This will reduce the need for manual intervention in sewers, septic tanks and drains.


Sanitation systems in urban areas are routinely misused by households and institutions since there are no reasonable methods to track their usage of these public systems and hold them responsible. Additionally, civic authorities often are forced to operate in the dark, without data or information on the usage of their systems. Maintenance is mostly done on a reactive basis once complaints are received, there are unclear metrics of how assignments should be carried out, and there is no scientific identification of areas in cities and towns that need special attention.

Bearing this in mind, we are proposing a solution is titled ‘Smart Sanitation System’. Some preliminary ideas include the use of sensors to detect blockages, tagging of septic tanks to monitor desludging, MIS systems where assignments are given Job IDs, identification of ‘hotspots’ where blockages occur most often, for proactive up-gradation and maintenance.

Identification of issues and blockages in the sanitation system

  • Mobile app for citizens and staff to log complaints aboutblockages in sewer systems, drain overflow, etc.
  • Use of sensors, lasers, infra-red or U.V. rays in sewer networks to detect blockages
  • Tagging of septic tanks to monitor frequency of de-sludging

Resolution of issues

  • Vehicle tracking via GPS
  • Real-time monitoring of sewer cleaning via CCTVs fitted on vehicles
  • Sewer monitoring equipment and screens fitted to the vehicle


  • “Control room” at city-level to view the entire sewer network
  • Robust MIS where all cleaning jobs are assigned “Job IDs”; resolution status and time, comments, and next steps logged in
  • Strong analytics backend to identify “hotspots” (i.e. those parts of the sewer and drain networks that give the most problem) for proactive upgradation and maintenance


Types of work: Sewer, drain and septic tank

Gender: Male and female

Employment nature: Contractual and permanent

Personas: All personas except Complacent Part-timer


HMWSSB has introduced multiple such initiatives

o Citizens can report overflows and blockages using an app called JAL (Jaldi Action Le)

o App-based navigation and monitoring of assignments; pictures taken before and after each unblocking


1) CCTVs for sewer inspections;

2) data-based monitoring of desludging based on database of septic tanks in households and centralised system for desludging requests;

3) GPS-fitted vehicles


  • Adoption by users, who are not necessarily tech savvy
  • Strong business case for making these investments

Related Projects