Prior to the design of full-scale treatment plants, engineers first need to know the quantities and characteristics of the faecal sludge (FS) that will be treated. However, no reliable methods currently exist to determine the quantities and characteristics of FS on this scale. Reliable estimations are quite complicated due to the informal nature of FSM, and the high variability of FS characteristics. Research on understanding what will be delivered at treatment plants includes identifying reliable predictors of FS characteristics, GIS analysis of collection and transport trucks, and reliable and reproducible standard methods for laboratory analyses.
The numbers in the figure refer to: 1 excreta produced, 2 FS produced, 3 FS accumulated, 4 FS emptied (but not collected), 5 FS collected (but not delivered to legal discharge), and 6 FS delivered to legal discharge. Graphical Abstract submitted to ES&T for review.