Ecological Sanitation (Eco-san

Dr. Akepati S. Reddy School of Energy and Environment Thapar University, Patiala Punjab (INDIA)


• According to WHO, Sanitation is a hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes
– Hygienic means of prevention can be by
• using engineering solutions (sewerage and sewage treatment) • simple technologies (latrines, septic tanks) • personal hygiene practices (hand washing)

– Hazards can be physical, (micro) biological, or chemical agents of disease – Wastes include human and animal feaces, solid wastes, domestic wastewater (sewage, brown water, black water and grey water), storm water, industrial effluents, etc.

• Sanitation includes provision of facilities and services for the collection and safe disposal of human excreta • Maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and wastewater disposal

• Sanitation is very important for good health – inadequate sanitation is a major cause of diseases world-wide
• Diseases transmitted from poor sanitation include diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and hepatitis A • Annually 1.5 million diarrhoea deaths (mostly <5 year children from developing countries) occur from poor sanitation and hygiene practices

• Improved sanitation has a beneficial impact on human health
– Every US$1 invested in improved sanitation, translates into an average return of US$9 – The MDG target of 75% global sanitation coverage by 2015, at an estimated cost of US$14 billion per year, is estimated to reduce annual diarrhoea cases by 391 million worldwide

• Improved sanitation refers to the management of human faeces at the household level
– terminology used to describe the MDG target on sanitation, by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program

• 2.6 billion people (40% of world population) still lack access to improved sanitation facilities
– Continuity of current trend will rise it to 2.7 billion by 2015 – Southern Asia has only 36% coverage (coverage of sub-Saharan Africa is 31% and of Oceania is 53%)

• 1.1 billion people still practice open defecation - lack of sanitation facilities force people to defecate in the open • World is badly off-track in achieving the MDG target (75% coverage) for sanitation • Sanitation is a serious problem urban areas
– Rapid urbanization (daily addition of 180,000 people) is putting stress and overloading the existing sanitation system – urban growth occurs predominantly in peri-urban areas and at city fringes, usually unserved by urban sanitation systems – Existing urban sanitation facilities have been proving both expensive and inapproriate to the intended users

• Sanitation is considered as important component in the disaster management plans

Diseases related to excreta and wastewater
Disease: Mortality

Burden of Comments disease*
62 000 000
no data 1 800 000
99.8% of deaths occur in dev. countries; 90% are children
Estimate: 16 million cases/year Estimate: 1.45 billion infections, of which 350 million suffer adverse health effects Estimate: 1.3 billion infections of which 150 million suffer adverse health effects Found in 74 countries, 200 million estimated infected, 20 mi with severe consequences

Typhoid Ascariasis Hookworm disease Schistosomiasis

1 800 000
600 000 3 000

3 000

60 000

15 000

1 700 000

Hepatitis A

no data

no data

Estimate: 1.4 million cases/yr.
Source: WHO, 2006

Sanitation coverage trends by developing region, and urban-rural divide 1990-2010
Urban – rural divide

Only 300 million (just 10% of the urban sewage) have end-of-the-pipe sewage treatment to secondary level

Improved urban sanitation coverage 2010

Proportion of the population in 59 developing countries using both improved drinking water sources and improved sanitation (per cent)

Source: UNICEF and World Health Organization, 2012

Conventional Sanitation

Conventional sanitation
• Sanitation, in the narrow sense, is collection/containment of human excreta and its sanitization/treatment and disposal • Subject to the affordability mostly urban areas use flush toilets as user interfaces for excreta collection • Collection of toilet outputs, and their treatment and disposal are integral of the sanitation system
– Toilet outputs include human excreta (faeces and urine), wash water and flush water (black water or brown water plus urine)

• Very few communities in the world can afford fully functional sewage system (Sewerage and Sewage Treatment Plant)

Conventional sanitation
• Sewerage systems are used for the collection and conveyance of excreta away from the toilet users
– Conventional sewerage, simplified sewerage and small bore sewerage system – sewers carry sewage – Mixing of human excreta with grey water, industrial effluent and storm water occurs – overtaxes the sewage treatment plants – These fail to contain and sanitize the excreta

• Sewage treatment plants (centralized or decentralized or household level) are used for the treatment
– Do not efficiently remove pathogens and nutrients – get released into environment

• Irrigation/agricultural use, discharge into surface water or use for groundwater recharging are the disposal means followed • Uncontrolled irrigational use of raw sewage is rampant in periurban areas

Sewerage system

Flush Toilets
• Types: pore flush squat type (Indian) and cistern flush seat riser type (English) • Amenable for use within the building • Anal cleaning may be either by water or by toilet paper – anal wash water and toilet paper are mixed with the excreta
– 0.5 to 3 L of water may be used for anal cleaning – Toilet paper is not easily compostable

• Water is used for flushing out excreta from toilets • A discharge pipe takes away the flushings including the anal washwater to a septic tank or sewer
– Has a water seal to prevent coming back of odours

• A skilled plumber is required to install a flush toilet • Safe and comfortable for the user provided it is kept clean

Flush Toilets
Cistern flush toilet (water closet or WC)
• Usually made of ceramic material and has two parts
– A tank/cistern supplying water forflushing – A bowl into which the user deposits excreta

• Needs connection to constant running waterconWater is used for flushing out excreta from toilets
• 15000 L of flush water (at about 1.5 L/sec. rate) is used to flush 50 L faces and 400-500 L urine per capita year • Flush size may be 7 to 14 L • Often have small flush (for urine) and large flush provisions • Often separate urinals are used

• High cost and need ofskilled personnel for installation makes the system not affordable (rarely found in rural areas) • Availability of water for flushing are the major problems associated with the flush toilets

Cistern flush toilet

Flush Toilets
Pour-flush toilet
• Similar to cistern flush toilet with certain differences • Instead of water coming from a cistern, water poured by the user from a bucket or jug is used for the flushing • Flush water requirement is much lower (2 to 3 L)

Aqua privy
• It is a single water filled pit latrine • Water is used regularly for topping the pit • Excreta as is deposited is transferred into a storage chmaber/seepage pit/sewer line

• Can be wall mounted (men and boys) unit or can be a drainage channel constructed on floor in connection with wall • Use water for flushing • Can keep toilets clean and decrease demand for toilet seats

