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Power Auger Modification to Empty Cess Pits

Robert Borden of North Carolina State University in the U.S. will develop an inexpensive method to efficiently and hygienically remove human waste from cesspits. Borden will modify readily available gasoline powered augers and PVC pipes to operate as a progressive cavity pump for filling drums or other easily transported containers. In Phase I, Borden produced and tested an inexpensive machine that could effectively remove medium- to high-viscosity waste from a range of pits with different accessibilities in South Africa. In Phase II, he will further optimize the design to enable emptying of a wider range of pits containing waste with higher solid or liquid compositions. He will also develop a method to determine the amount of waste in pits and its composition prior to emptying, and incorporate a disinfection step during waste removal. The aim is to develop a comprehensive pit emptying system involving training in pit assessments, equipment maintenance, and use, which will be tested in at least four developing regions.

More information about Create the Next Generation of Sanitation Technologies (Round 7)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.