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Annex 5

AFFORDABLE RURAL SANITATION TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS: BASIC TOILET CARE AND


MAINTENANCE MANUAL
I. Rationale
This document is intended to emphasize proper toilet maintenance done by households and
to capitalize how the desludging processes are being managed by local desludging service
providers in rural areas. Although everyone know how to clean, however not everyone can
maintain cleanliness of the toilet; perhaps due to busy schedules or probably not the priority.
Yet, sanitation practice has great influence toward health of the household members. Thus,
this manual or guideline is deemed important to remind households of the basic operation
and maintenance of the toilet.
In the rural areas where there are no available desludging service providers, it is important
that households are knowledgeable on the basic desludging procedure. This manual guide
households how to safely desludge accumulated human waste safely and without
compromising the environment.
This manual/guideline is organized into basic toilet maintenance and desludging procedure.

II. What is a hygienic toilet?


A. Definition of a hygienic toilet
A hygienic toilet is a sanitation fixture used primarily for the disposal of human
urine and feces that has the following characteristics:
Prevents underground water contamination
Prevents topsoil contamination
Reduces the risk of spread of germs
Insect free
Does not emit odors and comfortable to use
User friendly
Has ease for daily operation and maintenance
Has privacy
B. What should be found in the toilet?
1. Water for flushing, washing
2. Water for washing hands
3. Soap
4. Garbage can with cover
5. Old newspaper for wrapping sanitary napkins
6. Any other medium for anal cleaning especially for arborloo toilets
C. Items that should never be thrown into the bowl
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

plastics
cans
rags
cigarette butts
kitchen waste

6. napkins
7. broken bottles
8. and all other rubbish materials
III. The Proper Way To Clean Toilets
A. Frequency
B. What to Use in Cleaning
C. Dos and Donts of the Toilets
For Pour-flush Toilets
1. When taking bath and or washing of clothes inside the toilet, care should always
be observed not to wet the walls as it could hasten deterioration of the light
materials that are used in constructing it.
2. Water used for washing clothes and for taking bathes should not be flushed inside
pour flush bowls as it could unnecessarily overload the waste receptacle with
extra sewage and disrupt the digestion process continuously happening inside it,
rather the extra sewage should only be drained in the floor drain provided in the
toilet.
3. Whenever possible the affordable toilets are for the purpose defecating only, if
urinating only, it is wise to urinate in other sealable containers as urines are good
source of macro-nutrients that are very good for fertilization of plants.
4. Pour-flush bowls should not be loaded and flushed with solid objects such as
napkins, tissue papers, toilet papers, etc.
5. In anal washing a container with sufficient water must always be maintained
inside the toilet with bathe soap.
6. Toilet bowls must always be cleaned regularly and when not in use it should
always be covered.
7. Dont build a fire near the toilet superstructure or housing as it is only made of
light materials.
8. When there are observed damages in any part if the toilet, repair must be done
right away so as not to further aggravate the damage.
For the Arborloo Toilets
1. Water should not be added or put inside the toilet pit.
2. When taking a bath and or washing of clothes inside the toilet, care should always
be observed not to wet the walls as it could hasten deterioration of the light
materials that are used in constructing it. The toilet bowl must always be covered
when toilet is used for taking a bath and or washing of clothes.
3. It is highly recommended that after each use, ash will be added inside the pit
neutralize the foul odor of the excreta. Ashes are also good to neutralize bacteria
and other pathogens. Toilet papers or other medium used for anal cleaning could
be put inside the pit. Soil or sand could also be added to the pit from time to time
to cover the stocked excreta.
4. Toilet bowls must always be cleaned regularly and when not in use should always
be covered. The cover should only be taken when the toilet is used for excreta
disposal, and right after using, the cover must be replaced back. This could avoid
flies and insects from entering the pit and laying eggs therein.
5. Dont build a fire near the toilet superstructure or housing as it is only made of
light materials that it can easily catch fire.
6. When there are observed damages in any part if the toilet, repair must be done
right away so as not to further aggravate the damage.

Other Dos and Donts


1. In case the toilet needs minor repair, household members should do repairs
immediately to avoid total damage. And call right people to do the repair when
the HH member is unable to do the repair.
2. Ensure that all facilities are clean and in a good condition. (E.g. taps, basins,
3.
4.
5.
6.

paper holders, door locks, toilet seats, mirrors, light switches etc.)
Ensure that wet areas adequately drained to avoid accident and vermin.
Do not use the toilet as a storage area for non-toilet equipment/materials.
Ensure that cleaning materials are secured especially for children.
Check the volume of the accumulate waste in the septic tank and desludge
properly when the septic tank is full already.

IV. Trouble Shooting Tips


In the course of using the toilets, there are actual situations where right even before
the estimated desludging time has arrived, the toilet systems would stop working efficiently
or in a worst case scenario, it really wouldnt work anymore. In these cases, there must be
some or a point in the system that has failed. These situations now need trouble shooting
and there are simple actions that need to be done:
a. The most common problem is the non-flushing of the toilet bowl. If the estimated
time of desludging is still far way beyond, then the P-trap section of the bowl might
be clogged with hard objects such as plastic shampoo or soap sachets, face towels,
solid anal cleaning materials such as old newspapers, etc. The household must try
first using a manual rubber vacuum to force any object inside the P-trap into the
receptacle. Manual rubber vacuums are available in most of the hardware stores. If it
will not work-out, the household may call on the service provider to address the
problem.
b. If there are other problem issues of the toilet system, the household should always
refer to the maintenance manual for possible solution. However, if the problem still
persists then it would be wise now to call on the service provider to help resolve the
issue at hand.

