Webinar: Understanding the Septage Desludging Models: What works and What doesn’t work?

Registration Closed

Dates: July 23rd, 2021
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM IST
Venue: Online
Language: English 

Access to toilet and the need for effective faecal sludge and septage (FSS) management is one of the key areas for improved urban sanitation that gained momentum during Swachh Bharat Mission in India. India was declared Open Defection Free (ODF) in 2019 and today is reported to have 100 + faecal sludge treatment plants and another 350+ in different stages of construction. 

However majority of toilets are connected to onsite sanitation systems like septic tanks or pits that require periodic emptying of septage. This requires enabling framework for safe disposal at FSTPs or co-treatment at sewage treatment plants and other designated places like Sewage Pumping Systems etc. Nevertheless the emptying of septic tanks is largely done on demand from households or other establishments by unrecognised private sector desludgers and dumping of waste in land or water environment. Need is to develop incentives for good practices, penalties for unsafe disposal and developing a business model of cost recovery for the services. 

Majority of urban local bodies are striving to get ODF+, ODF++, and Water+ certifications which focus on entire sanitation service chain as well as wastewater treatment ensuring safe disposal and treatment of human excreta. 

Development of FSTPs in India is one major leap forward in effective faecal sludge management. Need is to support cities develop sustainable practices across sanitation chain and develop business models for sustainable emptying and desludging for improved sanitation. One important question to answer is what kind of arrangements an ULB should go for ensuring periodic emptying and desludging? This further leads to several other questions related with access, typology of onsite systems, operational scheme, financial and personnel arrangements, best practices and regulations, awareness generation and behaviour change, byelaws and taxation, which need to be answered? 

Scheduled desludging is also an approach that helps ensure inclusive and equitable service delivery so that low-income communities also have access to the services and makes cities accountable for sustainable service delivery. Many cities across the world have implemented successful models of FSSM along best suited desludging model either by adopting scheduled desludging or demand based or cluster based approach. Regular emptying of on-site containment systems is a key service delivery challenge that provides an entry point for improving urban sanitation programming. 

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is promoting citywide sanitation and effective FSSM in India. The Centre is providing programme cum technical support to – Department of Urban Development, State Government of Uttar Pradesh (India)  and National Mission Clean Ganga (NMCG) – Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government. This involves assisting municipal local bodies of Chunar and Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh develop appropriate business model for emptying OSS and disposal of FS at FSTP or co-treatment at STP. 

About the Webinar 

Develop effective and appropriate business model for desludging for citywide sanitation.


  • Build awareness on unsafe disposal of FSS posing major health risk contaminating – land and water.
  • Understand the issues, challenges and opportunities for effective desludging arrangements.
  • Learn from successfully working FS desludging intervention from India and abroad.

Target Participants 

  • State / municipal functionaries dealing with water, sewerage and sanitation sector
  • SPMG, Programme Management Units & SPVs supporting state/cities in ODF+/ODF++/Water+.
  • Key funding agencies – World Bank, ADB and other bi-lateral funding agencies.
  • International Non-Governmental Organization and local grassroots community-based organization incl. self help groups.
  • Technology providers, consultants including practitioners, researchers, academicians and NGO’s promoting sustainable water management

Registrations are now closed for this webinar

Key contacts:

Webinar Coordinator

Sumita Singhal
Programme Manager
Email: sumita.singhal@cseindia.org
Phone: +91 8884646146




Participation Highlights
Webinar recording
Proceedings of the webinar
Webinar on “Understanding the Septage Desludging Models: What works and What doesn’t work?”
Questions & Answers
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Presentations & Speaker's details
Dorai Narayana
International Consultant FSM
On site systems & desludging : experience and lessons from Malaysia
Juliet Willetts
Professor - University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Scheduled desludging and urban sanitation system strengthening
Budi Darmawan
Private Sector FSM Consultant, Indonesia
Understanding the septage desludging models: what works and what doesn’t work?
Aasim Mansuri 
Sr. Program Lead,
CWAS, CEPT University
Citywide Scheduled Desludging Services in Small and Medium towns of Maharashtra, India
Niladri Chakraborti
Senior Specialist TNUSSP
Rajesh Ramamoorthy
Specialist TNUSSP
Framework and Approaches for strengthening Desludging services in Tamil Nadu
Debisha Sharma
Associate Project Manager
CDD Society, Bangalore
What private desludging operators want?
Suresh Kumar Rohilla
Senior Director, CSE
Participants’s Feedback
Thank you very much all presenters, as an environment student this was very informative and eye opener for future references.
- Vaishali Patel, Kits College of Engineering, Kolhapur
Thanks to Dr Rohilla and Team CSE. Thanks to all the speakers for covering such an important component desludging from Sanitation Value chain.
- Amit Mishra, CEO, Terrain India Foundation
Thanks to CSE for organizing this webinar and all presenters to provide excellent regional FSM updates.
- Foort Bustraan, Advisor, USAID
Thank you so much to all speakers for their very informative presentations! Thank you also to those who organized this webinar. Very much appreciated!
- Vikki Ferrer, Independent Practitioner, Phillipines
Thank you CSE for arranging a great Webinar on Septage Desludging Models, specially focusing on Scheduled Desludging. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate. The presentation of different cases helped me a lot to understand the very practical aspects of the models.
- Shahidul Islam, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation
First of all I thank to the host as well as the professor, Scientists who were presented in the webinar. Really I enjoyed a lot the information that I gained from the webinar. Actually I think that every countrymen should be serious for keep this environment neat and clean, sanitized his/ her sorrounding. Our Indians should keep a knowledge about use of septic tank and the cleaning process. I am really happy to join the meeting. As the study of Environment is a integral part of our study. I feel it's necessity.Hope that you will conduct this type talk session again soon and I will get chance to join it.
- Alokendu De, Visva Bharati University
It was very valuable and worth attending the webinar. I'll expect similar types of webinar on regular basis so as to update ourselves from recent advancement in Environmental engineering and technology.
- Abhishek Yadav, IET, Lucknow