Pour flush toilet

Aqua privy


Sewage Treatment and Disposal
• Septic tank – soil absorption (soak pit) systems • Biogas plants; Anaerobic baffled reactor • Waste stabilization ponds; Vegetated ponds; Constructed wetlands, aerated lagoons, oxidation ponds • Modern technologies (ASP, SBR, SAF, FAB/MBBR, TF, RBC, UASB)

Sludge handling and disposal
• sludge stabilization - chemical (lime or hypo) and biological (aerobic and anaerobic), and thermal (incineration) • sludge dewatering and drying (sludge drying beds) • use as soil conditioner/fertilizer

Effluent disposal
• • • • • into surface fresh water bodies (streams, rivers and lakes) into coastal waters Reuse for irrigation and for aquaculture (fish ponds) on land (soil absorption systems like soak pits) ground water recharging

Septic tank soak pit system and absorption system

Biogas plant

Baffled anaerobic reactor

Constructed wetland system (free water surface)

Waste stabilization ponds

Vegetated pond

Constructed wetland system (subsurface flow)

Fish pond Constructed wetland system (vertical flow)

Sludge drying bed

Constructed wetland bed for sludge handling

Pit Toilets
• It consisted of
– A pit dug in the ground covered by a slab with excreta drop hole – size of the pit depends on number of persons using and on the design period – Typical size is 3 m depth and 1.0 to 1.2 m diameter – A superstructure, built using locally available materials (provide protection from sun and rain, and privacy and comfort to user

• A simplest form of dry toilet/latrine
– Water is required only for anal washing if the users are washers

• Human excreta is isolated from the surrounding environment and disease transmission is prevented
– Contamination of top soil and surface waters is avoided

• It is inexpensive and uses local materials and local skills • These are the basic structures and can easily be adopted into different other types of latrines

Pit toilet/latrine

Pit Toilets
• Pits are prone to flooding and spilling of contents (constructed on slight mound) • Pit contents can prove unsightly (drop hole can be covered) • Pits are smelly and often infested with flies (attracting flies and breeding flies and mosquitoes) – ventilation can help • Composting of pit contents are affected by entry of too much water (minimizing water use, urine and washwater diversion, and adding absorbent, bulking and compostable materials) • Pits can cave in and fail to support the super structure (lining of pits and providing ring beam can help) • May fails to contain and sanitize excreta – pathogens and nutrients can seep into groundwater (having the pit above the expected groundwater table) • Deep pit toilets fail to recycle nutrients of the excreta – too deep for plants to reach and uptake (plant a tree in the pit or recover compost for using as soil conditioner/fertilizer) • After every few years digging of new pits is needed

Pit Toilets
• Use double pit latrine (when one is full the other will be in service)
– When filled upto 50 cm below the slab, use of the pit is stopped, soil and biomass are filled to brim, and pit is seal for composting – After composting (for > 6 months up to 12 months) empty the pit, use the compost as soil conditioner/fertilizer

• Can not be used in crowded areas, rocky ground, high groundwater level, and high and periodically flooded areas
– Site toilet away from residence (at >6 m distance) on the downwind side and away from water source (at >30 m distance) – Build the pit upwards with concrete ring or blocks under rocky conditions – Keep the pit above the maximum ground water table expected – Make the pit water tight

Open Defecation
• People unserved or not having access to sanitation facilities are forced to open defaecation
– Collection, treatment and disposal facilities are either not available or when available not adequate or not properly functioning – Not having access to toilet (a user interface) – Enough water is not available for flushing the toilets and for anal cleaning – Unhygienic conditions not allowing the use of specially community facilities

• Open defecation (an insult to self esteem) is more common in rural areas • Open defecation and unsafe disposal of faeces can result in
– Transmission of Infectious agents from faeces to hands and then to mouth – Contamination of foods and/or water – flies play important role

Data on defecation and lack of access to improved sanitation

Important pathways for disease transmission faeces
Water Faeces


Ground Flies




Face & mouth

Control of disease transmission can be by
Creating barriers between faeces, and flies, fields and water Containing faeces and process to reduce pathogens to acceptable level and make the material safe Hand wash and hygiene

Present sanitation systems are not viable and not affordable. These are polluting, unhealthy, resource consuming and unsustainable • Consider human excreta as hazardous waste and unacceptable • Very costly and inaccessibility • The scarce water consuming
– 50 L/ of faeces and 500 L/ urine require about 15000 L/capita.year of water for flushing

• Inadequate for the treatment and disposal • Environment polluting
• 500 L of urine, 15000 L of flush water and 15000-30000 L of grey water are mixed with 50 L faeces and come out as sewage • Sewage pollutes water bodies (organic pollution, eutrophication and pathogen contamination) • Ground water contamination, surface water bodies and even land are polluted • Pollutants leaking into groundwater from cess pools, pit toilets, septic tanks and sewers

• Unsustainable

Products of Sanitation

Products of sanitation: Faeces
• Human excreta
– Urine and faeces – Have nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potash), pathogens (including helminth eggs) and organic matter

• Generation rate: 50 L/capita.year (150 g/ • Semisolid excrement responsible for most diseases • Composition of faeces
– – – – – Nitrogen: 2 g/ Phosphorus: 0.6 g/ Potassium: 0.6 g/ Moisture content: 95% Faecal coliform count is 107 to 109 per 100 mL

• Sanitize (destruct most or all the disease causing organisms) faeces by dehydration and decomposition
– Dehydration/drying needs not mixing urine or water with faeces – High organic content of faeces makes the fecal compost an excellent soil conditioner

Products of sanitation: Urine
• Generation rate: 500 L/capita.year (1.2 L/ • Urine relatively free from pathogens (almost sterile when leaves body) • NPK is found in the urine
– Nitrogen: 11 g/ – Phosphorus: 1.0 g/ – Potassium: 2.5 g/

• Safe enough for use either directly or after a short period of storage in agriculture without any treatment
– Can be used directly at household level if the crops are intended for household consumption

• Undiluted urine provides harsher environment for microorganisms and for breeding of mosquitoes
– Storing undiluted urine for one month renders urine safe for use in agriculture (recommended storage time is 1 to 6 months for storage temp. of 4 to 20 C depending on the type of crop)

