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Transforming the Fecal Sludge Emptying Business

Hidenori Harada of Kyoto University in Japan will develop and test a largely automated system for the regular removal and safe disposal of fecal sludge from septic tanks in Asia. Billions of people rely on septic systems to collect human waste. Regular emptying and proper disposal of fecal sludge are critical to avoid potential contamination of clean water by backups, leaks and illegal dumping of waste. Hazardous sanitation problems occur when customers are unaware of the need to have their system emptied or when truck operators hired to empty sludge illegally dump the waste outside of a proper treatment site. They will institute a program by which tanks are – at no charge to the customer - equipped with tagged covers that provide access for safe emptying and enables them to be registered with a centrally-monitored system that will automatically notify customers when their tank needs to be emptied. Payment by households for emptying the tanks will be collected electronically, and the sludge will be removed and transported via trucks equipped with GPS to ensure proper disposal of the waste at a treatment center. The system will be tested in cooperation with a public emptier in Mandalay, Myanmar.

More information about Innovation for WASH in Urban Settings (Round 22)

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