Comparison of vacuum and non-vacuum technologies for emptying faecal sludge from informal settlements. of Kampala.
APIO, Sheilla Constance
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Pit latrines in slums fill up faster due to a high water table leaving emptying as the most viable solution. This study was aimed at comparing the vacuum and non-vacuum technologies used in emptying pit latrines in slums located in Kampala district. A total of thirty-seven (37) samples (20 for vacuum and 17 for non-vacuum technologies) were collected for analysis of moisture content, bulk density and total volatile solids. A total of one hundred eleven (111) questionnaires (78 for vacuum and 33 for non-vacuum) were used to obtain data such as vehicle capacities, costs, time estimates. The mean results were; 97.74% Moisture Content, 1004.39kg/m3 bulk density and 66.04% TVS for vacuum technologies while 86.35% Moisture content, 1033.32 kg/m3 bulk density and 59.86% TVS were obtained for non-vacuum technologies. The time estimates for setting up equipment, emptying the facility, dismantling the equipment and clean-up, travelling to the plant and discharging were 5, 16.5, 5, 32.92, 8.64 minutes respectively for vacuum technologies and 11, 120, 18, 35.61 and 33.58 minutes respectively for non-vacuum technologies. The solid waste content of the faecal sludge emptied by vacuum technologies was significantly lower than that of the non-vacuum technologies with the fraction obtained as 4.4% for the former and 22.85% for the latter. The sludge characteristics emptied were significantly different with vacuum technologies emptying more fluid sludge compared to the non-vacuum technologies. To promote more efficient emptying of facilities located in Kampala slums by the different technologies, there is need to set up more stringent policies to sensitize the public about the dangers of disposing solid waste into pit latrines, have an adjustable opening and closing time of the treatment plant in order to increase number of trips made per day by the technologies, provide more efficient solid waste handling tools to technology operators and designing a more efficient communication system between customers and technology operators.