Other products of sanitation
Flush water
– Water used to flush toilets and transport excreta – Fresh water, rainwater, recycled grey water or any combination of these waters can be used for flushing

Anal cleaning water
– 0.5 to 3 L per cleaning is the generation rate – Contaminated with faeces

Toilet hygiene water
– Water generated from the cleaning of the squatting slab and the surroundings – Soap, detergents, and fecal contamination can be there

Handwash water
– Wash water generated from the hand wash after visiting toilet – Toilet/latrine usually has a hand wash facility and wash water generated is contaminated with soap and excreta

Other products of sanitation
Black water
– Mixture of urine, faeces and flush water, and also anal cleaning water – Anal cleaning material like toilet paper becomes a part

Brown water
– Faeces and flush water but contaminated with some urine – Urine diverting flush toilets generates brown water

Grey water
– Water generated from the washing of foods, cloths and dishware as well as from bathing – Accounts to 60% of the wastewater produced by households with flush toilets (15000-30000 L/capita.year or 40-80 L/ from baths, kitchens and laundry

Storm water
– Rainfall runoff collected from roofs, roads and other surfaces

Other products of sanitation
Anal cleaning materials
– Paper, corn cobs, leaves, rags, clay balls, etc. used and got contaminated with fecal matter – Menstrual hygiene products (sanitary napkins, tampons, etc.) are also considered as anal cleaning waste

Household biodegradable organic waste
– Organic waste from kitchen (residues from fruits and vegetables processing and food residues) – Organic waste from kitchen garden (leaves and hedge and lawn/yard cuttings and other biomass) – Refuse: Solid and semi solid waste material other than human excreta – Garbage: Putriscible animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, storage, sale, preparation, cooking and serving (left over vegetable and animal material from kitchens)

Ashes and sweepings

Ecological Sanitation (Eco-san)

Ecological Sanitation
• An approach rather than a technique for human excreta management
– Often expanded to include management of anal wash water, hand wash water, grey water and household organic matter also

• A resource minded approach rather than waste minded approach - human excreta is considered as a resource (not as a waste/hazardous waste)
– Tries to recycle nutrients and water from excreta in a hygienically safe manner

• A sanitation that conserves water and not pollute the environment (water bodies, groundwater and land)
– Very little water or no water is used to flush toilets and carry away excreta – Excreta is contained, while ensuring hygienic conditions, sanitized and transformed into safe end product (used in agriculture as soil conditioner and fertilizer)

Ecological Sanitation
• Objective is
– to protect human health and environment while reducing the use of water and recycling nutrients

• Boundary conditions are ‘should be affordable, acceptable (aesthetically non-offensive and consistent with cultural and social values) and simple (robust and easy to maintain)
– Cultural taboos against handling of excreta – People unwilling to use crops and foods produced from excreta

• Involves four steps
– Source separation (not allow mixing of water, diversion of urine) – Containment (prevent contact with fingers, flies, fluids, fields and food) – Sanitization (make excreta pathogen free and environmentally safe product; dry/dehydration, composting/decomposing) – Recycling (using as fertilizer and soil conditioner in agriculture)

Source Separation
• Involves
– Avoiding mixing of water with excreta – Diversion of urine, anal wash water and hygiene water away from faeces

• Avoiding or at least minimizing use of water in toilets
– Water is used for flushing toilets, for anal cleaning and for maintaining hygienic conditions (hand wash and toilet cleaning!) – Using drop holes for conveying out excreta without coming in contact with toilet surfaces
• Flies and odours can be a serious problem • Fecal matter contained underneath can prove unsightly (fresh faeces can be covered with soil/ash/lime)

– Using vacuum toilets for minimize consumption of water for flushing
• Very costly, sophisticated and unaffordable

Source Separation
• Diverting urine (and anal wash water, hand wash water, etc.)
– Urine and faeces require different treatments – Urine is almost free from pathogens and can be used as fertilizer either directly or after storing for sanitization
• Odours can be from urine (flushing away the urine with water may be needed)

– Source separation of liquids from faeces is needed for facilitating processing of the faeces
• Both dehydration and composting techniques demand less moisture in fecal matter

– Having separate urinals (urination and defecation can not be easily separated!) – Diverted urine, anal wash water and other wastewaters of latrines require a separate system for the handling and disposal
• Anal wash water is fecal contaminated

– Liquid separation keeps faeces volume small, prevents excess humidity in the processing vault, reduces odour problem and makes pathogen destruction from faeces simple

Urine diverting toilets

Handling of separated liquids
• Handling refers to collection, reception, storage, treatment/ processing, transport/ conveyance and disposal of wastes • Urine and water can be allowed to mix with faeces and go down through the toilet chute - then liquid and solids should be separated by aquatron (minimum flush or vacuum toilets) • Liquid can also be separated and drained out from the processing chamber/vault (through a net or perforated floor) • Liquids separated from or came in contact with faeces require treatment (pathogen reduction through sterilization/ sanitization) • Diverted urine can be
• Evaporated • Sanitized or treated before recycling as fertilizer • Processed into dry powder fertilizer

• Water used for anal washing can be treated in an evapotranspiration bed or in a septic tank

Liquid separation through perforated floor

Aquatron device
(Placed on top of a processing vault/chamber)

Containment of Human Excreta
Isolate human excreta from the surrounding environment • Not allow human excreta to come in contact with fingers, flies, fluids, fields and food
• Stop open defecation • Do not allow mixing of excreta with grey water, storm water or industrial effluent • Contain and sanitize/treat anal wash water prior to disposal • Hand wash with soap after every toilet visit • Handling hand wash water may be along with anal wash water • Maintain hygienic conditions in the toilet and handle the water used for hygiene may be along with anal wash water • Collect human excreta into a container or vault/chamber from the toilet and sanitize/treat prior to disposal

Not allow mixing of relatively non-hazardous urine with the hazardous faeces

Containment of human excreta

Partial containment of human excreta

Sanitization or Processing
• Objectives
– Sanitization of the contained fecal matter
• Destruction of pathogenic organisms

– Transformation of the material into humus like substance that can be safely returned to soil as fertilizer and/or conditioner
• Decomposition/composting/mineralization and transformation into humus

