About the Practice
Problem Statement:

Despite the fact that Swachh Bharat Mission resulted in tremendous increase in the number of onsite containment systems across India, management of faecal sludge in urban areas remains to be a challenge. According to a report by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in 2016, 78% of the faecal sludge remains untreated due to poor sewerage network. India also faces challenge in the presence of limited Sewage Treatment Plants (STP). Furthermore, as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), 39% of existing sewage Treatment Plant do not conform to the norms prescribed under Environment Protection Rules for discharge into streams. Due to limited Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), the truck operators often are left with no choice but to desludge the onsite containment systems and dump the septage into the environment, causing pollution in air, water and soil. The activity also leads to health hazards. In general, the septage consists of higher volumes of liquid than solids and most of the truck operators have to carry the entire septage (solid & liquid) to the treatment/disposal sites. This puts extra burden on transportation cost.


"Addressing the deep-seated Faecal Sludge & Management challenges in India, WASH Institute, as part of its Research and Innovation program, conceptualised and designed an Onsite Faecal Sludge Treatment Technology called the Mobile septage Treatment Unit (MTU). The MTU is designed to work on the concept of solid-liquid separation, sludge thickening and effluent treatment process. While the liquid is separated from the solid, the effluent passes through the treatment process and disposes the treated effluent. The characteristics of the treated effluent are well below than the existing Government norms of wastewater disposal. The sludge thickening process helps further in reducing the moisture content in the sludge. WASH Institute has assembled four MTUs of which three Units are with a capacity of treating 3000 litres per hour. The fourth Unit can treat up to 6000 litres per hour. The MTU treats the effluent 100% and sludge gets collected in the centrifuge. On an average, the MTU treats 3-4 septic tanks depending on the storage capacity of the tank. At the end of the day, the sludge collected is taken for secondary treatment to drying beds or existing STPs. WASH Institute is converting the thickened sludge into Briquettes (low cost replacement for Charcoal). The MTU attempts to address several barriers to achieving safely managed septic waste. The technology is designed in such a way that it is easy to operate and maintain and is replicable and scalable across geographies. It has been designed to move easily through narrow lanes and can enable the households even in slums easy access to safe emptying and treatment of faecal sludge. As septage extracted from the septic tanks consists 90-95% liquid and 5-10% solid, treating the liquid on the spot addresses the major challenges related to Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM). There is no other similar product in the market that enables the effluents go through the treatment process and ensures safe discharge of the treated effluent. The total cost of the unit is much lower than the septage emptying trucks used by the private operators. With the convenience to treat the effluent onsite, an operator can empty multiple septic tanks in a day. The technology can be operated with lesser human resources and the spare parts of the MTU are also available locally. The product is market ready, and is expected to be scalable and sustainable because of its low capital and operational costs as compared to the FSTPs and STPs. The technology is expected to be a viable replacement for the treatment plants, especially in small and medium towns and the operators using MTUs are expected to make considerable profits in the desludging business. The expected impact of this technology is to enable a safer environment by preventing discharge of contaminated seepage into the open environment and water bodies. "

About the Innovator

Knowledge Provider / Innovator: Arumugam Kalimuthu/ Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Institute (WASH Institute)
Address: 42, Vasant Enclave, Vasant Vihar
City: New Delhi
State: Delhi
PIN Code 110057

Email: akalimuthu@washinstitute.org
Contact No: 9868888870.0
Website: www.washinstitute.org

Practice Details

Link: "1. The MTU has been designed in such a way that it is easy to operate and maintain in different geographical areas with different weather patterns. 2. Low operational and capital cost as compared to the FSTPs and STPs 3.The total cost of the unit is much lower than the septage emptying trucks used by the private operators. 4. The Treated effluent’s characteristics are well below than the existing CPCB norms of wastewater disposal and hence can be safely discharged into the environment 5. Since the MTU can empty & treat 3-4 tanks in a day (depending on the size of the tank), Operators can empty & treat multiple tanks in a single trip, thereby saving fuel costs and preventing environmental pollution. "
Manufacturing Capacity: d) Licensing, "Through commercialization by partnering with a commercial entity for setting up production unit, marketing and provide after sales service "
Problem Scale: "It has been found that most of the operators dump the septage in the open environment and in water bodies either due to non-availability of the treatment plants or presence of the treatment plants in distant locations. This decanting of the septage in open spaces poses a serious threat to the enviornment as it results in the increase of soil and water pollution. "

GIAN Reference: GIAN/UAL/285

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