arrow_backEmergency WASH

Indicator 2.4: Faecal sludge is safely treated and disposed of.

Key Actions

  • Design and operate the treatment plant according to the local disposal possibilities and specific end use/disposal objectives as described in table 2.4. Use a risk assessment and risk management approach to identify, manage and monitor risk throughout the system. 
  • Ensure that regardless of the source (i.e. wastewater from sewer-based technologies or faecal sludge from on-site sanitation facilities) both the liquid and solid fractions are treated before end use/disposal. 
  • A process control and monitoring system needs to be in-place, based on most suitable disposal route (see table 2.4). 
  • Adopt a phased approach. The progression from the provision of emergency sanitation towards sustainable sanitation services should be seen as an on- going process: 
    • During emergency phase: 
      • Focus on public health. 
      • Focus on a rapid scale up, work towards servicing 100% of the population. 
      • Focus on pathogen reduction, monitor E coli in liquid effluent (<1000 CFU/100 ml) and helminth eggs in the solid effluent (< 1 n/g). 
    • After emergency phase:
      • Both treated liquid and solids should comply with national standards. 
      • In cases where national standards cannot be met, deviation is permissible with the agreement of the host government, when reasons are carefully documented. In these cases, the disposal-based standards as shown in table 2.4 should be met. The treatment plant should be designed and operated according to the most suitable disposal route and the standards corresponding to this disposal route. Table 2.4 should be used to define the most suitable disposal route for both the liquid treated effluent and for the solid treated effluent and to identify the relevant standards. Basic separation in a more or less liquid and more or less solid fraction is assumed, so the disposal routes for both fractions need to be defined. 
  • Please note that table 2.4 should be used to identify the most suitable disposal route and the corresponding standards in case of deviation from national standards. Based on this identified disposal route and corresponding standards, the treatment plant design (technology selection & sizing) and operation & management plans should be produced. 
  • Incorporate the following specifications in each faecal sludge treatment plant design. 
  • Treatment plants should be fenced. 
  • Treatment plants should be located at least 50 meter from domestic houses and relevant commercial or public properties. Where this is not possible, risks (smell, splashing, topping over, smoke, affecting water resources) should be identified and mitigated as part of the design and management of the facility. 
  • Facilities should be provided for cleaning, disinfection, maintenance and on-site storage of tools and PPEs. 
  • Treatment plants should include additional space for future upgrades. 
  • Treatment plants shouldn’t be in flood and/or landslides prone areas. 
  • Treatment plants should be accessible by trucks or other transport means. 
  • Treatment plants should include a process and performance control system with all the necessary human, financial, equipment resources.