• Involves dehydration (moisture reduction) and composting (volume reduction) processes • Occurs in two steps
– An on-site primary processing step – An on-site or off-site secondary processing step

Sanitization or Processing
• Primary processing
– Occur while the pit/vault/container is still in use and still receiving fecal matter – Preventing nuisance and moisture reduction are important – Containment conditions should not be violated – The contained fecal matter should become compatible for transport and secondary processing - facilitating storage, transport and further treatment

• Secondary processing
– Make material safe to return to soil as fertilizer and/or conditioner – May involve
• High temperature composting for <1 year to 2 years time • Treatment with alkaline materials (lime or urea) at pH >9 for 6-12 months • Storing for longer time Carbonization or incineration (can be used if persistence of intestinal worm eggs is a concern)

Destruction of pathogenic organisms
• Longer storage/retention time • Dryness or lower moisture content or dehydration conditions • higher temperature (55-65°C) kills all types of pathogens, except bacterial spores, within hours • higher pH inactivates microorganisms (rapid at 12 pH and at slower rate at 9 pH) • UV radiation (of solar radiation) • Competing natural microorganisms
– Enteric bacteria are mostly anaerobic and outcompeted by aerobic bacteria in the aerobic environment – competition for nutrients – Predation – production of antagonistic substances

Reduction of moisture content
• Moisture content reduction can be achieved by
• Urine diversion • Anal wash water diversion (in case of washers)
• • not allowing hand wash water and toilet hygiene water covering the processing chamber floor with a layer of powdered earth, sand or straw, before use (for moisture absorption)

• Addition of moisture absorbents (ash, saw dust, husk, etc.)

• Avoiding addition of moist plant materials • Separate and drain out liquid from the pit/vault/container contents
• Filter net, perforated flooring, etc., are used

• Evaporation enhanced by ventilation and/or solar heating

• Lowering moisture to <25% (dehydration) deprives microorganisms of moisture and affects their survival
• Can minimize or eliminate odour and/or fly breeding problems

• Moisture content around 60% is good for decomposition
• Higher moisture content sets in anaerobic conditions • Dehydration conditions minimize decomposition

Decomposition/composting of faeces or excreta
Mineralization of organic matter and turning into humus Rates are influenced by • Oxygen availability
– Aerobic decomposition is rapid, odour free and preferred, while anaerobic decomposition is slower and foul smelling – Contents of the vault can be compact, and aerobic conditions may not exist in the pile of material
– Addition of bulking materials (leaves, dry grass, twigs, paper, etc.) can be helpful – Earthworms and insects can be of assistance in aerating the pile

• Temperature
– Composting can raise temp (destructive to pathogens)
– May not be efficient in primary processing

– Addition of carbon rich material (4 or 5 times to faeces), such as, weeds, husk, waste shavings, kitchen waste, can rise the temperature – occasional turning of the pile can help through raising the decomposition rates (possible in secondary processing)

Decomposition/composting of faeces or excreta
• Moisture
– Higher moisture (beyond 65-70%) makes the material soggy and compact and anaerobic – should be avoided – Lower moisture levels (<25%) slow down composting

• pH • C:N ratio
– Optimum C:N ratio for composting is 15:1 to 30:1 – Adding carbon rich materials (grass clippings, vegetable scraps, straw, rice husk, wood waste, etc. increases the C:N ratio – Since urine is rich in nitrogen, urine diversion increases C:N ratio

Preventing nuisance (odours and flies)
• Flies are attracted to odors and enter the pit/vault
• Keeping the toilet slab clean can prevent entry of flies through the squat hole • Kitchen scrap added to pit/vault can introduces fly eggs

• Fly breeding is mainly related to wetness of the pit/vault contents
• Risk of flies is more for composting toilets than for dehydrating toilets

• Regular addition of soil and/or wood ash covering the fresh faeces controls both odours and flies • Flies in the pit/vault are attracted to light and may enter the super structure through the squat hole
• Dark coloured seat cover also discourages

• Super structure with semi-dark interior discourage flies exit through the squat hole
• Superstructure with a roof and a spiral entry or a self closing door can result in semi dark superstructure

Preventing nuisance (odours and flies)
• Ventilation of the pit/vault can control both flies and odours, provides oxygen, and dries out pit/vault/chamber contents
– A vent allowing light to fall into the pit can prove more effective for flies control – A vent fitted with screen prevents escape of flies (flies die in the vent pipe) – Screen prevents entry of flies into the pit/vault – Black coloured solar heated vent pipe enhances flow velocity in the vent pipe – Active ventilation with the help of a fan fitted to the vent can be effective in odour control – Air tight fitting of slab over the pit/vault is very important for better ventilation

• Vent pipe sucks air from superstructure through squat hole into pit/vault and then into atmosphere through vent

• All indoor models are provided with vent pipes • Vent are typically of 100 to 150 mm dia. straight pipes provided immediately above the pit/vault/chamber and extending at least 50-90 cm above roof

Components of an Eco-san systems
Processing pit or vault or chamber
• Pit - liquid is allowed to percolate out
– Use and abandon pit with tree planted adjacent to it or on it (after abandoning) for nutrient recovery – Can be two permanently sited pits used alternately

• Double vault alternatively receiving excreta (often with perforated floor for liquid separation) • Chamber with or two movable excreta containers (often with perforated floor for liquid separation) • The pit/vault/chamber can have a vent • The chamber/vault usually has
– access door for taking out primary processed faeces – solar heating provision - a metal sheet cover (also acting as an access lid of the vault/chamber) painted black can be used for solar heating – associated evapotranspiration bed (for the liquid handling) or a liquid collection chamber (for sanitization)

Components of an Eco-san systems
Concrete slab over the pit/vault/chamber
• Movable or permanently fixed slab • Squat holes (and vent hole) are cast into it
– Squat slab/pan or seat riser/pedestal fitted over the squat hole
• Urine diversion toilet seats • Urine diversion provision on the squat slab/pan • Anal washing provision on the squat slab/pan

– Provisions for cleaning the squat slab/pan or the seat riser

• Provision for household organic waste addition to the vault • Provisions for collecting, handling and disposal of diverted urine, anal washwater and toilet hygiene water
– Piping and container/can for collecting and storing urine – Urine diversion to nitrogen loving plant (banana) – Evapo-transpiration unit for the disposal of urine, anal washwater, hygiene water and also the hand wash water

