water, say max 975 litres, needs to be treated in a filter / pond system. Also, 1 m3 (1,000 litres) of faecal sludge containing 15% of dry solids has been decreased to 1,000 *15%/(40%) = 375 kg of biosolids. The remainder (typically 1,000-375 = 625 litres has partially evaporated, partially drained away. The drainage water, say max 625 litres, needs to be treated in a filter / pond system

Why it is important to measure it ?

Knowing if there are different outputs enables the creation of specific different treatment chains and disposal mechanisms.

Definition of indicator

Locally available material is material that doesn’t need to be imported.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Analyse the purchase documents for the faecal sludge treatment site and equipment and identify material imported from abroad.

References, tips, examples

Typical imported materials are the raised latrines discussed above, Oxfam tanks for sludge treatment (e.g. lime treatment) and a ‘plug-and-play’ wastewater treatment plant for a hospital.

Why it is important to measure it ?

During the first few days of an emergency, it might be difficult to source local material. Hence, these need to be flown in. However, locally available material should as much as possible be sourced to reduce construction costs.

Definition of indicator

Barrier which doesn’t allow entrance to the faecal sludge treatment site for people, animals, vehicles who are not involved in the treatment operations.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Observe if a fencing is in place all along the perimeter of the faecal sludge treatment site. Identify if there are any weak points which allow people, animals, or vehicles who are not involved in the treatment operations to enter the site.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Adequate fencing is a must under all circumstances in conjunction with 24/7 guards: septage, wastewater and faecal sludge are hazardous material and can easily be used to contaminate the entire community. Think of vandalism by punching a hole in a bladder full of sludge.

Definition of indicator

Drainage are all the systems that avoid water logging and the entrance of run-off water to the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Observe if there are specific infrastructures for drainage in the faecal sludge treatment site. Identify if there is any major waterlogging or water run-off which causes surface water contamination or makes the treatment operations difficult.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Adequate drainage is a must under all circumstances to prevent flooding and lead storm water away from the site without major contamination.

Definition of indicator

The indicator defines if the area of the faecal sludge treatment site is affected by flood.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Verify with literature and local knowledge when last flood occurred in the faecal sludge treatment site. The indicator defines if the area of the faecal sludge treatment site has been affected in the last period equivalent to the life expectancy (see indicator) and nothing has been done to avoid flood in the area during construction. The indicator takes in consideration only the faecal sludge treatment site and not the access to it or to latrines.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Faecal sludge is a potentially dangerous material: flooding may stop operations for several weeks and/or spread faecal contamination out of the faecal sludge treatment site.

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines the total of:

– Preliminary and general items (Office and transport contractor and supervisors, security, insurance, electricity supply connection, etc.)
– Purchase of land
– Civil works
– Electromechanical works: pumps, GenSet,
– Design (typically 5% of Civil & Electromechanical costs)
– Supervision of implementation (typically 5-15% of Civil and Electromechanical costs)

divided by current flow.

How to measure or calculate it ?

All the expenditure for the construction and put in place of sludge faecal treatment system have to be considered and divided by the real input flow (see indicator). It includes also a quota of human resources involved in the conception and construction, that can have been involved also in other tasks.

References, tips, examples

A treatment plant in inaccessible areas where cement bags need to flown is easily 10 times more expensive than the same plant in areas where cement can be purchased ‘of the shelf’.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Capital expenditure per real input flow on any faecal sludge treatment site differ from place to place and depends mostly on transport costs.

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines the total of:

– Preliminary and general items (Office and transport contractor and supervisors, security, insurance, electricity supply connection, etc.)
– Civil works
– Electromechanical works: pumps, GenSet,
– Design (typically 5% of Civil & Electromechanical costs)
– Supervision of implementation (typically 5-15% of Civil and Electromechanical costs)

divided by current flow.

How to measure or calculate it ?

All the expenditure for the construction and installation of the faecal sludge treatment system (EXLUDING PURCHASE OF LAND) has to be considered and divided by the real input flow (see indicator). It includes also a quota of human resources involved in the conception and construction, that can also have been involved in other tasks.

References, tips, examples

A treatment plant in inaccessible areas where cement bags need to be flown in is easily 10 times more expensive than the same plant in areas where cement can be purchased ‘off the shelf’.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Capital expenditure per real input flow on any faecal sludge treatment site differs from place to place and depends mostly on transport costs.

