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Each slide is complemented with notes for the lecturer.

The ppt-notes are structured as follows:

• Key messages (summary of the slide or aspects not mentioned on the slide)
• Legends to figures and photos (copied from lecture notes)
• Next slide: title of the next slide
• Additional information & questions: text copied from lecture notes; further questions copied from lecture notes

Key message:
•Getting an idea of the course structure

Photo: Sludge drying bed (Source: Sandec)

Next slide: What is our focus in this course?

Additional information: Structure of the presentation:

Chapter 1: Definitions and objectives
• What is our focus in this course?
• What is Faecal Sludge Management (FSM)?
Chapter 2: Introduction
•What are the causes for the present situation?
•Which parameters are used to characterise FS?
•What are the daily per capita quantities for FS?
•What is the hygienic quality of FS?
Chapter 3: Systems and Technologies
• What influences the character of Faecal Sludge?
• What are the basic processing steps in sanitation?
•What are the process steps in FS management?
•What are the main options for pit emptying and FS transport?
•What are the major technologies for solid-liquid separation and FS treatment?
Chapter 4: Non-technical aspects
• Who are the stakeholders in Faecal Sludge Management and what are their roles and challenges?
•How to select the most appropriate FS treatment option?
•What are financial and economic costs?
•How can different FS treatment technologies be economically evaluated and compared?
•What has to be considered when designing a financing scheme for sanitation systems?
•How can FS management be improved?
•Decentralisation of FS haulage
•How to plan for improved FS management?
Chapter 5: Review
• Review

Key messages:
•The waste products (greywater, faecal sludge, solid waste, etc.) generated in the human habitat need to be treated in an
integrated way.
•Appropriate processes (storage, transport, treatment, disposal and reuse) need to be chosen for all waste products.
•Management (Planning, Financing, Implementing, Operation & Maintenance, Regulation & Enforcement) of water supply
& environmental sanitation projects is essential .

Next slide: What should Environmental planning of sanitation systems take into account?

Additional information:
•Water supply: In terms of water supply, the basic needs include access to a safe supply of water for domestic use,
meaning water for drinking, food preparation, bathing, laundry, dishwashing, and cleaning. In many cases, domestic
water may also be used for watering animals and vegetable plots or gardens. Definitions of ‘access’ (distance to the
nearest water-point and per capita availability) and ‘safe’ (water quality) may vary from country to country.
•Sanitation: There are many possible definitions of sanitation. For the purposes of this manual, the word ‘sanitation’ alone
is taken to mean the safe management of human excreta. It therefore includes both the ‘hardware’ (e.g. latrines and
sewers) and the ‘software’ (regulation, hygiene promotion) needed to reduce faecal-oral disease transmission. It
encompasses too the reuse and ultimate disposal of human excreta.
•Solid waste management promotes technically appropriate, economically viable and socially acceptable solutions --
which do not degrade the environment -- to waste management problems in cities in the South.

Key messages:
•Faecal Sludge Management deals with the management of sludges from on-site sanitation systems

Next slide: Definitions

Key message:
•Faecal Sludge is the general term for the undigested or partially digested slurry or solid that results from the storage or
treatment of blackwater or excreta.

Next slide: “On-site” vs. sewered FS management

Key messages:
•On-site sanitation is a system of sanitation where the means of storage are contained within the plot occupied by the
dwelling and its immediate surroundings.
•For some systems (e.g. double-pit or vault latrines), treatment of the faecal matter happens on site also, through
extended in-pit consolidation and storage.
•With other systems (e.g. septic tanks, single-pit or vault installations), the sludge has to be collected and treated offsite.

Figure: The figure shows how faecal sludge and wastewater management stand side-by-side in urban environmental
sanitation and how they might technically be interlinked. (Photos: right: Ghana, Sandec 2001; left:

Next slide: Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Introduction
• Sanitation in the largest cities: Mean percentage for each type of sanitation system, by world region
• Problems related to FSM
•What are the causes for the present situation?
•Which parameters are used to characterise FS?
•What are the daily per capita quantities for FS?
•What is the hygienic quality of FS?
•About effluent standards for FS treatment plants

Next slide: Sanitation in the largest cities: Mean percentage for each type of sanitation system, by world region

Key message:
•On-site sanitation (OSS) systems are the predominant form of excreta treatment installations in urban centres of
industrializing countries.