V. Signs That the Concrete Ring or Plastic Drum Needs Desludging


Solid concrete rings and plastic drums when used as alternative human excreta
receptacles have distinct loading capacities and these are dependent on the total number of
household users and the actual volume of the receptacles. The table below shows the
approximate period of time for mandatory desludging of the different waste receptacles:
ALTERNATIVE SEPTIC TANK

QUANTITY

BASIC COST

EFFECTIVE
USE PRIOR
TO
DISLUDGING
(5 MEMBER

ESTIMATE
D LIQUID
RETENTIO
N TIME

HOUSEHOLD
S)

1 footer solid concrete


ring

5 pieces (5 feet)

Php 2,900.00

3 years

8.8 days

2 footer solid concrete


ring

2 pieces (4 feet)

Php 2,500.00

2 years

5.9 days

1 footer solid concrete


ring

4 pieces (4 feet)

Php 2,500.00

2 years

5.9 days

220 liter plastic drum

1 piece

Php 2,000.00

1 years

46 hours

220 liter plastic drum

2 pieces

Php 3,200.00

2 years

46 hours

VI. Signs That the Leaching Pit Needs Cleaning or Replacement of Elements
Telltale signs that the leaching pit needs cleaning or replacement of elements:
1. When the flushing of the bowl becomes very slow even if the desludging time is still
very much far way beyond;
2. When the recommended time of eight months for the standard leaching pit
maintenance has already passed;
3. When the leaching pit has been unintentionally dug for some reasons;
4.
A. What to do
B. Proper Disposal of Used Leaching Bio-Sand Filter Elements
VII. Simple Upgrades for Longer Service and Beauty

I.

Basic Desludging Procedureof Human Waste

I.1.
Desludging Process for the Standard Septic Tank
There are two (2) recommended methods of desludging the waste suction done by the
licensed excavator company and manual desludging:
1. suction to be done by hiring a licensed septic tank excavator company
They excavator empty the entire content of the tank, the solid concrete cover of
the tank will serve as its manhole.
Once empty, the toilet is ready for use again.
2. Manual desludging
In the rural areas where there are no available desludging service providers, we
recommend manual desludging to be done by the household itself. There are
many households in the rural areas that are practicing this method every time
their indigenous septic tanks are already full of sludge. If there is no other
realistic option than to empty manually it is important to remember that fresh
excreta will contain pathogens that could cause worms or diarrhoea. Furthermore,
flies attracted to this may spread such diseases to local communities. Thus, it is
required to use protective gears such as masks and gloves and after desludging,
should clean himself/herself by taking a bath. It is recommended that manual
desludging is done by the household itself.
The concept being applied here is first-in first-out system, wherein the
accumulated fecal matter that has been deposited inside the tank 3 years ago or
so will be the sludge that will be taken out. The remaining volume that is more or
less 1/3 of the total volume will be left inside. When the tank is fully filled-up with

the accumulated fecal matter, the volume of water that is left inside the tank now
is very low so that the bulk of the tanks content especially at the bottom is more
of slimy rather than highly fluid. This is more or less 2/3 of the entire content and
after this portion has been taken out, the clean-out cover will be replaced back
sealing the tank and the dug pit will again be replaced with the soil that had been
taken out.
How to manually desludge the standard septic tank:
a. Wear protective gear (e.g. mask, gloves, if there is plastic protective gear
then the better).
b. Excavate a hole besides the septic tank and manually open the #4 PVC
clean-out
c. Let the content from the bottom-most portion slowly flow to a container or
pail.
d. Seal the tank when finish emptying.
e. Place the collected sludge into dug pit for further decomposition and or
f.

treatment.
Cover the pit with soil; if lime and charcoal is available you may add them

in the sludge for treatment.


g. Take shower/ a bath after desludging activity.
I.2.

Desludging for the 220 liter Drum


For the 220 liter plastic drums used as septic tank for a family of five (5) single
household, the tank is estimated to be fully filled-up in at least 3 years of usage.

The process of desludging of the 200L drum is similar with the standard septic tank.
It is recommended that manual desludging be done by the household itself. by
excavating a hole besides the septic tank and manually opening of the #4 PVC cleanout and letting the content from the bottom-most portion slowly flow to a container
or pail and place the collected sludge into dug pit for further decomposition and or
treatment. The concept being applied here is first-in first-out system, wherein the
accumulated fecal matter that has been deposited inside the tank 3 years ago or so
will be the volume that will be taken out. The remaining volume that is more or less
1/3 of the total volume will be left inside. When the tank is fully filled-up with the
accumulated fecal matter, the volume of water that is left inside the tank now is very
low so that the bulk of the tanks .content especially at the bottom is more of slimy
rather than highly fluid. This is more or less 2/3 of the entire content and after this
portion has been taken out, the clean-out cover will be replaced back sealing the
tank and the dug pit will again be replaced with the soil that had been taken out.

There are two (2) recommended methods of dislodging the waste, by manual
desludging and replacement of new waste receptacle.
2. Manual desludging
a. Wear protective gear (e.g. mask, gloves, if there is plastic protective gear
then the better).
b. Excavate a hole besides the septic tank and manually open the #4 PVC
clean-out
c. Let the content from the bottom-most portion slowly flow to a container or
pail.
d. Seal the tank when finish emptying.
e. Place the collected sludge into dug pit for further decomposition and or
f.

treatment.
Cover the pit with soil; if lime and charcoal is available you may add them

in the sludge for treatment.


g. Take shower/ a bath after desludging activity.
3. Replacement of the fully filled-up plastic drum with a new empty drum.

TheDesludging Process: Illustrative Process


Home----to disposal---treatment
II.

Repair