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines the level of knowledge and experience required to be able to build a faecal sludge treatment site successfully.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The indicator is determined by assessing the construction process (including selection of contractors or construction staff) and understanding if specific contractors and specialists for special supervision, know-how, equipment were involved or not.

References, tips, examples

Skill level for construction can be reduced by standardization, use of kits and clear and univocal instruction materials.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Faecal sludge is a potentially dangerous material: a simple mistake in infrastructures construction may stop operations for several weeks and affect the sustainability of faecal sludge treatment.

Definition of indicator

Operation expenditure includes the daily average of:

– Staff costs
– Energy costs (especially high when electricity needs to be generated separately)
– Chemical costs
– Transport costs
– Administration costs
– Water for cleaning / operating costs
– Personal Protection Equipment costs
– Etc.

divided by real input flow.
It doesn’t include desludging costs.

How to measure or calculate it ?

All the expenditure for operations has to be considered and divided by the real input flow (see indicator). Also expenditures for extraordinary operations as a daily average should be considered. It also includes a quota of human resources involved in the operations, that can also be involved in other tasks.

References, tips, examples

Typical O&M costs for faecal sludge treatment around the world are USD 6-10 /m3.

Why it is important to measure it ?

It represents the economical efficiency of the faecal sludge treatment systems by comparing daily operational costs with real input flow.

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines the skill level of the manager of the O&M tasks of the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Analyse the CV of the manager of the O&M of the faecal sludge treatment site and identify if he/she has an education higher than the compulsory one (high school, university) and if this education is strictly necessary for his/her role.

Why it is important to measure it ?

This indicator provides information on the staff to be hired for the management of the faecal sludge treatment site.

Definition of indicator

This indicator is required to know how much sludge is currently really treated at the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Calculate the real input flow by measuring the sludge volume in transport tanks to the faecal sludge treatment site or by measuring the pumps flow rates and their time of use during desludging. Consider an average value including also the days the faecal sludge treatment activities don’t run.

Why it is important to measure it ?

When the real input flow is known, it’s possible to compare it with design input flow and with the output sludge production and give important indications about possible upgrading.

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines how much sludge is produced daily by the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to real input flow for an average operational period

How to measure or calculate it ?

Measure weight of the sludge produced daily before disposal or reuse out of the sludge treatment site. Divide it by real input flow (see indicator). Consider an average value including also the days faecal sludge treatment activities don’t run.

References, tips, examples

Output sludge production in comparison to sludge input flow can vary a lot according to treatment processes:
Chemical treatment like lime where the volume of sludge does not change (volume sludge in = volume sludge out);
Physical and biological treatment (separation of solids from fluids, aerobic or anaerobic digestion of sludge). Here the volume of sludge decreases drastically to 5-15% of the original volume (see examples).

Why it is important to measure it ?

The volume of sludge is an important parameter in sizing the transportation and disposal system of processed sludge from the faecal sludge treatment site.

Definition of indicator

Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD, also called Biological Oxygen Demand) is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed (i.e. demanded) by aerobic biological organisms to break down organic material present in a given water sample at certain temperature over a specific time period. The BOD value is most commonly expressed in milligrams of oxygen consumed per litre of sample during 5 days of incubation at 20 °C (mg/L).
The reduction is related to the BOD of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the BOD of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The reduction is calculated as COMPLEMENTARY PERCENTAGE of the average BOD of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site over the average BOD of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site in the same period.

References, tips, examples

The laboratory test protocol can be seen at:
The STeP Global Testing Protocols & Parameters – A best practices guide for testing sanitation technologies in the field
http://stepsforsanitation.org/?smd_process_download=1&download_id=4171
Influent example from Zambia: 25,000-40,000mg/l for pit latrines and 1,000-2,000mg/l for septic tanks
maximum concentration example of liquid effluent as per the ZEMA standard 50mg/l.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Faecal sludge characteristics vary widely between cities, types of on site sanitation systems and type of emptying system used. Even samples taken from the same pit latrine.

Definition of indicator

Chemical oxygen demand (COD) is an indicative measure of the amount of oxygen that can be consumed by reactions in a measured solution. It is commonly expressed in mass of oxygen consumed over volume of solution (mg/L).
The reduction is related to the COD of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the COD of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The reduction is calculated as COMPLEMENTARY PERCENTAGE of the average COD of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site over the average COD of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site in the same period.