Figure: WHO/UNICEF, 2000

Next slide: Problems related to FSM

Additional information & question:

Only smaller portions of cities’ central business districts are linked to sewers (Strauss et al., 2000). Though in Latin
America more than 50 % of houses in cities are connected to a sewerage system, most houses in medium sized and
smaller towns are served by on-site sanitation systems, notably septic tanks. OSS systems are also common in peri-
urban areas of high-income countries. 25% of houses in the U.S., e.g., are served by septic tanks. (Montangero et al.,
2002, p. 1)

•What are the advantages and drawbacks of on-site sanitation?

Key message:
•Faecal sludge management has to cope with a number of challenges, namely health threats posed by manual emptying
of pits, indiscriminate disposal and by no or inadequate treatment of sludges.

Photos: Top: Manual emptying of wastewater pit; Bottom: Spreading of untreated faeces on farm land. (Source: Sandec)

Next slide: What are the causes for the present situation?

Additional information & question:

Individuals, small groups of individuals or microentreprises, offer manual emptying. This is traditionally done with buckets.
Emptiers step into the vault or pit to evacuate the sludge, which has turned too solid to be scooped. Hence, the traditional
manual emptying is associated with considerable health risks for the emptiers in the first place. The general public is at
risk, too, as the emptied sludge is usually deposited into dwelling concessions, nearby surface drains, or into lanes.
(Strauss et al., 2002)

The fact that metropolitan cities are stretched out causes the haulage routes usually to be rather long. Traffic congestion
further aggravates the problem and renders haulage to designated discharge or disposal sites uneconomical and
financially unattractive, leading to uncontrolled dumping of collected FS at shortest possible distance from the area of
collection. Where designated discharge sites or treatment schemes exist, charges are usually levied for each load of FS
delivered to the site by private collectors. As a consequence, they often prefer to dump the waste in non-designated sites
to avoid fee paying. (Strauss et al., 2002)

•How can the dangers related to FSM be overcome? What technical or management approaches exist to minimize the

Key messages:
•In many cases a lack of political will and awareness as well as financial constraints render any efforts to improve the
present situation difficult.
•Furthermore, legal frameworks are often absent or neglected for being too strict.

Next slide: Which parameters are used to characterise FS?

Additional information & question:

Apart from a series of technical challenges concerning the emptying, haulage and treatment of faecal sludge, the main
causes for the disastrous situation of sanitation in the urban context of developing countries lie in the inadequate political,
organizational and regulatory context.

•How can standards for the safe discharge and reuse of faecal sludge be set on an international basis? Is there, after all,
a need for uniform standards??
•What financing options for FSM exist?
•Could the management and maybe even technical infrastructure for sanitation and solid waste be combined with faecal

Key messages:
•There are several parameters typically used to describe FS

Photo: Sampling of sludge in Accra (Source: Sandec).

Next slide: What are the daily per capita quanitities for FS?

Additional information:
pH: the hydrogen ion concentration
TS: total solids
EC: electrical conductivity
TVS: total volatile solids
TKN: total Kjeldahl nitrogen
AN: ammonium
BOD/COD: ratio of biochemical oxygen demand and chemical oxygen
FC (MPN): faecal coliforms (most probable number)
C/N ration: carbon/nitrogen ration

Literature on this topic can be found here:

Heinss, U., Larmie, S.A. and Strauss, M. (1999): Characteristics of Faecal Sludges and their Solids-Liquid Separation. In:
SOS - Management of Sludges from On-Site Sanitation. Eawag/Sandec, Dübendorf. Download available on the Sandec
Training Tool CD and on the Internet (last accessed 19.05.08):

Key message:
•Public toilet sludge has characteristics similar to fresh excreta

Next slide: What is the hygienic quality of FS?

Additional information:
The table contains values on daily per-capita volumes and loads of organic matter, solids and nutrients in faecal sludges
collected from septic tanks and pit latrines, as well as from low or zero-flush, unsewered public toilets. Values for fresh
excreta are given for comparative purposes. The figures are overall averages and may be used for preliminary planning
and design where local data are initially lacking. Actual quantities may, however, vary widely from place to place.

