In 2012 a situation analysis of the wastewater disposal system at SFH concluded that the wastewater disposal system was poorly maintained and badly managed. We successfully secured a grant from the Scottish Government to conduct a sanitation feasibility study to address significant public health concerns. This was completed by BORDA in 2017. They are a well respected NGO who specialise in integrated decentralised sanitation solutions in the fields of wastewater, sludge and solid waste management.
Design faults were found with several of the septic tanks and about 30% of these could not be emptied due to the solidity of the contents. Many soak away pits discharge the effluent directly into the environment, eventually flowing into a stream that flows through numerous villages where people get drinking water from shallow wells and directly from the stream. Blockages of toilets occur frequently in all hospital buildings, sometimes leading to dreadful flooding of sewage. Additionally, chemicals (disinfectants, cleaning solutions, detergents, hazardous X-Ray fluids) are discharged into this failed system. Options to address these concerns were identified.
A visit by Chris Faldon in April 2019 presented to the findings to the Hospital management committee. Overwhelming support was given to take this forward. This will require a major fund raising effort with estimated costs in the region of £200,000.