Sustainable Sanitation for the Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Milot, Haiti

EPA Grant Number: SU834771
Title: Sustainable Sanitation for the Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Milot, Haiti
Investigators: Meegoda, Jay N , Gayner, Julia , Hsieh, Hsin-Neng , Jawidzik, Jason
Current Investigators: Meegoda, Jay N , Biele, Luigi , Boardman, Kate , Decker, Jilyan , Gayner, Julia , Hsieh, Hsin-Neng , Iacoviello, Steven , Jawidzik, Jason , Landrum, Lamount , Lee, Ernest , Martins, Daniel , Ojeda, Christopher , Rodriguez, Paul , Sanghani, Suryakant
Institution: New Jersey Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2010 through August 14, 2011
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Agriculture , P3 Challenge Area - Water , P3 Awards , Sustainability


The New Jersey Institute of Technology student chapter of Engineers Without Borders (NJIT-EWB) is working with the Center for the Rural Development of Milot (CRUDEM) in Milot, Haiti to develop an ecologically sustainable sanitation system for the local hospital Hôpital Sacré Coeur. It will collect human waste, convert it into fertilizer through anaerobic digestion, and capture the methane gas emissions formed as a byproduct of the process for on-site use as a heating fuel.


The outpatient latrine will be retrofitted to direct liquid and solid human waste into two separate collection compartments, providing proper conditions within the collection chamber to both support anaerobic digestion and also to provide adequate ventilation for the user. The liquid and solid separation of human waste is intended to prevent counter-productive saturation of the solid waste. A solid waste holding container will be designed to allow anaerobic decomposition, continuous fertilizer production and methane harvesting.

Expected Results:

The proposed design represents a completely sustainable system and a significant improvement on the current pit-based disposal method that causes groundwater contamination and health and environmental hazards during floods. The proposed latrine will capture possible contaminants and compost solid waste into useful fertilizer and fuel, while also utilizing liquid waste as fertilizer. The proposed design will require less costly upkeep than current pit-latrines; additionally, the costs of maintaining the necessary environment for anaerobic digestion would be defrayed by both possible income from the sale of fertilizer and reduced expenditure on fuel. The success of the design would be measured in terms of volume of methane produced as well as amount of fertilizer composted, while its qualitative success would lie in the reduction of the number of patients with waterborne illnesses visiting the hospital. The project is also expected to increase awareness of sustainable sanitation both in the host institution, NJIT, and in the community of Milot.

Supplemental Keywords:

Pathogen, Agriculture, Fertilizer, Methane Capture, Developing Country, Sustainable Development, Human waste, anaerobic digestion,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report