Water and Sanitation

Faecal Sludge management -Systems approach to operations and management


After decades promoting sanitation in low- and middle-income countries, several countries and the global sanitation community have come to realise that it is time to rethink the approach to accelerating access to quality services. Since 2000, the Joint Monitoring Program (WHO/UNICEF) of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) has consistently reported that the share of the population in low- and middle-income countries that use pit latrines, septic tanks, and systems termed as ‘unimproved’ sanitation facilities is growing. It is now estimated that between 2.1 – 2.6 billion people in low- and middle-income countries rely on onsite technologies that produce tons of untreated faecal sludge (FS) every day. When septic tanks and pit latrines become full, the sludge that is collected from them is largely discharged untreated into open drains, irrigation fields, open lands, or surface waters. The amount of untreated FS discharged into the open environment poses a serious public health risk. A 5 m3 truck load of FS dumped into the environment is the equivalent of 5,000 people practicing open defecation. Adding to this is the heavy load from open defecation of raw faeces excreted in the open by an additional 1.1 billion people who still do not have access to any toilet. The consequences of this waste entering the environment are staggering. The World Bank estimates that poor sanitation costs the world 260 billion USD annually. Poor sanitation contributes to 1.5 million child deaths from diarrhoea each year. Chronic diarrhoea can also hinder child development by impeding the absorption of essential nutrients that are critical to the development of the mind, body, and immune system. It can also impede the absorption of life-saving vaccines. In the 1980s, under the leadership of Roland Scherteinleib and Martin Strauss, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) established the Department of Water and Sanitation for Developing Countries (SANDEC) with a strong research and development focus on FS management (FSM). Since then, SANDEC has been a research pioneer in developing, evaluating and testing sanitation solutions, complemented by a strong policy and advocacy program. It has both informed and driven a global call to action on the issue. This book is an impressive resource that capitalises on recent scientific evidence and practical solutions tested at scale by sector professionals. It compiles lessons drawn from rigorous scientific and case study investigations to formulate operational approaches and solutions for planners, engineers, scientists, students, and researchers. It fills important FSM knowledge gaps, while at the same time acknowledging persistent gaps and identifying new areas of innovation for future research. It is a valuable handbook for any sanitation professional or academic. It is solution-oriented and addresses the issues that real practitioners face (e.g. city managers, engineering companies, development organisations).


Carol Liu
Thanks for the information. It definitely takes patience and public awareness on this issue. It's frightening to think that people still have no access to proper water and sanitation facilities.
True frightening indeed but also shows the urgency with which sanitation professionals need to work with.
lyseconcept jean Marius

Any new approach on excrement sludge will remain as false as false as that used for decades. The mud is and remains mud and nothing can change that fact. The only and unique issues that one is entitled to ask: Why do they become feces mud?
Are human waste mud? By what process, feces turn into mud?
40 million tons of sludge annually produce excrement on earth. Ultra developed countries transform their entire feces mud. Developing countries will transform the half.
The approach that we must have: how to eliminate feces before they become mud.
The concept of Biological Remediation developed by lyseconcept ELIMINATES fully excrement. And more manufactures recyclable liquid immediately for the development of the vegetated biodiversity. The process "Organic Fosse" lyseconcept treats and purifies all human excrement with purification performance of over 98%
Jean Marius
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