Experience Sharing Visit for Faecal Sludge Management and Wastewater Treatment Technologies at PRG, UKZN

Date: 24th January, 2017 to 6th February, 2017

Mr. Bhitush Luthra and Chhavi Sharda from CSE Water Team visited UKZN’s Faecal Waste testing laboratory that is situated in Durban, South Africa in January-February 2017. The visit was organized as part of understanding with UKZN for knowledge and staff exchange.

Aim: To explore areas of collaborations that will help in strengthening the capacities with respect to on-going projects of the water programme and pollution monitoring laboratory

• To take inputs for protocol development for testing of technologies that treat faecal waste and wastewater
• To understand the difference in laboratory sampling and analysis protocols of faecal waste and wastewater
• Understanding current scenario of faecal waste and wastewater management in Durban, South Africa (Ethikwini Municipality)

During the stay both Water Programme members got opportunity for detailed interactions and discussions with PRG researchers working in various areas relating to faecal waste and waste water.
In addition there were a number of interactions and site visits with other researcher, PhD students and master students who were working in relevant areas that helped in better understanding to learn from the experiences relevant to faecal waste (sludge and sewage) management, treatment and analysis.

Site Visits
Sampling from Ventilated Improved Pits (VIP) in the surrounding neighbourhood (Low Income settlements) – Appointment with the Municipality’s pit emptiers were fixed and as per their schedule of pit emptying the sampling process was demonstrated. The sampling kit, the personal protective measures and the transportation protocol were highlighted through the visit.

The Newlands Mashu Research Site – The site had a decentralised wastewater treatment system based on the BORDA’s design of DEWATS that had both horizontal and vertical wetland systems (Established in 2010). The system treats the incoming wastewater coming through a municipal sewer from the adjacent settlement. The site also has a space where the use of the waste products from the wastewater treatment system are reused and assessed.

Newlands Mashu Research Laboratory – On-site laboratory made in a container to have low-cost and faster implementation. The laboratory facilitates on-site monitoring and easy and frequent analysis of the samples from the DEWATS.

Amanzimtoti Treatment Works - Treatment facility of Ethekwini Municipality that treats stormwater, wastewater coming from residential and industrial sources. The facility also allows trucks and drums to empty faecal waste collected from the community and toilets depended on lined tanks or potable drums.

The treated water is of quality that is reused for horticulture purposes inside the premises. Most of the treated water is safely discharged into the nearby River.

LaDePa plant for faecal waste treatment for EThekwini Municipality
Incoming faecal waste from the de-sludging trucks is treated through thermal heating in a LaDePa to give pellets as output. These pellets are reusable and are used to make compost.

• Black Soldier Fly Pilot testing facility for faecal waste treatment
Visited the EthekWini Municipality’s site where the pilot scale studies were successfully carried out to treat faecal waste using black soldier fly (BSF). Soon the EthekWini Municipality would be up-scaling the same.

Water and Sanitation Services, Ethekwini Municipality - Laboratory monitors 27 wastewater treatment plants, river outfalls, drinking water, public swimming pools etc. for compliance to standards. They have ISO-1705 accredited laboratory that performs analysis of samples of water and wastewater. The laboratory analyses more than 100 samples of wastewater that they receive in a day besides other samples.

Conclusion and some take-aways for on-going projects/ activities

• Identified that the physical faecal waste characteristics are largely different in India when compared to that at EthekWini Municipality (Durban) as they are largely depended upon pits instead of Lined/ Septic Tanks.
• Identified areas of interventions and possible collaborations with PRG-UKZN for the upcoming FS laboratory at Nimli.
• Took cues for developing technology testing protocols
• Understood about various sampling equipments for faecal waste (sludge and sewage) and their specific purposes

• Understood various methods/ instruments/ designs that could facilitate easy monitoring and sampling of the small-scale wastewater treatment technologies

For further information kindly contact:

Ms Chhavi Sharda
Programme Officer

Mr. Bhitush Luthra
Deputy Programme Manager