Kalpetta municipality sets a model in faecal sludge treatment

A team of officials from UNICEF visiting a faecal sludge treatment plant of the Kalpetta Municipality set up at Vellaramkunnu in Wayanad district on Wednesday.  

The treatment and disposal of septage from toilets is one of the major sanitation challenges being faced by the State. Many a time, the cesspool operators who remove faecal sludge from toilets in houses and buildings dump it in open places, owing to the dearth of septage treatment facilities.

Now, the Kalpetta municipality has come out with a solution to the crisis by setting up a faecal sludge treatment plant (FSTP).

The plant, the first such initiative by a local administrative body in the State, has been set up at Vellaramkunnu, near here, with the financial support of UNICEF. The global body has spent ₹85 lakh for the project.

The plant uses an innovative nature-friendly and organic ‘tiger bio-filter’ technology, which uses earthworms for composting faecal waste, says Sanitha Jagadeesh, chairperson, Kalpetta municipality. The plant has a capacity to treat 10,000 litres of faecal sludge a day, with the technology developed by PriMove Infrastructure Development Consultants, a Pune-based firm, Ms. Jagadeesh said.

The plant is on trial run now and it will be fully operational in two months, Ms. Jagadeesh said. The civic body is planning to deploy honey-sucking vehicles to collect faecal sludge from toilets in houses and buildings in the municipality and adjoining areas of the district.

“There would be a dedicated staff for operations and maintenance of the plant which would run as a self-sustaining unit,” the chairperson added. The civic body is also preparing by-laws on disposal, treatment, and management of faecal sludge.

A team led by Jalpa Ratna, chief of UNICEF State offices in India, visited the plant on Wednesday. The FSTP plant is a sustainable model, Ms. Ratna said after her visit. “We should ensure the continuity of this type of eco-friendly activities for a better future,” Ms. Ratna said.

Job Zachariah, a member of the team and United Nations Coordinator for Kerala, said the practice of dumping faecal sludge in open spaces and waterbodies poses grave hazards to people and the environment. “Almost all houses in Kerala have toilets.

However, the State can be considered open defecation-free in its true sense only if the faecal sludge from toilets is safely treated and disposed of,” he added.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 11:20:55 AM |

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