MAPET and Vacutug system

From Akvopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mapet and vacutug system icon.jpg

MAPET and Vacutug are two of the many more examples of mechanical emptying systems to empty pits and (septic) tanks. MAPET and Vacutug devices rely on informal or small scale, private operators to empty pits and (septic) tanks by means of minitanks and hand or motor operated pumps. Both the Manual Pit Emptying Technology (MAPET) and the UN-Habitat Vacutug devices consist of a tank, a pump and flexible hosepipe. MAPET relies on a hand pump, which can fill a 200 litre vacuum tank in 5-20 minutes. The Vacutug consist of a 500 litre vacuum tank and a pump run by a small gasoline engine that has the capacity to remove sludge (or urine) at 1,700 litres a minute. MAPET equipment is mounted on a pushcart. The Vacutug is a small vacuum tanker with an engine that also powers the vehicle. Sludge is transported to a neighbourhood collection / disposal point from where vacuum tankers transfer it to city treatment plants.

MAPET and Vacutug system, in Tanzania (for credits, click the picture)
Advantages Disadvantages
Low operation costs.

Can be constructed, operated and maintained using local materials and skills.
Capital cost are affordable by entrepreneurs who can develop micro-enterprises.

Solids are often not removed from pits or tanks.

MAPET is not suitable if the haul distance exceeds 0.5 km.
Minimising operation costs may lead to uncontrolled disposal of sludge or urine.


  • Investment MAPET US$ 3000 (1992, Tanzania).
  • Capital costs Vacutug US$ 5000 (1998, Nairobi).
  • Operation costs MAPET US$ 2.50 /200 litre (1992, Tanzania).
  • Operation costs Vacutug US$ 3-5 / 500 litre (1998, Nairobi).

Applying conditions

  • Vacutug and MAPET technologies can be used to transport excreta in high-density areas with small-unpaved streets. Although designed to empty pits and septic tanks, these devices can also deal with urine.
  • Operators require training and regulation.
  • The system depends on a communal approach and economy of scale in order to allow these options to be sustainable.
  • Wherever mechanised emptying is considered, the designs of the pits or (septic) tanks themselves should also be considered.


External links