Towards climate change sensitive WASH: Quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from septic tanks with a focus on Methane

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Civil Engineering


-To assess and compare directly quantified GHG emissions against estimates
-To identify some of the drivers linked to GHG emissions from septic tanks
-To contribute to the current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change guidelines in methane emissions from domestic wastewater by providing septic tank specific guidelines.
-To propose measures for reducing methane emissions from septic tanks.
The project seeks to understand the actual quantities of GHG emissions from septic tanks to add value to the current estimates. Low-middle income countries have seen a trend of growing numbers of onsite wastewater treatment (Koné and Strauss, 2004), therefore it is important to conduct research in these countries and make countries aware of their GHG contributions to global inventories. Information about the actual GHG emissions can be used to guide future growth of septic tanks and design mitigation pathways.
The research is to be conducted over 12 to 18 months in a low-middle income country (urban area) with several septic tanks in the same geographical location. A portable gas analyser capable of detecting CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions will be used. The research will help to add value to current GHG emissions estimates with a view to designing mitigation strategies regarding methane emissions from septic tanks
The research fits under several EPSRC's themes such as Global uncertainties due to the current lack of accurate GHG emissions inventories in some sectors such as sanitation, and Engineering due to the project trying to fight global warming by source mitigation in the sanitation sector.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022066/1 31/05/2019 30/11/2027
2426134 Studentship EP/S022066/1 30/09/2019 31/10/2024 Grace Phiri