Key messages:
•In many areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America, helminths, notably nematode infections (Ascaris, Trichuris,
Ancylostoma, Strongyloides, etc.) are highly prevalent.
•Ascaris eggs are particularly persistent in the environment. The bulk of helminth eggs contained in faecal or in
wastewater treatment plant sludges end up in the biosolids generated during treatment.

Next slide: About effluent standards for FS treatment plants

Additional information:
Literature on this subject can be found here:
Montangero, A. and Strauss, M. (2002): Faecal Sludge Treatment. Eawag/Sandec. IHE, Delft. Download available on the
Sandec Training Tool CD

Key message:
•Standards for effluent discharge in developing countries should be developed rather on a case-to-case basis than on an
international level.

Next slide: Chapter 3

Additional question:
•In how far do effluent quality and characteristic vary for different treatment plants?

Chapter 3: Systems and Technologies
• What influences the character of Faecal Sludge?
• What are the basic processing steps in sanitation?
•What are the process steps in FS management?
•What are the main options for pit emptying and FS transport?
•Comparison of manual emptying vs. mechanical emptying
•What are the major technologies for solid-liquid separation and FS treatment?
•Planted drying bed
•Unplanted drying bed
•Settling/thickening tanks
•Comparison of sedimentation/settling ponds vs. settling tanks
•Anaerobic digestion
•Anaerobic vs. Aerobic digestion
•FS co-treatment with wastewater
•Waste stabilisation ponds

Next slide: What influences the character of Faecal Sludge?

Key message:
•FS characteristic are influenced by storage/treatment/emptying technologies adopted, performance, storage duration
and temperature as well as composition of wastewater input.

Next slide: What are the basic processing steps in sanitation?

Additional information & question:

In contrast to sludge from wastewater treatment plants and to municipal wastewater, FS characteristics differ widely by
locality (from household to household; from city district to city district; from city to city).

•How can I find the best treatment option for my setting? Is there a ‘fit-it-all solution’?

Key messages:

•This classification uses 5 steps to describe the process of sanitation.

•Only selected combinations of technologies will lead to functional systems.
• The most site-specific system option has to be selected on a case-to-case basis.
Note: in some systems, not all processes are required. Eg. When composting faeces locally, no conveyance nor central treatment is required.

Next slide: What are the process steps in FS management?

More information about this classification can be found here:

Tilley, E. et al (2008). Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies: preprint. Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of
Aquatic Science and Technology, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland; Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing
Countries (Sandec)
Key message:
•FSM is based on the processes of FS collection, emptying and haulage, treatment and reuse/storage.

Next slide: What are the main options for pit emptying and FS transport?

Additional question:
•Can the amount of FS that will accumulate in a system within a given time period be accurately calculated in advance?

Key message:
•Manual pit emptying poses great health threats but is often the method of choice as mechanical empting facilities might
not be available or be unaffordable for poorer households.

Photos: Top: Manual pit emptying (source: unknown); Middle: MAPET equipment in the D.R. of Congo (source: WASTE,
Holland); Bottom: Vacutug mini-tanker manufactured in Bangladesh under supervision of Manus Coffey and Associates
is used in a UN-Habitat co-financed waste management project (source: Sandec).

Next slide: Comparison of manual emptying vs. mechanical empting

Additional information:
Pit emptying constitutes a major problem in many places, both technically and managerially. In many countries and cities,
both mechanized and manual pit emptying services are being offered. Mechanized services are rendered by municipal
authorities or small to medium enterprises.

Key message:
•The extreme health hazard for workers is the main disadvantage on manual emptying.

Next slide: What are the major technologies for solid-liquid separation and FS treatment?

Key message:
•In most cases FS requires separation of solids and liquids which then undergo further treatment in a second step. A
number of techniques for this purpose are available, depending on FS characteristics, output criteria and available area.

Figure: Overview of potential, modest-cost options for faecal sludge treatment. The schematic drawing illustrates how
after their separation, solid and liquid fraction of FS can be further processed or used. (Strauss et al., 2002)

Next slide: Co-composting

Additional information:
The separating of the solids and liquids, which make up FS, is the process-of choice in FS treatment unless it is decided
to co-treat FS in an existing or planned wastewater treatment plant and if the FS loads are small compared to the flow of
wastewater. Solids-liquid separation may be achieved through sedimentation and thickening in ponds or tanks or filtration
and drying in sludge drying beds. Resulting from this are a solid and a liquid fraction, which both require further
Although the technologies used for solid-liquid separation, secondary treatment and co-treatment with wastewater are
often the same, their design and mode of operation vary.