References, tips, examples

The laboratory test protocol can be seen at:
The STeP Global Testing Protocols & Parameters – A best practices guide for testing sanitation technologies in the field
http://stepsforsanitation.org/?smd_process_download=1&download_id=4171
Influent example from Zambia: 50,000-100,000mg/l for pit latrines and 10,000-20,000mg/l for septic tanks
maximum concentration example of liquid effluent as per the ZEMA standard 50mg/l.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Faecal sludge characteristics vary widely between cities, types of on site sanitation systems and type of emptying system used. Even samples taken from the same pit latrine have been shown to have significant variation in standard physio-chemical testing. Such characteristics impact how sludge can be processed following removal. Stabilised sludge is very poor in terms of gas release in an anaerobic digester.

Definition of indicator

Faecal coliforms are facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped, gram-negative, non-sporulating bacterium. Coliform bacteria generally originate in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. Faecal coliforms are capable of growth in the presence of bile salts or similar surface agents, are oxidase negative, and produce acid and gas from lactose within 48 hours at 44 ± 0.5°C.The term “thermotolerant coliform” is more correct and is gaining acceptance over “faecal coliform”.
Coliform bacteria include genera that originate in feces (e.g. Escherichia) as well as genera not of faecal origin (e.g. Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Citrobacter). The assay is intended to be an indicator of faecal contamination; more specifically of E. coli which is an indicator microorganism for other pathogens that may be present in feces. They are commonly expressed in colony forming units over 100mL volume of solution (CFU/100mL).
The reduction is related to the faecal coliforms of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the faecal coliforms of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The reduction is calculated as COMPLEMENTARY PERCENTAGE of the average faecal coliforms of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site over the average faecal coliforms of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site in the same period.

References, tips, examples

The laboratory test protocol can be seen at:
The STeP Global Testing Protocols & Parameters – A best practices guide for testing sanitation technologies in the field
http://stepsforsanitation.org/?smd_process_download=1&download_id=4171
Influent example from Zambia: 2*107 CFU/100ml for pit latrines and 1*105 CFU/100ml for septic tanks
maximum concentration example of liquid effluent as per the ZEMA standard 2500CFU/100ml.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Faecal sludge characteristics varies widely between cities, types of on site sanitation systems and type of emptying system used. Even samples taken from the same pit latrine have been shown to have significant variation in standard physio-chemical testing. Such characteristics impact how sludge can be processed following removal. Stabilised sludge is very poor in terms of gas release in an anaerobic digester.

Definition of indicator

Total solids are the total dissolved solids (TDS) + total suspended solids (TSS). They are commonly expressed as mass of solids in comparison to volume of solution (% weight-volume).
The reduction is related to the total solids of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the total solids of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The reduction is calculated as COMPLEMENTARY PERCENTAGE of the average total solids of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site over the average total solids of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site in the same period.

References, tips, examples

The laboratory test protocol can be seen at:
The STeP Global Testing Protocols & Parameters – A best practices guide for testing sanitation technologies in the field
http://stepsforsanitation.org/?smd_process_download=1&download_id=4171
Septage (contents of a septic tank) is much easier to pump and treat due to the low % of solids (typically 1-2 %) than faecal sludge from pit latrines with a high % of solids (typically 10-15%). Solids content is an important parameter to estimate the volume of dried sludge to be removed from the drying beds of sludge treatment plants. After 2 weeks drying period the typical solids content is 40% dry solids. Hence, 1 m3 (1,000 litres) of septage containing 1% of dry solids has been decreased to 1,000 *1%/(40%) = 25 kg of biosolids. The remainder (typically 1,000-25 = 975 litres has partially evaporated, partially drained away. The drainage water, say max 975 litres, needs to be treated in a filter / pond system. Also, 1 m3 (1,000 litres) of faecal sludge containing 15% of dry solids has been decreased to 1,000 *15%/(40%) = 375 kg of biosolids. The remainder (typically 1,000-375 = 625 litres has partially evaporated, partially drained away. The drainage water, say max 625 litres, needs to be treated in a filter / pond system;
Influent example from Zambia: 7-15% for pit latrines and 1-2% for septic tanks.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Faecal sludge characteristics vary widely between cities, types of on site sanitation systems and type of emptying system used. Even samples taken from the same pit latrine have been shown to have significant variation in standard physio-chemical testing. Such characteristics impact how sludge can be processed following removal. Stabilised sludge is very poor in terms of gas release in an anaerobic digester.
Solids content is an important parameter to estimate the volume of dried sludge to be removed from the drying beds of sludge treatment plants.

