At our 300-student school in a Ghanaian bush village we were looking for ways to get rid of the smelly pit latrines There is no running water or sewage system.


Through some googling in October 2011 the biodigester option came up. This kind of toilet would get rid of the horrid smells and also the flies that trouble both the school and the neighbours. At the same time it could provide cooking gas for the school canteen (where wood was burned), together with liquid fertiliser for the very depleted soil of farms in our area

- - - - - - - - - - - - A plan view of the new buildings as of March 2012 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - > And this is what it looked like in September 2012
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A Puxin 16 m3 digester was placed in the elbow of the building. Effluent that leaves the digester is pumped into the blue barrel, giving hydrostatic pressure for the flush toilets. So we are recycling digester effluent in order to flush the 10 toilets and 11 urinals. This seems to work quite well, but the particles in the effluent plug up the toilet resevoir entry valves.Next project is a filter system to clean up the lines.


Three underwater fiberglass domes hold up to 6m3 of gas, pressures reach 7.5kPa

We are using a big wok-style burner...
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... in a self-made frame of galvanized pipes
and rebar, and can burn almost an hour a day.
This means a lot less LP-gas!.

The effluent is used as fertilizer in local farms and also for our school grounds and trees. We see a strong positive growth response, also of succulent grasses and herbs that otherwise don't thrive in the depleted soil! It's interesting to see how the digester input (faeces and toilet paper) is changed into an clear tea-coloured liquid that smells just a bit musty.

It has become apparent to others how much the effluent influences plant growth as fertilizer, and farmers are now eager to apply it. We are selling it at a low price ($.30 per 5 gallon jerry can) to encourage use.

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