Excrevator - Reliable and hygienic pit emptying system using modified power augers

2011 - 2015 • North Carolina State University (NCSU), excravator

Purpose

To modify and test a portable, gasoline powered earth auger that can be used to more efficiently and hygienically empty septic tanks, cesspits and latrines.

Activities

Initial Prototype Development and Testing:
Phase I involved development of an initial prototype and experimental facilities to evaluate the system. Our initial design was a simple modification of a standard earth auger with a machined coupling, PVC pipe and Tee.
Once a functional prototype was developed, the auger was tested to evaluate the effect of auger rotating speed (rpm), auger length, and waste viscosity on pumping rate and discharge head (pressure). The minimum speed to effectively pump the 5 and 6% bentonite simulant waste was 300 rpm, which is the maximum rotational speed of many earth augers. Based on this result, an alternative power drive was developed to generate higher rpm and increased flow.

Equipment Modification to Improve Performance:
Based on the insights gained during RTTF and FSM2 conferences, we identified several modifications to improve the versatility and performance of our design. In fall 2012 and early winter 2013, these improvements were incorporated into our prototype and tested in the laboratory and in a simulated pit constructed on the NCSU farms.

Countries of activity

Location of main activity

Objectives

The overall objective of the Phase I project was to modify and test a portable, gasoline powered earth auger that can be used to more efficiently and hygienically empty septic tanks, cesspits and latrines.

Further information

Update (6/2018) This project has evolved into the Flexcrevator. NC State has continued receiving funding to further develop and test this pit emptying device.

See this project entry for further details https://www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/projects/database/details/542

Contact information

Francis de los Reyes III
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Filter tags

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Emptying and transport (non sewered) Faecal sludge treatment processes Fundamental research and engineering Global North America Peri-urban Practitioners Product design and engineering Sub-Saharan Africa University, education or research institution

Links

North Carolina State University
Raleigh
United States


North Carolina State University's Global Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) faculty cluster led by Dr. Francis de los Reyes from the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering includes researchers from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the College of Natural Resources. The goal of the Global WaSH cluster is to address water and sanitation issues by developing new technologies that are context sensitive, practical, and take advantage of developments in energy, environmental processes, materials science, data technologies, design and ecology. Advances in public health and environmental research are required in an interconnected world with increasing population and environmental pressures. Find out more about the Global WaSH cluster and the diverse group of scholars who are part of this group here.

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