Key message:
•Co-composting means composting of two or more raw materials together – in this case, faecal sludge and organic solid
waste .

Figure: Process of co-composting (source: Sandec).

Next slide: Planted drying bed

Additional information:
Co-composting is practiced all around the world, usually in small, informal and uncontrolled schemes or on a yard scale.
Presumably, most of this proceeds at ambient temperatures, with concomitant inefficient inactivation of pathogens. In
contrast to this, thermophilic composting, i.e. the composting at 50-60 °C, is an effective process for pathogen destruction
while stabilising organic material and creating a valuable soil conditioner-cum-fertilizer (Strauss et al., 2002). Co-
composting FS and municipal solid waste is advantageous because the two materials complement each other. The
human waste is relatively high in N content and moisture and the municipal solid waste is relatively high in organic carbon
(OC) content and has good bulking quality. (Strauss et al., 2003, p. 17)

Key messages:
•Planted sludge drying beds consist of a gravel/sand/soil filter planted with emergent plants such as reeds, bulrushes or
•The applied sludge is dewatered by filtration and accumulates on the surface.
•The liquid fraction flows vertically through the filter media and is finally collected as percolate at the bottom (vertical

Figure: Layout of a planted sludge drying bed (source: Sandec)

Next slide: Unplanted drying bed

Additional information:
The advantage of planted over unplanted sludge drying beds is that the root and rhizome system of the plants used in
CW create a porous structure in the layer of accumulated solids and thus enables to maintain the dewatering capacity of
the filter during several years. In contrast to CW treating wastewater, CW for sludge are equipped with a freeboard. This
allows dewatered solids to accumulate over several years. As a consequence, removal of accumulated biosolids is
required at a much lower frequency than unplanted sludge drying beds. Operating costs are thus considerably reduced.
The extended storage of biosolids allows for biochemical stabilization. The plants pass through repeated cycles of growth
and wilting. Sludge is due to be removed from the filters only after 5 to 6 years. The biosolids may be dried to a limited
degree only – to 65–60% water content at the most – in order to ensure sustained plant growth. CW percolate will require
post-treatment as per local conditions and discharge regulations. (Strauss et al., 2002)

Key message:
•Sludge drying beds, if suitably designed and operated, can produce a solid product, which may be used either as soil
conditioner or fertiliser in agriculture, or deposited in designated areas without causing damage to the environment

Next slide: Settling/thickening tanks

Additional information:
In most cities, the solids removed from the drying beds after a determined period (several weeks to a few months) require
further storage and sun drying to attain the hygienic quality for unrestricted use. Where dried sludge is used in
agriculture, helminth (nematode) egg counts should be the decisive quality criterion in areas where helminthic infections
are endemic (Strauss et al., 2002). A maximum nematode (roundworm) egg count of 3-8 eggs/g TS has been suggested
by Xanthoulis and Strauss (Xanthoulis et al., 1991). Gravity percolation and evaporation are the two processes
responsible for sludge dewatering and drying. Evaporation causes the mud to crack; thereby leading to improved
evaporative water losses and enhanced drainage of the sludge liquid and rainwater. (Strauss et al., 2002)
50 - 80 % of the faecal sludge volume applied to unplanted drying beds will emerge as drained liquid (percolate). The
ratio between drained and evaporated liquid is dependent on type of sludge, weather conditions and operating
characteristics of the particular drying bed. Drying bed percolate tends to exhibit considerably lower levels of
contaminants compared to settling tank supernatant. This liquid will, nevertheless, also have to be subjected to a suitable
form of treatment (e.g. in facultative ponds) in most cases. (Strauss et al., 2002)

Next slide: Comparison of sedimentation/settling ponds vs. settling tanks

Key message:
•Settling tanks provide a liquid retention time of a few hours (enough to ensure quiescent settling of settleable solids),
while sedimentation ponds cater for several days or a few weeks of liquid retention and, hence, also allow for anaerobic
degradation of organics.