Components of an Eco-san systems
Toilet superstructure over pit/vault/chamber cover slab
• Permanently fixed or movable superstructure • Built over and around the cover slab (covering either one or both the pits) • Maintaining semi-dark interior (for flies control) through
– Spiral doorless entry or self closing door entry – Opaque roof

• Provisions for storing and adding materials like wood ash, lime, soil, husk, leaves, etc. to the pit • Provisions for hand wash (either within or outside the superstructure) • Ventilation system (venting the pit/vault/chamber into atmosphere) to control odours and flies

Materials used in Eco-san systems
• Anal cleaning materials
– paper, plant materials like leaves, maize cobs, mud balls or stones, and water – Toilet paper do not break down in dehydrating toilet, but it breaks down during secondary procssing by composting/ carbonization/ incineration

• Absrobents
– Ash,lime, saw dust, husk, crushed dry leaves, peat and dry soil – Dry grass, twigs, shavings, etc. are used in composting toilets for making the faeces pile less compact and allowing air to enter – Added to the faeces immediately after defecation both in dehydrating and composting toilets – Absorb moisture, reduce smells, make the pile of faeces less compact and less unsightly – Mechanical pedal operated ash dispensers are used in school toilets

Ecological Sanitation Systems

Types of ecological sanitation (Eco-san) systems
• Depending on the mechanism adapted eco-san systems are 3 types: Dehydrating; Composting; and Soil composting Dehydrating eco-san system
• Conditions of dryness, raised pH and storage time are ensured in the processing vault/container for excreta processing • Urine is diverted for keeping the vault contents dry • Ash, lime or urea are added, after each defaecation, to lower moisture content and raise pH to >9.0 (toxic to pathogens)
– Soil may also be used as absorbent of the moisture

• Faeces are kept in processing vault/container for 6-12 months • secondary processing types include high temperature composting, alkaline treatment, further storage, and carbonization/ incineration

Eco-san systems
Composting toilets
• Human excreta (faeces and urine) is deposited in a processing chamber along with organic household waste, garden refuse and bulking agents like straw, peat mass, wood shaving, twigs. • Temperature, air flow (ventilation), moisture, carbon materials and other factors are controlled for optimal decomposition • Retained in the processing chamber for 6-8 months Then, partially decomposed material is moved to garden compost or eco-station for secondary processing (high temp. composting)

Eco-san systems
Soil composting
• Human excreta and liberal amount of soil (wood ash also), are deposited in processing vault/container/pit for composting • In some two pits are alternatively used and in some a tree is planted in the pit for utilizing the nutrients • Most of the pathogens are destroyed within 3-4 months time • Competition between organisms for carbon and nutrients defeat the pathogens by dominant soil microorganisms • Composted material can be removed and subjected to secondary processing or directly spread on fields
– 12 months composting in a shallow pit is recommended before application of the material to gardens – One month after the application the non-salad crops can be safely sown on the field

• For homesteads the secondary processing can be
– Adding the material to a garden compost pile or manure pile, or – Storing the material for 1 or 2 years

Vietnamese double vault toilet
• Has two processing chambers/vaults (800x800x500 – 0.3 m3 capacity)
– Have 300x300 openings for the removal of dehydrated materials – the openings are kept sealed

– The vault is usually filled in 4-5 months (for a family of 4-6 persons) – contents of one vault when filled to 2/3rd volume
• 2nd vault is brought into use • faecal matter of the first vault is leveled with a stick, and dry powdered earth is added to the brim and the vault is sealed

– When the 2nd vault is nearly full
• The sealed 1st vault is opened and emptied out, and kept ready for reuse • The emptied material is used as fertilizer (after retaining for 6 to 10 months depending on the climate

Vietnamese double vault toilet
• Processing vaults are covered by a squatting slab with two drop holes, foot rests and a groove for urine diversion
– Drop hole, when not in use, is closed by stone and sealed with mud/mortar – In certain types, movable, urine diverting seat riser of fibre glass/concrete is used

• Before use, floor of the vault is covered with a layer of soil (to absorb moisture from faeces and prevents excreta sticking) • After every use, 2 bowls of ash is sprinkled (absorbs moisture, neutralizes odours, and makes faeces less attractive to flies) • Urine is collected in a jar (either empty or partially filled with water, lime or ashes) behind the toilet • Paper used for anal cleaning is dropped in a box/jar and burnt • Toilet is located aboveground and the vaults on solid concrete/brick/clay floor at least 10 cm above ground
– avoids rainwater run-on

Vietnamese toilet as adopted by china
• Plastic, fiber glass or porcelain made urine diverting squatting pans are used
– Pan has a lid that can be pushed aside or closed with foot

• Pedal operated ash dispenser is used to sprinkle ash on faeces • Toilets are placed indoors (on 2nd or 3rd floor) and vaults are provided above ground at ground level
– Faeces fall through a 200 mm size PVC chute into vaults – A baffle directs faeces to one of the two vaults

• Diverted urine is also collected at ground level • A vent pipe from toilet room via processing chamber extending above the building roof provides ventilation • In urban areas (Erdoes, Inner Mongolia), a communal system of faeces collection and management is practiced
– Faeces are collected and primary treated in a movable processing container placed under the chute – Municipal staff collects the processing containers and transports to neighbourhood eco-station for secondary treatment

LASF (Latrina Abonera Seca Familiar) toilet
• A modified version of Vietnamese double vault toilet • Two chambers each of 0.6 m3 volume are used
– Sufficient for a household of 5-6 people for one year

• Seat riser is used in place of the squatting pan
– When not in use the seat riser is covered by a plastic bag – Diverted urine collectors are provided on the top of the vaults

• These toilets were used in Hermosa province of El Salvador in low income (slum like) urban housing
– attached to house and sometimes placed inside the houses

• Problems encountered with the LASF include
– Wetness in the processing chamber – Bad odours – Fly breeding problem

Indian Adaptation of Vietnamese toilet for washers
• Paul Calvert, Eco Solutions, Trivandrum, Kerala redesigned the Vietnamese toilet to suit washers • Vaults are aboveground, and toilets are installed on 2nd floor • Between the two vaults a trough is provided for anal cleaning • Urine and anal wash water are separately funneled, and diverted to an evapo-transpiration bed producing flowers, fruits and vegetables

