Field Lab wider Applied for Sludge Treatment (FAST)

Organisation: Austrian Red Cross

Partners: Butyl Products Ltd.

Location: Austria/United Kingdom

Type of grant: Core – diffusion

Status: Ongoing

  • Credit: Johannes Bousek, AutRC Waste water treatment in Kathmandu, example for FS treatment plant

  • Lab set up during a field test in Austria/by Gudrun Weidhofer

  • Lab operation in Malawi/by Johannes Bousek

  • Lab handover in Malawi/by Grover Mamani

  • 8th EHHF discussions/Credit: Yury Pertovic


The FAST project, a cooperation between the Austrian Red Cross and Butyl Products Ltd, aims to increase the visibility of the faecal sludge monitoring field lab within the community by organising a peer campaign and hosting a field school.


The developed field lab methods and equipment for Faecal Sludge (FS) Treatment monitoring are not yet widely known in the WASH sector. Humanitarian Aid organisations have yet to become more efficient and effective in implementing Faecal Sludge (FS) Treatment and monitoring and develop capacities in this relatively new field of emergency sanitation. This requires a broader discourse on the overall importance of FS treatment and monitoring in emergencies. Also, continuous technical refinement and contextualisation of developed methods and equipment through further use is needed.


The developed faecal sludge (FS) monitoring field lab will enable immediate monitoring of FS treatment plants in emergencies to ensure effective processes and early detection of defaults. FS field lab methods and equipment are crucial to support Humanitarian Aid organisations in their overall responsibility to ensure public health. Results of the FS field lab will provide a strong basis for general awareness raising on appropriate FS management in emergencies. Within the FAST project a peer campaign will increase the visibility of the field lab in the WASH community and a field school will start capacity building in Sub-Sahara African RCRC societies.


The peer campaign aims to increase the visibility of the field lab and further engage the HumAid community in the overall discussion on the importance of safe FS management in emergencies. Platforms, such as conferences or HumAid summits and newsletters will be used to reach this goals.

The training videos will cover an introduction, structure of the lab, sampling methods, analytical methods and background information for the lab

modules of public health, process control and end-use. It is planned to sustainably increase human capacities for the operation of the FS field lab through the production of training videos and a regional field school.

The field school will be set in sub-Saharan Africa, as several protracted crises pose a challenge to sanitation, and it is a focal region of AutRC. The field school will be hosted by a RCRC society, selected by an advisor board.

Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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