" For conducting the desludging operations, the MCL , Leh had leased Hoolock an assembled suction truck - a locally manufactured vacuum pump mounted on a 1613 Tata chassis. Purchased by MCL in 2011, the truck’s records show an average of 5 desludgings conducted every month. Like many other Municipal assets, the truck had very high running and maintenance costs, and was also frequently breaking down. Initially, to start the operations, Hoolock spent an amount of nearly INR 2.5 lakhs on truck repairs. However, due to low head created by the vacuum pump (the truck could only desludge from a horizontal distance of 20 feet and a vertical height of 5 feet) and inaccessibility of the truck to narrow streets, Hoolock wasn’t able to service 62 percent of calls received despite there being desludging demand (as a result of the MCL notice). In such situations, private players would end up desludging the containment units. Due to difficult accessibility, the process involved manual scavenging i.e. people entering into the septic tanks and cleaning the sludge using buckets and showels. The price charged by these private players was more than the INR 3,500 per trip as fixed by the MCL, but as the hotels couldn’t afford an overflowing septic tank during tourist season, they opted for the service and paid the higher price."
To address the inaccessibility cum manual scavenging issue, Hoolock/BWC developed a technology called “Double Boosting Pumping Station”. The technology is a simple, low cost method for emptying septic tanks in very narrow streets. It costs much less than the Vacutug (USD 7000) and Gulper (USD 2000) – technologies currently used to access narrow streets, is easier to transport and requires less manpower. It eliminates the need for manual scavenging, increases accessibility to narrow streets and enables desludgings from distances of up to 500 feet (from main streets) and a height of more than 15 feet. The technology involves a trash pump (Honda SWT – 30) connected to the inlet of the suction truck through means of valves, fixtures and flexible pipes. The suction truck is parked at the head of the main street where it cannot enter. The trash pump is then dismounted and taken to the location of the desludging in a wheelbarrow; the location may be up to 500 feet from the street head. The trash pump is then placed at the head of the septic tank to be desludged and is connected to the inlet of the vacuum truck through a flexible pipe. The fixtures and valves ensure no leakage of sludge at the pipe and the valve joints. The trash pump is then switched on. It then sucks the sludge through its inlet and transfers it to the vacuum truck through its outlet. Once desludged, the trash pump is turned off and remounted on the truck after transporting back on the wheelbarrow. The collected sludge is transported and discharged by the vacuum truck at the FSTP for treatment and reuse (once treated).
Link: "Increased desludging capability • from 20 feet to 500 feet • accessibility to very narrow streets Easy operation and maintenance, easy to procure and locally repairable Completely mechanised Low cost – INR 50,000, available in India and easy to use Can be used in varied terrains and geo-climatic conditions Better end-user receptiveness, higher plant utilisation rates, higher end-user outreach Low manpower requirement, lower lifecycle costs, lesser downtime due to breakdown and repair Eliminates the need for manual entry into pits Affordable and easy to procure by Urban Local Bodies Enables desludging on slopes and hilly areas"
Manufacturing Capacity: a) Turnkey solution, It is a low cost, simple technology, easily accessbile innovation. It can be scaled up to every ULB . This Innovation has been awarded by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
Problem Scale: The lack of mechanised options leads to manual scavenging in extreme cases and gives no incentive for citien to prevent groudwater pollution from domestic sources.