Definition of indicator

pH is a logarithmic scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. It is approximately the negative of the base 10 logarithm of the molar concentration, measured in units of moles per litre, of hydrogen ions. Indeed it doesn’t have unit measure.
The variation is related to the pH of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the pH of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The variation is calculated as positive (when effluent pH is higher than influent pH) or negative (when effluent pH is lower than influent pH) difference of the average pH of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the average pH of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site in the same period.

References, tips, examples

The laboratory test protocol can be seen at:
The STeP Global Testing Protocols & Parameters – A best practices guide for testing sanitation technologies in the field
http://stepsforsanitation.org/?smd_process_download=1&download_id=4171
Influent example from Zambia: 7.5-7.8 for pit latrines and 7.0-7.5 for septic tanks
Example range of liquid effluent as per the ZEMA standard 6-9.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Faecal sludge characteristics vary widely between cities, types of on site sanitation systems and type of emptying system used. Even samples taken from the same pit latrine have been shown to have significant variation in standard physio-chemical testing. Such characteristics impact how sludge can be processed following removal. Stabilised sludge is very poor in terms of gas release in an anaerobic digester.

Definition of indicator

Parasitic worms, also known as helminths, are large macroparasites, which as adults can generally be seen with the naked eye. Many are intestinal worms that are soil-transmitted and infect the gastrointestinal tract. It is an umbrella term that includes many species of worm from different genera. Helminth eggs of concern in wastewater used for irrigation have a size between 20 and 90 μm. They are commonly expressed in number of eggs per gram of solution (n/g).
The reduction is related to the Helminth eggs in the effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the Helminth eggs in the influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The reduction is calculated as COMPLEMENTARY PERCENTAGE of the average Helminths eggs in the effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site over the average Helminth eggs in the influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site in the same period.

References, tips, examples

The laboratory test protocol can be seen at:
The STeP Global Testing Protocols & Parameters – A best practices guide for testing sanitation technologies in the field
http://stepsforsanitation.org/?smd_process_download=1&download_id=4171
It is very difficult to inactivate helminth eggs, unless temperature is increased above 40 °C or moisture is reduced to less than 5%.

Why it is important to measure it ?

Helminth eggs (or ova) are a good indicator organism to assess the safety of sanitation reuse systems for resource recovery because they are the most environmentally resistant faecal pathogens and they can in extreme cases survive for several years in soil.

Definition of indicator

The indicator defines if the faecal sludge treatment system is operated exclusively by the beneficiary community without any constant external support.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Analyse responsibilities and tasks of the faecal sludge treatment site management. Identify if they are all cover by the beneficiary community or part of it. If there is occasional external support, still consider that the site is completely operated by the community.

Why it is important to measure it ?

It is important to know the complexity of operations in relation to the skills of the community in order to plan the faecal treatment site management and forecast long-term sustainability.

Definition of indicator

The indicator defines if washing capacities are available for the faecal sludge treatment workers.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Analyse if washing capacity (with adequate privacy and supplied with enough water and soap/chlore) are available and accessible at the key moments (before eating or drinking and before leaving the faecal sludge treatment site).

Why it is important to measure it ?

Washing capacity is key to protect the health of faecal sludge treatment workers and their family.

Definition of indicator

The indicator defines if Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) are available for the faecal sludge treatment workers and potential visitors.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Analyse if Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) are available, accessible and frequently washed or replaced.

Why it is important to measure it ?

PPEs are key to protect the health of faecal sludge treatment workers and their family.

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines the level of knowledge and experience required to be able to upgrade or decommission the faecal sludge treatment site successfully.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The indicator is determined by forecasting an eventual upgrading or decommissioning phase taking lessons learnt from the construction process (including selection of contractors or construction staff). Should specific contractors and specialists be involved for special supervision, know-how, equipment?

Why it is important to measure it ?

Faecal sludge is a potential dangerous material: a simple mistake in infrastructures construction may stop operations for several weeks and affect the sustainability of faecal sludge treatment. For the same reason, decommissioning and disposal of faecal sludge treatment infrastructures and equipment can contaminate the environment and affect population living around the disposal site or dismissed faecal sludge treatment site.

Objective

Definition of indicator

The objective, in this case, is the desired treatment or modification of the input sludge before disposal or reuser.

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.

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.

Using locally available material

Definition of indicator

Locally available material is material that doesn’t need to be imported.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Analyse the purchase documents for the faecal sludge treatment site and equipment and identify material imported from abroad.

Why it is important to measure it

During the first few days of an emergency, it might be difficult to source local material. Hence, these need to be flown in. However, locally available material should as much as possible be sourced to reduce construction costs.

