Most developing countries use existing knowledge and infrastructure for wastewater in the treatment, reuse and disposal of faecal sludge. There is need to have a clear picture of the risk faecal sludge poses in relation to wastewater if effective treatment, disposal and reuse systems are to be implemented. Little work has been done to quantify the risk faecal sludge poses in relation to wastewater in a localized setting. This study quantifies the comparative risk of faecal sludge from pit latrines in unplanned settlements in Mzuzu City and wastewater. A total 80 sludge samples were obtained from 20 pit latrines in five unplanned settlement Laboratory characterisation was performed for Organics (chemical oxygen demand and biochemical oxygen demand), nutrients (total ammonia nitrogen and total phosphorus) and pathogens (Escherichia coli and helminth eggs) were determined through laboratory analyses. Documentation review was used to get wastewater characteristics. The study found a higher risk (comparative risk >1; p < 0.0001) for organics and nutrients in pit latrine sludge as compared to wastewater. Pit latrine sludge was found not to pose significantly higher public health risk from both E. coli (comparative risk <1; p < 0.0001) and helminth eggs (comparative risk < 1; p < 0.165) than relation to wastewater.
Key words: Faecal sludge, environmental risk, public health risk, faecal sludge treatment.
Copyright © 2018 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0