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Ballam-Waterslot developed a much-needed pit latrine assembly, which presents a positive, odourless and hygienic on-site sewage disposal configuration to add to its range of sewage and effluent disposal products.

The product assembly consists of a 1.200 litre rotationally moulded, waterproof, low density polyethylene holding tank (pit liner), complete with an elegant, scientifically and aesthetically designed seating pedestal and 2,5 metre gauze-covered vent pipe.

The tank weighs 40 kilograms and is easily transportable and easily handled on installation. The size of the excavation is 2 metres long x 1,8 metres wide x 1,4 metres deep. It does not require any special lining or base slab, since it is a ribbed cylindrical tank located on its side with domed, reinforced ends.

The tank is designed to accommodate an average-sized family for a period of at least three years. When the tank needs to be emptied and should the content have become solidified, a flushing eye of 110mm diameter, complete with screw-cap, has been incorporated in the design. This allows induction of water simultaneously as the honeysucker suction pipe is lowered down through the pedestal aperture of 155mm diameter.

As de-sludging of the tank should only occur at three-yearly plus intervals, we suggest that a water bowser, complete with a petrol-driven high-pressure pump, be a feature of the de-sludging process. When the waste matter has emulsified sufficiently for the honeysucker to perform its function, the tank can be emptied without any surface unhygienic deposits or foul odours.

The robust shell of the tank is identical to the now well-known Ballam-Waterslot “Poly-Rib” septic tank. The manhole of the V.I.P. tank is 450mm in diameter, and it is recommended that the slab covering the tank be so designed to allow for the lid and pedestal assembly to be completely removed for the purpose of removing any trash which may have been placed in the tank.

The introduction of the completely waterproof tank (pit liner) will be especially welcomed by Water Affairs, and all environmentalists, as the tank provides a positive guard against subterranean water pollution.

The risk of the V.I.P. tank “popping out” of the ground when empty (in high water table areas) is minimal, by virtue of our recommended compaction over certain areas of the tank, and the weight of the concrete top structure.

A further important recommendation is that the top structure door be locked on all occasions, and the key held by a responsible person, to prevent trash being placed in the tank by vandals.

The system is ideally suited for informal settlements, rural sanitation, low-cost housing, farming areas, guard posts and all other areas where water-borne sewage disposal systems are unavailable.