BOD reduction

Definition of indicator

Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD, also called Biological Oxygen Demand) is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed (i.e. demanded) by aerobic biological organisms to break down organic material present in a given water sample at certain temperature over a specific time period. The BOD value is most commonly expressed in milligrams of oxygen consumed per litre of sample during 5 days of incubation at 20 °C (mg/L).
The reduction is related to the BOD of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the BOD of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The reduction is calculated as COMPLEMENTARY PERCENTAGE of the average BOD of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site over the average BOD of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site in the same period.

Why it is important to measure it

Faecal sludge characteristics vary widely between cities, types of on site sanitation systems and type of emptying system used. Even samples taken from the same pit latrine have been shown to have significant variation in standard physio-chemical testing. BOD in pit latrines can become lower with depth (with increasing sludge age), which indicates the increasing stability of the sludge and consequent reduction in microbial degradation. Such characteristics impact how sludge can be processed following removal. Stabilised sludge is very poor in terms of gas release in an anaerobic digester.

COD reduction

Definition of indicator

Chemical oxygen demand (COD) is an indicative measure of the amount of oxygen that can be consumed by reactions in a measured solution. It is commonly expressed in mass of oxygen consumed over volume of solution  (mg/L).

How to measure or calculate it ?

The reduction is calculated as COMPLEMENTARY PERCENTAGE of the average COD of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site over the average COD of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site in the same period.

Why it is important to measure it

Faecal sludge characteristics vary widely between cities, types of on site sanitation systems and type of emptying system used. Even samples taken from the same pit latrine have been shown to have significant variation in standard physio-chemical testing.  Such characteristics impact how sludge can be processed following removal. Stabilised sludge is very poor in terms of gas release in an anaerobic digester.

Exclusively communitarian operation

Definition of indicator

The indicator defines if the faecal sludge treatment system is operated exclusively by the beneficiary community without any constant external support.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Analyse responsibilities and tasks of the faecal sludge treatment site management. Identify if they are all cover by the beneficiary community or part of it. If there is occasional external support, still consider that the site is completely operated by the community.

Why it is important to measure it

It is important to know the complexity of operations in relation to the skills of the community in order to plan the faecal treatment site management and forecast long-term sustainability.

Capex per current flow (excluding costs of land)

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines the total of:

– Preliminary and general items (Office and transport contractor and supervisors, security, insurance, electricity supply connection, etc.)
– Civil works
– Electromechanical works: pumps, GenSet,
– Design (typically 5% of Civil & Electromechanical costs)
– Supervision of implementation (typically 5-15% of Civil and Electromechanical costs)

divided by current flow.

How to measure or calculate it ?

All the expenditure for the construction and installation of the faecal sludge treatment system (EXLUDING PURCHASE OF LAND) has to be considered and divided by the real input flow (see indicator). It includes also a quota of human resources involved in the conception and construction, that can also have been involved in other tasks.

Why it is important to measure it

Capital expenditure per real input flow on any faecal sludge treatment site differs from place to place and depends mostly on transport costs.

Capex per current flux (including costs of land)

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines the total of:

– Preliminary and general items (Office and transport contractor and supervisors, security, insurance, electricity supply connection, etc.)
– Purchase of land
– Civil works
– Electromechanical works: pumps, GenSet,
– Design (typically 5% of Civil & Electromechanical costs)
– Supervision of implementation (typically 5-15% of Civil and Electromechanical costs)

divided by current flow.

How to measure or calculate it ?

All the expenditure for the construction and put in place of sludge faecal treatment system have to be considered and divided by the real input flow (see indicator). It includes also a quota of human resources involved in the conception and construction, that can have been involved also in other tasks.

Why it is important to measure it

Capital expenditure per real input flow on any faecal sludge treatment site differ from place to place and depends mostly on transport costs.

Design beneficiary population

Definition of indicator

Number of people who can benefit from the faecal sludge treatment service.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Analyse current population, its growth and movement trends. In a stable growing population, population to be served can be calculated as follows:
Pn = P0 * (1+i)^n
Pn = Population in year ‘n’ (refer to life expectancy indicator)
n = design period
P0 = Population in year 0
i = annual growth of the population
However in humanitarian context, this will usually depend on the security context (forecast of the population affected by the natural /manmade disaster).

Why it is important to measure it

When the population is known, there is a solid basis for sizing the facility: sizing of the tanks AND sizing of any pumps, drying beds, etc.

Design input flow

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines for which sludge flow the facility has been designed.

