Faecal Sludge and Septage Treatment: A Guide for Low- and Middle-Income Countries

December 2018

Many low- and middle-income countries are experiencing rapid urbanisation, which creates a need for services, including sanitation. While some areas in some towns and cities are sewered, most people, especially the urban poor, continue to use various forms of on-site sanitation. These require periodic emptying and the material removed from them must be treated before reuse or discharge to the environment.

Faecal sludge and septage treatment confronts the urgent need to treat increasing volumes of faecal sludge and septage in the rapidly expanding towns and cities of the global South. It discusses the urban contexts that influence treatment requirements and overall septage treatment processes. It examines the options and design approaches at each stage of treatment, from reception, through preliminary treatment, solids – liquid separation, anaerobic and aerobic treatment of the separated liquid and solid fractions to systems to render treated products suitable for re-use either in agriculture or as a fuel.

Faecal sludge and septage treatment provides straightforward guidance on the options for faecal sludge treatment and the choices between those options. All concepts and approaches are clearly explained so as to make faecal sludge and septage treatment accessible to a non-specialist readership.

Additional details

PublisherPractical Action Publishing
ThemesSanitation value chain, Sustainability and safely managed sanitation
ApproachesCity-wide approaches, Sanitation approaches, Small town approaches
LanguageEnglish

Learn more about SLH Research

We use a range of research approaches, which aim to draw attention to urgent knowledge gaps, blind spots and emerging questions, often at a critical point in time, to support policy-makers, practitioners and partners in navigating and responding swiftly.

SLH Research and Learning