What Are The Objectives Of Faecal Sludge And Septage Treatment?
According to the Central Pollution Control Board – CPCB, less than 50% of urban sewerage systems work efficiently in India. Poor sanitation facilities combined with lack of faecal sludge and septage management is the major cause of water pollution in India. It has caused havoc in the form of diseases like diarrhoea, agricultural contamination and environmental degradation.
While sewerage systems with underground pipelines, pumping stations and treatment facilities are available in large cities, it is yet to reach more than 7000 small towns in India. All these towns without proper sewerage network depend on septic tanks for treatment of faecal matter. Thus, faecal sludge containing human excreta, solid waste and water remain in the septic tank or pit latrines, poor maintenance lead to malfunction
The overflow issues along with unsafe removal and inadequate disposal have plagued places with unhygienic open spaces. It often leads to groundwater pollution causing public health crisis and impacts the environment.
Thus, the general objective of proper faecal sludge and septage management is to protect public health and the environment from the disturbance and effects of faecal material. More specifically, the process ensures separation of solid and liquid matter, proper treatment and safe disposal.
There are several methods employed to undertake faecal sludge and septage management in cities across India.
Manual scavenging is still prevalent even after the ban on the practice. The manual scavengers step into the tank or pit to evacuate and empty the sludge that has solidified. This can cause multiple health risks to the individual. Also, it can cause public health hazard as sludge is emptied near residences, lanes and surface drain.
According to Manual Scavenging Act, waste emptying should be done using mechanical ways only. Despite such regulations in place, accidents and deaths due to manual scavenging in Indian cities occur frequently.
Treatment of sludge using suctioning
Withdrawal of sludge using suction machines or pumps and its transportation and disposal is another method. Desludging is done through suction-based vacuum trucks of varying capacities in India. But, given the increasing population and amount of waste generated in the cities, it has various challenges.
It is only used when septic tank failure occurs, or soak-pits are up to the brim or overflowing.
Mechanical emptying using vacuum trucks is difficult in settlements where the streets are narrow and inaccessible as large trucks cannot reach there.
Best practices are usually not followed in the transportation and disposal process.
Indiscriminate disposal of sludge occurs due to the long distance between septic tank location and designated disposal site. Traffic further aggravates the problem. Children are at greater risk of coming in contact with unsafe disposed waste on lanes and grounds.
It is an expensive process which most people living in India cannot afford.
Treatment Of Sludge Onsite
In-situ treatment is also followed where sludge is treated onsite using different mechanisms.
The onsite treatment enables the treatment of sludge within the premises where it is generated. Generally, septic tank system, dispersion trenches and soak pit systems are the conventional methods used. There is no transportation cost involved. Besides, it is an easy and hassle-free way to handle faecal sludge and manage septage.
But there are challenges in the onsite treatment of faecal sludge. Due to the increasing population, the extensive amount of waste generated is beyond the capacity of the septic tank and other such systems. Therefore, innovative solutions need to be used to overcome this challenge.
There are septic additives or biological treatment option that can boost the performance of the sludge treatment process at the source where sludge is created. The advanced formulation, consisting of microbial community can be easily added to the septic tank or pit latrines at the location. The microbes degrade the organic sludge waste.
Organica Biotech is one of the leading companies with an excellent range of solutions for septic tank problems. Bioclean Septic and Bioclean Septic Plus are special microbial solutions for septic tank treatment, capable of degrading organic waste. It minimizes the sludge buildup and prevents choke-ups. The septic tank cleaner helps in avoiding frequent pump-outs. Furthermore, it can put an end to manual scavenging as well. Using Bioclean Septic and Bioclean Septic Plus can help in achieving faecal sludge and septage treatment objectives.