How to measure or calculate it ?

If possible, revise design calculation document and ask the design team or consultants. The design input flow should have been considered for dimensioning. Usually, if it’s not possible to measure in the field, the input flow is estimated as follows: 
For emergency simple pit latrines emptied at regular intervals and with poor pit infiltration: it is estimated 2.2 lcd (1 for anal cleansing and toilet cleaning + 1.2 for faeces)
For emergency simple pits where effluent can infiltrate and latrines are emptied at regular intervals consider the following sludge accumulation rates:
 Wastes retained in water where water is used as anal cleansing material: 25 litres per capita per year (lcy);
 Wastes retained in water where degradable anal cleansing materials are used: 40lcy;
 Wastes retained in water where non-degradable anal cleansing materials are used: 60lcy;
 Wastes retained in dry conditions where degradable anal cleansing materials are used: 60lcy;
 Wastes retained in dry conditions where non-degradable anal cleansing materials are used: 90lcy;
For pour-flush facilities where water cannot infiltrate, emptied at regular intervals: it is estimated 4.2 lcd (2 for additional flush water),
For small network (small bore sewerage, solids free sewerage) where domestic drinking water network is available: it is estimated 80% of the drinking water supply ends up in the sanitation system.
For some  environmental conditions and infrastructures, groundwater infiltration inside the sanitation facilities should have been considered.

Why it is important to measure it

When the design flow is known, there is a solid basis for sizing the facility: sizing of the tanks AND sizing of any pumps, drying beds, etc. Sludge can easily be much more than the volume of urine and faeces and has a big impact on the sizing. If this is neglected, the facilities are too small and retention / treatment times are shortened, resulting in poor results.

Drainage implemented

Definition of indicator

Drainage are all the systems that avoid water logging and the entrance of run-off water to the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Observe if there are specific infrastructures for drainage in the faecal sludge treatment site. Identify if there is any major waterlogging or water run-off which causes surface water contamination or makes the treatment operations difficult.

Why it is important to measure it

Adequate drainage is a must under all circumstances to prevent flooding and lead storm water away from the site without major contamination.

Faecal coliforms reduction

Definition of indicator

Faecal coliforms are facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped, gram-negative, non-sporulating bacterium. Coliform bacteria generally originate in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. Faecal coliforms are capable of growth in the presence of bile salts or similar surface agents, are oxidase negative, and produce acid and gas from lactose within 48 hours at 44 ± 0.5°C.The term “thermotolerant coliform” is more correct and is gaining acceptance over “faecal coliform”.
Coliform bacteria include genera that originate in feces (e.g. Escherichia) as well as genera not of faecal origin (e.g. Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Citrobacter). The assay is intended to be an indicator of faecal contamination; more specifically of E. coli which is an indicator microorganism for other pathogens that may be present in feces. They are commonly expressed in colony forming units over 100mL volume of solution  (CFU/100mL).
The reduction is related to the faecal coliforms of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the faecal coliforms of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The reduction is calculated as COMPLEMENTARY PERCENTAGE of the average faecal coliforms of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site over the average faecal coliforms of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site in the same period.

Why it is important to measure it

Faecal sludge characteristics varies widely between cities, types of on site sanitation systems and type of emptying system used. Even samples taken from the same pit latrine have been shown to have significant variation in standard physio-chemical testing.  Such characteristics impact how sludge can be processed following removal. Stabilised sludge is very poor in terms of gas release in an anaerobic digester.

Fencing

Definition of indicator

Barrier which doesn’t allow entrance to the faecal sludge treatment site for people, animals, vehicles who are not involved in the treatment operations.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Observe if a fencing is in place all along the perimeter of the faecal sludge treatment site. Identify if there are any weak points which allow people, animals, or vehicles who are not involved in the treatment operations to enter the site.

Why it is important to measure it

Adequate fencing is a must under all circumstances in conjunction with 24/7 guards: septage, wastewater and faecal sludge are hazardous material and can easily be used to contaminate the entire community. Think of vandalism by punching a hole in a bladder full of sludge.

Flood risk

Definition of indicator

The indicator defines if the  area of the faecal sludge treatment site is affected  by flood.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Verify with literature and local knowledge when last flood occurred in the faecal sludge treatment site. The indicator defines if the area of the faecal sludge treatment site has been affected in the last period equivalent to the life expectancy (see indicator) and nothing has been done to avoid flood in the area during construction. The indicator takes in consideration only the faecal sludge treatment site and not the access to it or to latrines.

