our fsm efforts

Our FSM Efforts


Faecal sludge management (FSM) is a management system to safely collect, transport and treat faecal sludge from pit latrines, septic tanks or other onsite sanitation facilities.

In 2012, after about a decade of work, we extended our message of decentralisation to include FSM. The biggest problem with regards to FSM in India lies in the safe disposal of faecal sludge. Because of space and options for disposal being limited in most cities, it is usually disposed as far from people as possible – which unfortunately turns out to be an empty field or urban water body or open drain or river – causing serious damage to the environment as well as public health.

Our efforts so far have resulted in implementing India’s first dedicated faecal sludge treatment plant at a town scale, at Devanahalli (a town of 28,000), near Bangalore. This treatment plant has so far prevented about half a million liters of faecal sludge from polluting the environment, and the treated sludge is being distributed to local farmers as an organic soil conditioner.

The Devanahalli success has encouraged us to take our FSM efforts further. We have started working with other cities and states to build similar systems. But our efforts includes much more than just building the treatment plant.

We also ensure we are enabling sustainability of the plant.  So, from hands-on O&M training all the way to helping towns pass necessary regulations – we provide end-to-end FSM solutions. In Devanahalli itself, we helped the Town Municipal Corporation (TMC) pass resolutions related to policies on FSM; by doing so, they have become the first and only town in India (till date) to have FSM-related policies and a FSTP.

To scale up our FSM impact in India, we are also working on establishing a world-class technical team,  to support our partners, government and other stakeholders to design, build and operate effective sanitation systems. We believe this will go a long way in addressing the variety of sanitation challenges that India faces and in overcoming the skills shortfall in the sector.

We have made a small beginning but working together with our partners, we believe, we can make a big impact.