Bhutan’s first Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant

SNV | Gabrielle Halcrow from SNV Bhutan, on 06/09/2017 15:35 AEST

The people of Samtse town will see an end to unsafe dumping of faecal sludge on their land and rivers with the commissioning of the first ever faecal sludge treatment plant for Bhutan in August 2017.  The plant serves the College of Education, a High School and other institutions and industrial areas and will be managed by trained district engineers.  It treats the sludge naturally, without any direct human contact and with minimal operation and maintenance requirements ensuring both sustainability and environmental safety.  The treated water can also be used for landscaping and gardening and safely discharged.

The plant is one of three low cost sanitation options being developed as part of a Waste Water Management Plan. It has been developed for the small towns of Samtse District through a longer term collaboration between the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement and SNV and supported by the Australian Government. With technical guidance on design from the Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination (CDD) and BORDA, the full construction costs are financed through the government’s own budget at the cost of approx. 43,000 AUD.  The remaining two options, the country's first Decentralized Wastewater Treatment System (284,700 AUD) which will service the wider town and a sanitary landfill (162,745 AUD) for neighboring Sibsu town are also nearing completion. The government’s intention is to adopt similar technology options in other small district towns in the future.