• Vaults are lined with straw, and ash is sprinkled over faces every time
– Occasionally straw, leaves, paper scrap, ec. are also added

• The vault is in use for about a year

Vietnamese toilet adopted in Palastine
• • • • Adapted for wipe-washer culture Extremely hot , water starved country Separate urinal is provided Low water shower is used for anal cleaning
– Urine, anal wash water and grey water are treated in septic tank

• Process chamber has an access door and faeces are collected in a wide, low plastic container which when full is replaced
– Lime is used as additive – Container filled with faces is kept in the processing chamber untill the second container is full

Vietnamese toilet adopted for urban areas in Sweden
• Developed by Prof. Mats Wolgast • Has a seat riser and small flush of water (100 mL) is used to flush urine into underground tank (0.5 m3/person capacity) • Faeces and toilet paper are dropped into a 80 L capacity plastic container placed in the un-insulated vault
– The container is filled in 2 to 3 months – Filled one is replaced by empty container but left in the chamber for 6 months – Then the container contents are either treated in a ventilated compost bin or carbonized or incinerated

• A fan is used to draw air from bath room through the toilet and processing chamber into atmosphere by a vent

Long-drop dehydrating toilets of Yemen
• Used in 5 to 9 storied houses of urban areas • The houses have shafts running from the house top to the street level, and toilet rooms are provided next to shaft in upper floors • Urine diverting squatting slab drains away urine through a grove in the slab to vertical drainage surface on the outer face of building • Faeces drop down the shaft through squat hole into the vault located at street level • Faeces dried up in the vault are periodically collected and further dried on the public bath house’s roof and used for water heating • A pair of square stones next to the squat slab are used for anal cleaning with water, and washwater generated is drained out together with bath water out in a manner similar to urine • Modern version of the long-drop dehydrating toilet is used in a housing cooperative in Gebers, Stockholm, Sweden

The human excrement falls down a vertical chute (2) and into one end of a specially designed helical screw conveyor (3). Every time the toilet lid (1) is lifted, a mechanism rotates the conveyor.

With each rotation the human excrement slowly moves along, taking approximately twenty five days before falling into a reusable collection bag (4). It takes six months for the bag to fill with dry and odourless waste.
Through the uniquely designed ventilation pipe (5), adequate airflow is provided for the dehydration / evaporation, deodorising process. Human excreta is roughly 95% moisture. As the material move in the conveyer, urine and moisture is vented into atmosphere, and the material dries into a compost-like material, 5 - 10% of it's original mass.

Clivus Multrum (classical) model of composting toilets
• Developed by Richard Lindstorm, Taby, Stockholm, and used
in weekend homes in Sweden for over 50 years • Urine, faeces and organic household residue are processed combined • Has a toilet pedestal in the bathroom connected by a drop chute to a composting vault below
– The vault has an inclined floor and a lower end storage space – A drop chute/tube connects the toilet seat raiser with the composting vault
• an independent special chute is used to add organic household residue to the vault

– Air conduits and a vent pipe are provided for drawing air through the compost heap

• A single Clivus is found sufficient for a family of 8-10 people for the year round use

Clivus Multrum (classical) model of composting toilets
• Processing/composting reduces the waste volume to 10% and produce humus
– Compost/humus generation rate is 10-30L/person (initial few years no compost is however generated

• Number of users for a unit will depend on
– – – – Temperature and humidity Urine to faeces proportion Amount and type of organic household residue Receptacle/vault volume

• Problems encountered include
– Liquid accumulation in the lower end of the vault
• pathogens of fresh faeces can contaminate the already composted material at the bottom or lower end

– Solids can stuck halfway and not slid into the end storage area

Norway’s Carousel composting toilets
• The composting vault is composed of a cylindrical outer tank and a slightly smaller cylindrical inner tank • The tank, which can rotate on a pivot, is divided into 4 or 6 chambers
– One of the chambers is positioned directly below the drop chute

• The chambers are filled in sequence with the human excreta and organic household residue
– Already composted material of the oldest chamber is removed through an access door

• Liquid from the inner tank is drains out into the outer tank through bottom holes of the inner tank
– From there the liquid is conveyed either into a separate container or into an evapo-transpiration bed

Mexico’s double vault solar heated composting toilet
• Developed by Uno Winblad in Tanzania
– Further development of the model was by Josefina Mena and Grupo deTechnologia Alternativa, Mexico

• It is a prefabricated fibre glass and polyethylene model
• The receptacle/vault has two chambers - a baffle directs excreta into one of the two chambers • The vault extends outside the super structure and have lids (that act as simple solar heaters)

Center for Clean Development (CCD) toilet of Micronesia Composting toilets
• Prototype was constructed in 1992 and slightly modified models were constructed from concrete blocks in 1992 • Used by families of 6-12 members – a single chamber had run for over 2 years time • Used in humid climate (with 500 cm rainfall) - excess liquids evaporated and foul smells reported • CCD composting toilet with attached greenhouse and evapotranspiration bed

Small flush – composting/biogas system (Ekoporten in Norrkoping, Sweden)
• Used in a four-storied building with 18 apartments • Toilets designed for urine diversion and for small flush faeces removal are used • Aquatron separator is used to separate faeces from flush water • Faeces, together with paper, kitchen and garden waste and wood pellets, are composted in an automatic composting device • Separated flush water is treated with UV radiation and collected along with grey water in a 3-chambered septic tank • Septic tank output is channeled into a reed bed and discharged into a stream

Composting toilets in Funtenbreite, Lubeck, Germany case
• Provided for 350 urban inhabitants on a 3.5 hectare plot • Vacuum toilets using 0.7 L water per flush are used • Biogas plant is used for the treatment of black water and kitchen refuse
– Use of the liquid coming out as liquid fertilizer – Biogas is used for heat and power generation (in combination with natural gas)

• Separate water treatment systems for grey water and also for storm water
– Artificial wetland is used for grey water treatment – Partial collection and reuse of storm water – retention and infiltration of rest of the storm water

