About Us

The National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management(NFSSM) Alliance was established with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2016 to support safe sanitation at the national, state and city level. The Alliance is recognized as the collaborative body that drives the discourse of faecal sludge and septage management (FSSM) forward in India. The NFSSM Alliance in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DWS) has been instrumental in the passage of India’s first national policy on FSSM in 2017.

India generates nearly 40 million tons of sewage daily of which more than 70% goes untreated.

More than 4,000 septage and sludge filled trucks empty in Ganga Basin alone and on average one such truck carrying 5000 liters of faecal sludge dumped, equates to 5,000 people defecating in open.

India’s sewerage system does not connect around two-third of its urban homes and hence exploring decentralized alternatives becomes essential.

70% of households in India are based on on-site systems, which thrives demand for hazardous manual scavenging despite a nationwide ban.

Women and other marginalized communities continue to be disproportionately affected due to higher health risks and lack of dignity.

Our Aspiration and Goals


Bring the sanitation issues of vulnerable sections including the urban poor into the center of public minds and governments’ focus


Prioritize government focused narratives for municipal and urban reforms and resilience across India


Push for human centric innovation to ensure greater inclusivity with key focus on front line workers


On-site sanitation systems refer to a decentralized system of collection, wherein human waste is collected in septic tanks connected to individual toilet structures, emptied at regular intervals by desludging trucks with a vacuum mechanism and transported to treatment plants. Septic tanks are underground tanks that separate solid and liquid waste; the solids settle out and are partially digested anaerobically, while the liquids are drained out through soakaways. The solid waste needs to be emptied periodically.
Off-site sanitation systems are centralized waste treatment systems where toilets are connected to an underground sewage pipeline grid that collects human waste that is flushed down from the connected toilet and disposed elsewhere. According to a CPCB Report, urban India generated about 62 million liters per day (MLD) of sewage and the sewage treatment capacity amounts to only 23,777 MLD in the urban areas.
Faecal Sludge and Septage Management is a collective term that refers to the collection, transport and treatment of fecal sludge from septic tanks or other on-site sanitation systems.
Faecal Sludge is the raw or partially digested combinations of excreta and blackwater, in a slurry or semi-solid form, with or without greywater. It is the solid or settled contents of pit latrines and septic tanks.
The liquid and solid material that is pumped from a septic tank after it has accumulated over a period.
Waste matter that is transported through the sewer. Normally a combination of blackwater and greywater
Blackwater is a term used to describe wastewater from toilets that is a mixture of urine, faeces and flush water along with toilet paper and anal cleansing water which contains pathogens.
Relatively cleaner water discharged from domestic usage such as in the kitchen sinks, washing machines and baths and other domestic usage.
In India, 38% of the population is dependent on septic tanks (census 2011) and most of the 6 million household toilets under SBM are likely to depend on septic tanks. 70% of faecal waste in India remains untreated and is often discharged in the domestic environment, agriculture fields or in water bodies which is potentially harmful to overall public health and environment. It is estimated that 1 truck carrying 5000 liters of faecal sludge and septage carelessly dumped is roughly equal to 5000 people defecating in the open. Therefore to ensure public health and safety the treatment of human waste through safe and effective means such as faecal sludge and septage management is crucial.