Innovative Sanitation Infrastructure for Affected Populations

  • Institution Country: Germany
  • Implementation Country: Iraq
  • Sector: Water and Sanitation
  • Funding Stage: Proof of Concept

Membrane Septic Tank Kit for Rapid Response in Emergencies

By Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA)

In conflict settings and emergencies, sanitation infrastructure in camps are often constructed overlooking the long-term needs such as safe containment and disposal of faecal matter. Commonly used pit-latrine systems in densely populated camps expose fresh faecal sludge to the ground, polluting the surrounding environment. Such systems are costly to de-sludge and require high level resources, time and skilled expertise, which is not readily available for rapid on-set emergencies. Because pit latrines are used by hundreds of users, the lack of de-sludging often causes pollution and health hazards.


Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association proposes a pre-fabricated, foldable membrane septic tank kit, offering reduced set-up times, maintenance, and de-sludging compared to pit latrine systems. The kit is designed to be set-up in 1 day, serve 400 people, biologically stabilize and store the sludge for up to 6 months, reducing de-sludging needs; separate and discharge liquid supernatant to a nearby sewer or to an soak-a-way; capture biogas; and reduces the possibility of odour nuisances. Currently available bladder tanks cannot carry out solid-liquid separation and cannot be used for more than a few weeks. This solution will improve access to safe sanitation, reduce the risks of water-borne diseases, odours, nuisances and reduce the frequency of dislodging, providing a healthier environment for affected populations.