208381 Design and delivery innovations for dry sanitation in rural, urban, and emergency settings in Bolivia

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:42 PM

William E. Oswald, MHS , Center for Global Safe Water, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Oscar Suntura , Fundacion Sumaj Huasi, La Paz, Bolivia
Juan Carlos Suntura , Fundacion Sumaj Huasi, La Paz, Bolivia
Marco Velasco , Georgia Tech Research Institute, Atlanta, GA
Kevin C. Caravati, PG , Georgia Tech Research Institute, Atlanta, GA
Christine L. Moe, PhD , Center for Global Safe Water, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals for water and sanitation in Bolivia will require sustainable technological solutions and innovative delivery mechanisms in addition to substantial economic resources and political commitment. We are investigating implementation and technology innovations for ecological sanitation (EcoSan), a form of dry sanitation that involves separate collection and storage of urine and feces and reuse of urine and treated biosolids as fertilizer.

Our preliminary evaluation of EcoSan interventions in 12 communities identified common technical faults that hindered toilet usage, operation, and maintenance. To address these problems, we focused on three design improvements: prefabricated fiberglass hardware; a removable receptacle for excreta collection and storage; and a standardized ventilation tube and cap. The enclosure of the toilet then depends on its location and local construction materials. These design features were then incorporated into three innovative toilet models: a solar EcoSan toilet for rural areas; an EcoSan module for urban areas; and a portable, raised EcoSan toilet for areas with recurrent flooding. Temperature sensors were installed in solar toilet prototypes to examine their ability to achieve and hold elevated temperatures for inactivation of pathogens in different climates. Because of the reluctance of users to handle excreta storage containers, sanitation microenterprises were established to collect biosolids and urine in urban and emergency settings and provide centralized treatment.

Further research will refine the solar toilet design to achieve higher temperatures; reduce the costs of the sanitary modules by use of local materials; and evaluate the sustainability of the sanitation microenterprises.

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe various dry sanitation models and the key features that are critical for proper use, operation, and maintenance; 2) Identify local cultural, climate, and environmental factors in the choice of appropriate sanitation options.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Christine Moe is the Eugene J. Gangarosa Professor of Safe Water and Sanitation and the Director of the Center for Global Safe Water at Emory University. Her primary appointment is in the Hubert Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, and she holds joint appointments in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and the Department of Epidemiology. She received her Bachelor's degree in biology from Swarthmore College and her MS and Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the UNC School of Public Health. She was a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Viral Diseases at the CDC, and later returned to UNC-Chapel Hill as an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology. She moved to Emory University in 2000. Dr. Moe’s research focuses primarily on the environmental transmission of infectious agents - particularly foodborne and waterborne disease. She works on international water, sanitation and health issues and has conducted research in the Philippines, El Salvador, Bolivia and Kenya. Her laboratory research program focuses on noroviruses and includes human challenge studies to examine dose response and determinants of host susceptibility and resistance, studies of viral persistence in the environment, methods to concentrate and detect enteric viruses in water and wastewater and evaluations of the efficacy of disinfectants and handwash agents against noroviruses. Her field research includes studies of dry sanitation systems, assessing determinants of water quality in distribution systems and identifying risk factors for environmental contamination of vegetable crops. Dr. Moe currently serves on the Health and Scientific Advisory Board for the Institute for Public Health and Water Research. She has been a consultant for WHO and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on several projects related to water, sanitation and health. She was also a member of the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Research Council, the USEPA Science Advisory Board for Drinking Water and the Research Advisory Council for the American Water Works Research Foundation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.