Latrine septage sludges


Lagunes et filtres plantés negrepelisseCCTVA supports, in connection with the Adour-Garonne Water Agency, the creation of a system for the collection and treatment of latrine septage in Toamasina, Madagascar in an aim of humanitarian assistance and technological transfer.


The Latrines?

A view of a manual flushed latrineThe latrines are the toilet facilities, operated without water, of the countries with little technical development.

They improve the health situation of the planet’s poor districts, in rural as well as urban context, but generate a technical problem for the treatment of the septage.

Generally poured into the closest ditch, a major source of pollution of the groundwater, most often used as drinking water by the these same population.


Sanitation in the poor countries

An abandoned bacterial filter in AntananarivoThe issue of the latrines opens the question of the state of sanitation throughout the world and its impact on drinking water availability, on the expansion of water connected diseases and more generally on public health perspectives. Some statistics: 40 % of the planet’s inhabitants have no wastewater sanitation system; five million persons die every year throughout the world of diseases linked to water pollution; water quality is the second reason of infant mortality in the world, after lung infection.

The situation worsens year after year with the population growing: the water demand is in constant increase (+ 64 thousand million cubic meters between 2007 and 2008) and the cover with reliable sanitation systems is stable or in decline in the poor countries.

The lack of sanitation in the poor countries has a reason: the usual intensive techniques are unsuitable. The urban plants are often abandoned after some years of operation because their technology is not accessible to the local operators.


Products Treatment

Treatment of septage collected from latrines cannot be handled on urban treatment plants of big capacity, nonexistent or inoperative in the poor countries. The MV82 project offers an interesting alternative because of its proved advantages: rusticity, economy, implementation simplicity, running simplicity.


Other advantages favouring application in the countries of the South:

  1. Increase of the dewatering and mineralization processes with sunshine and temperature, particularly in tropical areas;
  2. good acclimatization of the common reed - Phragmites australis, possible use of other vegetables as the giant reed - Arundo donax, the narrow-leave cattail - Typha augustifolia, etc.;
  3. limited technical input, compatible with the actual skills of the local working force for implementation and running of the plants;
  4. use of the sludge as agricultural amendment.

cycle de fonctionnement lié aux latrines

Source of the illustration: EAWAG

The experience of the MV82 project can therefore be exported to poor countries. A first step will be the creation of a septage treatment plant in Madagascar, with the support of CCTVA.

Septage sludges management project in Toamasina

Hygienic little septage serviceMadagascar is one of the most backward African country regarding to the Millenium Goals of 41%with an access to drinking water of 41% and to sanitation of 11%. In Toamasina 97% of the households use latrines and the services of informal septic pumpers who work without any tools and bury the sludges in the houses' courtyards.

The septage sludges burying is particularly problematic in Toamasina (270 00 inhabitants) where the sandy soils contain water tables that are close to or at the surface, and that constitutes an essential water resource for 60% of the town's households who uses hand pumps in their courtyards.

CCTVA and the Adour-Garonne Water Agency supports a project for the creation of a system to collect and treat the latrines septage sludges with four goals:

  1. Operationalisation of a communal device of septages regulation;
  2. creation of a hygienic little septage service, autonomous and expandable;
  3. construction and commissioning of an expandable septage sludges treatment plant;
  4. information, assessment and diffusion of techniques and tools developed by the project in favour of the sanitation sector in the developing countries.

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roseaux filtre les MES
Poor countries sanitation

The constructed wetlands are well adapted to the countries with little technical skills.


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