Product Development Success Story

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The Issue

Between 2.1 and 2.6 billion people in developing countries use waste pits or other “unimproved” sanitation facilities, producing tons of untreated fecal sludge daily. When these tanks and pits are full, the collected dense sludge is removed, usually by hand, and discharged untreated into open drains, irrigation fields, open lands, or surface waters.

The sheer amount of untreated fecal sludge discharged into the open environment poses a serious public health risk on a global scale, including a direct causal link to the deaths of 1.5 million children from diarrhea and related maladies each year. The World Bank estimates that poor sanitation costs the world as much as $260 billion annually.

Clearly, the practices of unsanitary facilities, hand removal of the dense sludge, and untreated discharge to areas where people and animals are exposed to the waste is proven to have a significant negative impact on the health and well-being of an enormous number of people.

The Vision

A Coghlin Companies client dedicated to improving the health and welfare of people worldwide recognized this global health issue and launched a dedicated effort to eradicate the problem. Coghlin, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Columbia Tech, was engaged to assist in the development of the engineering, prototyping, and design for manufacturing (DFM) procedures to innovate a solution to the problem.

The Result

Coghlin Companies co-developed the Fecal Sludge Omni Ingestor, a device specifically designed to remove heavy, dense sludge from waste pits in some of the world’s most remote locations.

Capable of being mounted on a small vehicle with an open-top, rear cargo area (a pickup truck or lorry) facilitating access to remote areas where heavy trucks cannot travel, the unit is also equipped with a hose reaching fifty meters, making it possible to reach down alleyways and around corners where necessary.

True to its reputation for effective and efficient Concept-to-Commercialization development, Coghlin Companies engineered the unit to be extremely durable and capable of being produced economically.

Simply put, this project is going to positively change the lives of millions of people!