Next slide: Anaerobic digestion

Key message:
•This option may, in theory, be perfectly suited to treat higher-strength FS, which have not undergone substantial
degradation yet

Next slide: Anaerobic vs. Aerobic digestion

Additional information:
There exist, in practice, two types of digesters, viz. fixed and floating dome units. (Strauss et al., 2002)
Although anaerobic digestion with gas utilization has been an option widely proposed for sludge treatment and energy
recovery, the number of respective schemes implemented in developing countries has remained rather low. A possible
reason might consist in the relatively high investment cost of such plants and the concurrent low affordability by target
users. Further to this, removal of accumulated solids from the digestors appears to be a difficult task, which has caused
many such plants to turn unused. (Strauss et al., 2002)

Key message:
•At present aerobic treatment is the most commonly used process to reduce the organic pollution level of both domestic
and industrial wastewaters.

Next slide: Waste stabilization ponds

Additional information:
Aerobic techniques, such as trickling filters and oxidation ponds with more or less intense mixing devices have been
installed for domestic wastewater treatment in many small communities. Activated sludge processes were introduced for
larger communities and for industrial wastewaters. Recent developments, however, have demonstrated that anaerobic
processes might be an economically attractive alternative for the treatment of different types of industrial waste waters
and in (semi-)tropical areas also from domestic wastewaters.
Anaerobic digestion has been rediscovered in the last two decades, mainly as a result of the energy crisis. Major
developments have been made with regard to anaerobic metabolism, physiological interactions among different microbial
species, effects of toxic compounds and biomass and biomass accumulation. A number of advantages of anaerobic
digestion over aerobic purification have been recognized. An obvious advantage of anaerobic digestion is the production
of biofuel (methane) from organic waste. Moreover, the anaerobic processes do not require aeration, have a low nutrient
requirement and produce only little excess microbial biomass.
A major problem in the development of economically feasible anaerobic digesters has been the low growth yield and long
doubling times of the microorganisms involved. However, in this respect, major advances have been achieved recently.

Next slide: FS co-treatment with wastewater

Additional information:
More details on processes, design and maintenance in anaerobic, facultative and maturation ponds can be found in the
Sandec Training Tool, Module 4: “Sanitation Systems & Technologies”.

Next slide: Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Non-technical aspects
• Who are the stakeholders in Faecal Sludge Management and what are their roles and challenges?
•How to select the most appropriate FS treatment option?
•What are financial and economic costs?
•How can different FS treatment technologies be economically evaluated and compared?
•What has to be considered when designing a financing scheme for sanitation systems?
•How can FS management be improved?
•Decentralisation of FS haulage
•How to plan for improved FS management?

Next slide: Who are the stakeholders in faecal sludge management and what are their roles and challenges?

Key message:
•Key stakeholders in FSM are the households, the community, governmental decentralized services, CBOs and NGOs,
authorities, public utilities and private sector members and, often left unnoticed, donors.

Next slide: How to select the most appropriate FS treatment option?

Additional information
•What role does FSM play within holistic planning concepts like the Household-centred environmental sanitation

Key messages:
•The range of options for a FS treatment system is always limited by a set of factors that have to be analyzed carefully
prior to the realization of the project. By excluding unfeasible technologies, a white-list of options remains that can be
further adapted to the requirements and preconditions given.

Next slide:
What are financial and economic costs?

Additional information
•Does scaling of treatment systems influence their performance? In how far can different technologies be combined?
How much freedom in upscaling do different technologies offer?

Next slide: How can different FS treatment technologies be economically evaluated and compared?

Additional information:
With sanitation technologies, as with any other public sector investment, whose benefits are not fully quantifiable, a
method of determining their real costs (economic costs), under consideration to the national economy, is needed. For
example, local engineers might favor conventional sewerage, but its dependence on large volumes of flushing water
might place too great a demand on local water resources and mean that too much of the country’s money would have to
be spent on exploiting those water resources. So, what is done first with competing sanitation alternatives is to evaluate
their economic costs (includes all costs, regardless of who incurs them, or on what level) and then determine what the
users will have to pay (financial costs). Economic costing gives the policy-makers a proper economic basis for their
decisions. Financial costs are entirely dependent upon policy variables that can vary widely. However, they are for
example useful to householders and sewerage authorities. (Mara, 1996, p. 171-179)

Key message:
•In a first step, investment and O+M costs have to be collected on a case-to-case basis and broken down to annual
values. To make technologies comparable, one or more additional criteria have to be chosen. This could for example be
treated tons TS per year. The resulting unit would then be US$ per t TS.

