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Wet and dry conservancy : politics and practicalities of on-site sanitation


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Crennan, Leonie,1949- 1995 , 'Wet and dry conservancy : politics and practicalities of on-site sanitation', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This research explores the status of on-site sewage treatment in Australia
with particular focus on composting toilets, and the transfer of the technology
to a developing country application. The study began with a request from
the Department of Parks Wildlife and Heritage in Tasmania, to inspect and
evaluate composting toilet installations in the World Heritage Area and
determine why they were not performing satisfactorily. The investigation
was extended to a survey of composting toilet installations on the East Coast
of Australia, predominantly in areas managed by public recreation institutions.
In an attempt to remedy some of the problems encountered in the survey of
composting toilet facilities, design, installation and monitoring of a number
of batch composting toilet systems were undertaken in a variety of contexts.
Trials of these custom built public composting toilets were conducted at two
remote high-use sites in the World Heritage Area in Tasmania, and at a
road-access cafe facility in a New South Wales national park. Domestic
installations were trialed in urban and rural locations in co-operation with
local government in southern Tasmania and in the Northern Rivers district
of New South Wales.
Field research and literature review in Japan and China explored the status
of on-site sewage treatment in those countries and its relationship to the use
of centralised reticulated sewerage systems. The findings of this review are
related to Australia's current sanitation practice and future potential
management. Contact was also developed with public recreation land
managers in the United States and Canada and co-operative efforts were
made to review on-site sanitation options in national parks. A cultural and technical trial of composting toilets funded by the Australian
Government aid organisation, AusAID, extended the technology developed
in the above trials to the island of Kiritimati in Kiribati in the Central Pacific,
and assessed the value of the application from a social, political, administrative,
environmental and technical point of view.
From the above investigations it was found that there are situations where
centralised reticulated sewerage treatment is neither affordable or appropriate,
and that water borne on-site options are also not practical. Those situations
are probably best suited to dry conservancy techniques. The research,
development and promotion of this technology has been undertaken by small
business which has sometimes resulted in appropriate installations. On-site
sewage treatment is generally limited by a lack of adequate infrastructure.
The practical investigations in the study establish that even in the most
constrained research circumstances, dry conservancy technology can be
improved and does have the potential to provide an appropriate sanitation
option. The thesis argues that on-site sewage treatment merits the provision
of comprehensive institutional support, and a review of practice in other
countries indicates directions that could be explored. Improvements in
Australia's sanitation practice also has serious implications for technology
transfer to developing countries.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Crennan, Leonie,1949-
Keywords: Sewage, Sewage disposal, Toilets, Sanitation
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1995 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 357-381). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1996

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