Soil composting sanitation system of Ladakh
• Functioning in high altitude (3500 m) extremely dry climate • Have indoor toilet on the upper floor
– Toilet room has a pile of soil in one corner – People excrete on soil and the soil along with the excreta is pushed with a spade or shovel through drop hole into processing vault – often ashes from kitchen are also used – Anal cleaning is not normally practiced

• Excreta is processed on ground floor in a small separate room adjacent to kitchen/living room with access only from outside
– The room is provided with a thick layer of garden soil – Processing involved a combination of soil composting and dehydration – Processed excreta is removed twice a year (in spring and at the end of summer) and spread on fields

• Faint smell of ammonia from splashed urine is a problem from the toilet

Soil composting sanitation systems: Earth closets
• Thomas Swinburne’s earth closet (1938) • Henry Moule’s earth closet
– controlled amount of earth is deposited on the fresh faeces from a hopper behind the seat riser – Semi automatic devices are used to flush the toilet with earth
• When pressure on the seat is released • Or when a foot pedal is pressed

• Earth closets are considered as more reliable and cheaper to maintain

Henry Moule’s model of earth closet

Peter Morgan’s soil composting toilets of Zimbabwe
• Developed from the traditional pit toilets • Arborloo, Fossa Alteena and Skyloo are some of the models

Arborloo model
• It is a shallow pit (1.0 m) covered with a squatting pan
– A ring beam contains the pit and supports the superstructure

• Urine and faces, and anal cleaning material are deposited into the pit and, after each deposition, the faeces are covered with soil (wood ash and leaves were also often used)
– Excreta to soil, ash and leaves ratio is around 50-50 – Organic kitchen scrap can also be added in limited quantities

• When the pit is to 2/3rd full, the squatting slab and super structure are removed • The pit is topped with soil to the brim (15 cm) and a tree is planted in the top soil and watered lightly • Every 6-12 months a new pit is required

A smaller side pit of same depth is dug at the same time adjacent to the main pit
The side pit is filled with fertile soil and planted a sapling

Hand washing device can be mounted over the sapling to help watering the latter

Peter Morgan’s soil composting toilets of Zimbabwe
Fossa Alterna
• Two permanently sited shallow pits (1.5 m) are used for depositing urine and faeces
– Faeces are covered with soil after every use/defaecation – Wood ash and leaves are added regularly for better quality end product

• When one pit is full the second pit is used
– Squatting slab and superstructure are removed – Soil is added to the pit filled with excreta

• When the second pit is full, contents of the first pit are removed and used as fertilizer/soil conditioner • Twin ring beams with single concrete slab are usually used
– Both the pits can be enclosed in a single larger superstructure

• Slab and super structure are moved from one pit to the other

Peter Morgan’s soil composting toilets of Zimbabwe
The skyloo
• It is urine diverting single shallow chamber toilet
– A removable container is used to collect the faeces, toilet paper, soil, wood ash, leaves, etc. – The urine diverted is funneled and piped into a urine storage container

• Contents of the container are removed are removed at regular intervals and placed in a secondary composter along with some more soil mixed and kept damp with watering
– Composting in the seocndary composter becomes very fast and may require 6-12 months retention

The Skyloo a soil composting toilet

VIP (Ventilated Improved Pit) toilet
• Similar to Peter Morgan’s pit toilet but has ventilation system • has a pit of 1.0 to 1.5 m width/diameter (depth is not specified)
– For longer life the pit may be brick lined – step-in brick work (corbelling) is often used for facilitating fitting of smaller slab on a larger pit – In case of stable soil, ring beam may not be used, instead slab is placed over the excavated soil which is placed around the pit

• Vent of 2.0 to 2.5 m height and 110 mm internal dia. is used
– Vent is usually mounted within the toilet house over the hole provided in the concrete slab – For better ventilation a good air tight seal is needed between the pit lining and the slab – PVC or asbestos tubes can be alright as vents – Asbestos pipes of 150 mm size are also effective

VIP (Ventilated Improved Pit) toilet

Selection and design of Eco-san Systems

What provisions should be made in an eco-san systems?
• Squatting slab/pan (or seat riser) with provisions for
– urine diversion – anal washing and anal washwater diversion – Covering the squat hole when not in use

• An independent urinal (for men and boys urination) • Provisions for hand washing and for collecting the resultant handwash water • Provisions for the toilet cleaning and collecting resultant hygiene water • Water supply for analwash and handwash, and for toilet cleaning • Provisions for the storage and addition of moisture absorbing/bulking material and/or faeces covering material • Provisions for adding household organic waste

What provisions should be made in an eco-san systems
• A superstructure with semidark interior ensuring safety and security, privacy and protection from sun and rain to user
– Superstructure withstanding expected extreme wind conditions

• Provisions for the handling and disposal of the diverted urine and analwash water and the collected hygiene water and handwash water • Vault or pit or chamber with containers for containing and processing the faeces and the added moisture absorbing/ bulking material and the household organic waste
– Ventilation system for the pit/vault/chamber – Access door to the pit/vault/chamber for taking out primary processed or processed material – Vault or chamber should be aboveground to avoid run on of storm water

• Composting toilets and soil compost toilets may prove quite appropriate for Indian urban and rural areas respectively

Systems for the handling and disposal of faeces, urine, analwash & handwash waters and toilet hygiene water
• System for handling primary processed or processed faeces
– Conveying to eco-station and secondary processing (composting or carbonization/incineration) – Transport and use of stabilized compost as soil conditioner/fertilizer

• Systems for handling urine separate from other wastewaters
– Diverting urine to urine loving plants (banana) – Conveying urine into an evapo-transpiration bed – Storing urine in a container or can, transporting and applying as fertilizer in agricultural fields

• Systems for the handling and disposal of analwash water, toilet hygiene water and handwash water)
– Passing analwash water, handwash water and hygiene water through an upflow filter and
• Disposing into the evapo-transpiration bed • Allowing to mix with the grey water for the handling and disposal

Factors influencing the selection of Eco-San systems
• Eco-san systems can be provided either inside the building or outside • Systems opted for rural or low-density urban households (with kitchen garden/yard) may be different from those opted for high density urban areas or multi-storied buildings
– Households are responsible for both primary and secondary processing and for use of eco-san products in the first case – Eco-station may be responsible for the processing, transport and product end use in the second case