Why it is important to measure it

Faecal sludge is a potentially dangerous material: flooding may stop operations for several weeks and/or spread faecal contamination out of the faecal sludge treatment site.

Helminths eggs reduction

Definition of indicator

Parasitic worms, also known as helminths, are large macroparasites, which as adults can generally be seen with the naked eye. Many are intestinal worms that are soil-transmitted and infect the gastrointestinal tract. It is an umbrella term that includes many species of worm from different genera. Helminth eggs of concern in wastewater used for irrigation have a size between 20 and 90 μm. They are commonly expressed in number of eggs per gram of solution  (n/g).
The reduction is related to the Helminth eggs in the effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the Helminth eggs in the influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The reduction is calculated as COMPLEMENTARY PERCENTAGE of the average Helminths eggs in the effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site over the average Helminth eggs in the influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site in the same period.

Why it is important to measure it

Helminth eggs (or ova) are a good indicator organism to assess the safety of sanitation reuse systems for resource recovery because they are the most environmentally resistant faecal pathogens and they can in extreme cases survive for several years in soil.

Life expectancy and reliability

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines at the moment of design how long the faecal sludge treatment site should be operational.

How to measure or calculate it ?

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

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) of 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.

Total Opex per current flow

Definition of indicator

Operation expenditure includes the daily average of:

– Staff costs
– Energy costs (especially high when electricity needs to be generated separately)
– Chemical costs
– Transport costs
– Administration costs
– Water for cleaning / operating costs
– Personal Protection Equipment costs
– Etc.

divided by real input flow.
It doesn’t include desludging costs.

How to measure or calculate it ?

All the expenditure for operations has to be considered and divided by the real input flow (see indicator). Also expenditures for extraordinary operations as a daily average should be considered. It also includes a quota of human resources involved in the operations, that can also be involved in other tasks.

Why it is important to measure it

It represents the economical efficiency of the faecal sludge treatment systems by comparing daily operational costs with real input flow.

Safety and hygiene: PPEs availability

Definition of indicator

The indicator defines if Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) are available for the faecal sludge treatment workers and potential visitors.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Analyse if Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) are available, accessible and frequently washed or replaced.

Why it is important to measure it

PPEs are key to protect the health of faecal sludge treatment workers and their family.

Objectives of the solution

Definition of indicator

The objective, in this case, is the desired treatment or modification of the input sludge before disposal or reuser.

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.

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.

Output sludge production in comparison to sludge input flow

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines how much sludge is produced daily by the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to real input flow for an average operational period.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Measure  weight of the sludge produced daily before disposal or reuse out of the sludge treatment site. Divide it by real input flow (see indicator). Consider an average value including also the days faecal sludge treatment activities don’t run.

Why it is important to measure it

The volume of sludge is an important parameter in sizing the transportation and disposal system of processed sludge from the faecal sludge treatment site.

 

pH variation

Definition of indicator

pH is a logarithmic scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. It is approximately the negative of the base 10 logarithm of the molar concentration, measured in units of moles per litre, of hydrogen ions. Indeed it doesn’t have unit measure.
The variation is related to the pH of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the pH of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The variation is calculated as positive (when effluent pH is higher than influent pH) or negative (when effluent pH is lower than influent pH) difference of the average pH of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the average pH of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site in the same period.

Why it is important to measure it

Faecal sludge characteristics vary widely between cities, types of on site sanitation systems and type of emptying system used. Even samples taken from the same pit latrine have been shown to have significant variation in standard physio-chemical testing.  Such characteristics impact how sludge can be processed following removal. Stabilised sludge is very poor in terms of gas release in an anaerobic digester.

Real input flow

Definition of indicator

This indicator is required to know how much sludge is currently really treated at the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Calculate the real input flow by measuring the sludge volume in transport tanks to the faecal sludge treatment site or by measuring the pumps flow rates and their time of use during desludging. Consider an average value including also the days the faecal sludge treatment activities don’t run.

Why it is important to measure it

When the real input flow is known, it’s possible to compare it with design input flow and with the output sludge production and give important indications about possible upgrading.

Required space

Definition of indicator

This is the space occupied by the faecal sludge treatment site in relationship with the design beneficiary population (see indicator).

How to measure or calculate it ?

Measure in the field, or in the project designs, the total area of the faecal sludge treatment site and divide it by the design beneficiary population (see indicator).

Why it is important to measure it

In humanitarian contexts, the population is often obliged to settle in crowed areas with unfavourable environmental conditions. This has a consequence also on the availability of space for faecal sludge treatment sites and sanitation facilities in general.

