Fecal Sludge Treatment Plants Implementation: Quality Assurance at Scale in Tamil Nadu, India

Sasikumar Eswaramurthy, Santhosh Ragavan, Dhanik Narayan | 2021 


Approximately one-third of urban Tamil Nadu is served by networked sanitation systems and the rest by non-networked sanitation systems, of which on-site sanitation system (OSS) requiring Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) is the predominant type. The Government of Tamil Nadu issued Operative Guidelines for Septage Management in 2014 to improve and increase coverage of sanitation. One of the key requirements identified was to increase the treatment capacity for fecal sludge generated from OSS. Therefore, the State proposed the construction of 49 Fecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTPs) in 2018-19, which will be implemented by the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). The state has identified a non-mechanised technology for the FSTPs which is simple to operate and maintain and does not require electricity for operation. But implementation of these proposed FSTPsposed multiple challenges such as limited understanding of new technologies, inadequate capacity of implementing agencies and limited capacity to implement Quality Assurance at scale. To address these challenges, the State planned and implemented a Quality Assurance system. This paper describes the approach, processes, and key learnings from the implementation of the Quality Assurance system.