• Ecosan system can be broadened to cover the grey water and the household organic material
– Biological filter systems, evapotranspiration beds and constructed wetlands can be used the grey water treatment – Composting toilets can be used for taking care of the household organic wastes

Factors influencing the selection of Eco-San systems
• The system should be
• Economically viable and socially acceptable • Technically and institutionally appropriate • Protecting to the environment and natural resources protecting

• Climatic and physical factors
– – – – Prevailing temperature and humidity conditions Availability of water and Ground water table Soil stability and permeability Availability of Space and intended use of the sanitized excreta

• Social, cultural and economic factors
– Settlement patterns (concentrated or dispersed ; and low or high rise buildings) – Attitudes and habits people (faecophobic or faecophilic; washers or wipers), and beliefs and taboos – Economic status

What factors influence the design of Eco-san systems?
Factors influencing the design • Temperature, humidity, precipitation and solar radiation
– Dehydration is good for dry or arid climate – Composting is more successful in humid areas

• Availability of space for on-site or off-site processing, storage and local recycling of faeces and urine • Customs, beliefs, values and practices influence the design • Level of technology that can be supported and maintained by local skills and tools • Characteristics of local agriculture and homestead gardens • Legal framework and institutional support available (govt., industry, financial institutions, universities and NGOs)

Who will manage the Ecosan systems?
Communal management or household management • Responsibilities of the communal organization (municipal service organization)
– Monitoring primary processing vault and collection of primary processed material – Secondary processing and disposal or end use of final product – Emptying of urine storage tank and use of urine as fertilizer

• Household management limited to the use and maintenance of the toilet (daily care of the toilet) • Communal management is advantageous
– More convenient to the user and safer for public health – Trained staff can take care of the handling, processing, transport and sale/use of urine/faeces

Design of composting toilet
Material accumulating in the processing vault from the use by a family of 6 people over one year: 969.1 L/year
• Faecal matter generated: 328.5 L/year and fecal matter accumulated after primary treatment: 49.3 L/year
Assumptions made – Fecal matter generation rate: 0.15L/ (30% consistency) – Reduction achieved from primary processing: 70% on dry weight basis (moisture content: 40%)

• Moisture absorbing materials added and accumulating: 1095 kg/year or 876 L/year
Assumptions made – Bulk density of the absorbing material added: 1250 kg/m3 – Mass and volume are conserved through the primary treatment

• Household organic matter added: 438 L/year, and primary processed organic matter accumulated: 43.8 L/year
Assumptions made – Bulk density is 1000 kg/m3 – Moisture content is 80% – Reduction of mass from primary processing: 70% (on dry mass basis) – Moisture content of the primary processed material: 40%

Design of composting toilet
• Number of vaults: 2 • Processing vault dimensions: 1.061 m x 1.061 m x 1.061 m (say 1.1 m x 1.1 m x 1.1 m)
– Volume of the material to be contained: 0.969 m3 – Free board left above: 0.15 m – Thickness of porus material lining of the vault: 0.05 m

• Cover slab dimensions – width: (1.1x2+0.1x3) = 2.5 m and cover slab length: (1.1+0.8+0.1x3) + 0.3 = 2.5 m
– Thickness of the walls have been taken as 0.1 m – Entry corridor width: 0.8 m – Additional depth left for opening the door: 0.3 m

Design of composting toilet
• Concrete base dimensions – width: 2.5 m and concrete base length: (1.1+1.1/2+0.1x2) =1.85 m
– Access for the vaults will be inclined (at 45 inclination angle)

• Vault bottom sloping towards the hinder side (slope: 1 in 10) • A drain pipe for draining out any leachate accumulating in the vault on the hinder side • Vents for the vaults (two vents, one per vault)
– Diameter: 150 mm – Height (from cover slab): 3.0 m – Location: 0.6 m from mid line and 0.275 m in front of the hind wall

• Concrete base should be 0.1 m above the ground level

Design of composting toilet
Super structure
• Toilet room internal dimensions: 1.4 m x 2.3 m x (2.0-2.25) m
– Height on hind side: 2.0 m; Height on the front side: 2.25 m; Slope of the roof: 1 in 10 (from front side to hind side)

• • • •

Vent of the toilet room: 100 mm dia. and 0.7 m above the roof Porch of the toilet room: 0.8 m x 1.75 m Three or four steps to approach the porch from one side Double wing door of toilet room
– Height: 2.0 m (bottom 1.5 m blinding and the next 0.5 m of metal grid)

• Hand wash basin in the porch on the other side of the porch • Squat pans (with removable lids over the squat hole):
– 2 numbers both with provisions for anal washing – Provisions for diversion of both urine and anal wash water

System for handling urine contaminated water and water not contaminated with urine
Wastewater generation
– Diverted urine: (1.1-1.4 L/ or 0.15 to 0.2 L/urination) = 6.3 to 8.4 L/day – Water for urinal flushing: (0.5 to 1.0 L/urination) = 21 to 42 L/day (assumption: 6 urinations and 1 defecation per capita day) Urine contaminated water: 27.3 to 50.4 L/day – Anal wash water: (1 to 2 L/defecation) = 6 to 12 L/day – Hand wash water: (0.5 to 2 L/defecation) + (0.1 to 0.2 L/urination) = 6.6 to 13.2 L/day – Hygiene water: 5 to 10 L/day Wastewater not contaminated with urine: 17.6 to 35.2 L/day

Filter bed for the water not contaminated with urine
– Bed depth: 2.0 m Top 1.5 m of the bed filled with 13-25 mm size gravel – Bed surface area: 0.18 m2 or 0.03 m2/capita Influent introduction at bottom and effluent overflow from top

System for handling urine contaminated water and water not contaminated with urine
Evapo-transpiration bed
• Bed area: 12 m2 or 2 m2/capita • Bed profile
– HDPE membrane at the bottom – Multigrade bed with 25-40 mm size ballast at the bottom and 100 to 150 mm thick sand layer at the top – Gravel layer thickness: 5 to 10 times maximum gravel size – Gravel size in a layer: half the gravel size in gavel layer below – Total bed depth (including sand layer): 500-600 mm – Maximum free water depth of 0.1 m may be maintained by providing overflow drain – Water overflows can be considered as grey water – The bed may be used as a hydrophonic system – Water may be introduced at the bottom of the bed

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