Skill level required for construction

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines the level of knowledge and experience required to be able to build a faecal sludge treatment site successfully.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The indicator is determined by assessing the construction process (including selection of contractors or construction staff) and understanding if specific contractors and specialists for special supervision, know-how, equipment were involved or not.

Why it is important to measure it

Faecal sludge is a potentially dangerous material: a simple mistake in infrastructures construction may stop operations for several weeks and affect the sustainability of faecal sludge treatment.

Skill level for O&M

Definition of indicator

This indicator defines the skill level of the manager of the O&M tasks of the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Analyse the CV  of the  manager of the O&M of the faecal sludge treatment site and identify if he/she has an education higher than the compulsory one (high school, university) and if this education is strictly necessary for his/her role.

Why it is important to measure it

This indicator provides information on the staff to be hired for the management of the faecal sludge treatment site.

Skill level required for upgrading/decommissioning

Definition of indicator

The objective, in this case, is the desired treatment or modification of the input sludge before disposal or reuser.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The indicator is determined by forecasting an eventual upgrading or decommissioning phase taking lessons learnt from the construction process (including selection of contractors or construction staff).  Should specific contractors and specialists be involved for special supervision, know-how, equipment?

Why it is important to measure it

Faecal sludge is a potential dangerous material: a simple mistake in infrastructures construction may stop operations for several weeks and affect the sustainability of faecal sludge treatment. For the same reason, decommissioning and disposal of faecal sludge treatment infrastructures and equipment can contaminate the environment and affect population living around the disposal site or dismissed faecal sludge treatment site.

Source of sludge

Definition of indicator

It defines the type of sanitation infrastructures from which the sludge comes from.

How to measure or calculate it ?

If existing, analyse the documents of desludging which report this information, otherwise observe the desludging activities and the sanitation infrastructures from which the sludge comes from. Talk with people in charge of desludging.

Why it is important to measure it

It is important to know the source to estimate the characteristics of the sludge and likeliness of contamination with pathogens (of course, any faecal sludge needs to be treated as hazardous material but waste from hospitals is likely to be more hazardous and needs special attention).

Technology suitable for context with high water table

Definition of indicator

The indicator defines if the technology also works well if ground-water is less than 1 metre from ground level at least for a part of the year.

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 for information from the local population about water level in the wells during the year.

Why it is important to measure it

Faecal sludge is potentially dangerous material and when in contact 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).

Topography

Definition of indicator

This indicator, in this case, defines the general slope of the area of the sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

If some types of topography are equally present, please  provide multiple answers.

Why it is important to measure it

The topography may determine the type of treatment facilities to be built and may influence the transport and pumping costs.

TS reduction

Definition of indicator

Total solids are the total dissolved solids (TDS) + total suspended solids (TSS). They are commonly expressed as mass of solids in comparison to volume of solution  (% weight-volume).
The reduction is related to the total solids of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site in comparison to the total solids of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site.

How to measure or calculate it ?

The reduction is calculated as COMPLEMENTARY PERCENTAGE of the average total solids of effluent exiting the faecal sludge treatment site over the average total solids of influent entering the faecal sludge treatment site in the same period.

Why it is important to measure it

Faecal sludge characteristics vary widely between cities, types of on site sanitation systems and type of emptying system used. Even samples taken from the same pit latrine have been shown to have significant variation in standard physio-chemical testing.  Such characteristics impact how sludge can be processed following removal. Stabilised sludge is very poor in terms of gas release in an anaerobic digester.
Solids content is an important parameter to estimate the volume of dried sludge to be removed from the drying beds of sludge treatment plants.

Type of outputs

Definition of indicator

The indicator defines if the main outputs of the faecal sludge treatment site are composed only of sludge, effluent or both.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Observe if two different outputs originating from solid/liquid separation mechanisms can be distinguished on the basis of their density and solids content.

Why it is important to measure it

Knowing if there are different outputs enables the creation of specific different treatment chains and disposal mechanisms.

Safety and hygiene: washing capacity availability

Definition of indicator

The indicator defines if washing capacities are available for the faecal sludge treatment workers.

How to measure or calculate it ?

Analyse if washing capacity (with adequate privacy and supplied with enough water and soap/chlore) are available and accessible at the key moments (before eating or drinking and before leaving the faecal sludge treatment site).

Why it is important to measure it

Washing capacity is key to protect the health of faecal sludge treatment workers and their family.