Figures: Source: Steiner (SANDEC) 2002

Next slide: What has to be considered when designing a financing scheme for sanitation systems?

Additional question:
•How much importance should be attached to values like US$ per t TS, given the fact that not only the quantity of FS
treated is of importance but also the effluent quality?

Key message:
•Where private FS collectors have to pay fees when delivering FS to designated treatment or disposal sites, they seek to
avoid this by illegally discharging their loads at non-designated places at short haulage distances.

Figure: Source: Jeuland (2002) and Steiner (SANDEC) 2002

Next slide: How can FS management be improved?

Additional information and question:

Sustainable environmental sanitation may be achieved or enhanced only by applying appropriate financial incentives and
sanctions (Wright, 1997). Hence, municipalities must devise an effective sanctioning system (e.g. by imposing fines or
non-renewal of FS collection contracts with entrepreneurs), and an incentive-based policy by, among others, paying
entrepreneurs for delivering FS to the legally designated treatment or disposal site (Jeuland et al. 2004; (Steiner et al.,
2003); Barreiro 2003).

•What option do authorities or service providers have to recover the costs spent on incentives?

Key message:
•A whole set of factors, encompassing technical as well as non-technical aspects and involving stakeholders on all levels
have to be considered when trying to improve FSM.

Next slide: Decentralization of FS haulage

Additional information:
What is needed to sustainably remedy the above described situation? In a nutshell, the challenge and goal to be met is
to ensure that all FS generated in the urban environment is discharged at designated storage or treatment sites, that
illegal and indiscriminate dumping of untreated FS is stopped, and that FS is subjected to adequate treatment prior to
use in agriculture or to landfilling (see Figure). An array of measures is required to achieving this: (Montangero et al.,
A. Advocacy
B. Capacity building
C. Technical measures
D. Institutional and regulatory measures
E. Financial/economic measures

Next slide: How to plan for improved FS management?

Additional information:
Given the difficulties in collecting FS and in hauling it across cities to designated disposal and treatment sites, the
devising of modest-scale “satellite” treatment plants and of neighborhood or condomenial septic tanks to be sited in
easily accessible locations may contribute significantly to reducing collection and haulage cost, hence, increasing the
frequency of pit emptying and reducing indiscriminate dumping of FS. Emptying equipment should be adapted to allow
emptying of pits located in narrow lanes. Effective technical solutions do exist such as a combination of small, hand-
pushed vacuum tugs of 350 L and truck-mounted vacuum tanks of 5m3, as operated in Haiphong, Vietnam. (Klingel,

Capital as well as O&M costs decrease with increasing plant size. However, larger treatment plants require longer
haulage distances between pits and disposal sites and therefore increase not only haulage costs but also the risk of
indiscriminate dumping. Based on an assessment performed in Kumasi, Ghana, Steiner et al. (2002) calculated that a
plant capacity of 20,000 to 200,000 person-equivalents (PE) corresponds to the minimum of the sum of treatment and
haulage costs.
The optimal plant size, however, has to be determined on a case-to-case basis, as it depends on the local context (labour
cost, land price, treatment plant scale, haulage distances, treatment site conditions, etc.).

Key message:
•Planning for FS management must form an integral part of long-term urban sanitation planning

Next slide: Chapter 5

Additional information:
Planning for FS management must form an integral part of long-term urban sanitation planning. Ideally, the need to
initiate such concerted planning should evolve simultaneously among public authorities, entrepreneurial service
providers, and communities. Alternatively, needs may first become felt and pronounced in one of these groups, only,
making it necessary to “market” the needs and to make the others aware of the fact that their active role is required, too.
Once the consensus on the need for planning has been reached, the actors should further consider that planning does
not end with implementation of measures. Based on feedback through observable impacts and monitoring, further and
improved solutions will have to be devised.

Chapter 5: Review