+27 (033) 342 3012

About Us


PID is proud to present the Pitvaq, “the Honeysucker that can go anywhere.”  Between 2012 and 2020, we designed, built, and tested this machine under the name “eVac”. In 2020, we changed the name to Pitvaq, describing more precisely what it does: removes sludge from pits and septic tanks using a vacuum pump. Its compact design allows small teams the flexibility to move the machine by hand and manoeuvre it into hard-to-reach places.

The Pitvaq (aka the eVac) uses the same principle as a vacuum tanker, also known as a honeysucker, to remove sludge from pits.  A vacuum pump creates a vacuum in a tank.  That vacuum is used to suck up the sludge from the pit through a suction hose and into the tank.  A ball float valve in the tank and a moisture trap next to the pump ensure that sludge does not get into the moving parts of the pump.  The pump is very robust and is built to last for many thousands of hours of use. Not only can it get to locations that are hard for a honeysucker to reach, it is also faster than manual emptying when properly used, and it’s much more sanitary!

Our Team

The Pitvaq was invented by Partners in Development (PID), an engineering business located in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.  PID was founded in 1993 with a focus on water supply and sanitation and has grown into an engineering consultancy that has contributed to projects throughout South Africa and beyond.  Our mission is simple: Enable developing communities to construct, operate and maintain infrastructure in order to achieve a sustainable improvement in their quality of life.

Our FSM Services

In addition to manufacturing and designing the Pitvaq, PID provides other services in the faecal sludge management (FSM) field.  Some of these are described below.  If you want to partner with us in any of these areas, contact us and let us know more about your project!


fuel truck edit3

Emptying Services

The Sani Squad is our pit emptying team, and they can be hired to empty your pit latrine or septic tank. Just contact us for a quotation if you live in the Pietermaritzburg area. If you would like to start a Sani Squad team in your community, please talk to us about franchise opportunities.

fuel truck edit3


MCTS is our construction company and can provide construction services for a variety of FSM projects. MCTS has also been involved in various local labour projects, providing training for local teams on construction of new technologies (e.g. pour flush toilets).

fuel truck edit3


In addition to training on how to use the Pitvaq, PID has developed numerous training resources for health and safety of FSM workers. We can provide a training programme for workers so that they know the risks associated with their job as well as how to complete the job safely and effectively.

fuel truck edit3

Engineering Design

PID has experience providing engineering design for various FSM projects, including faecal sludge treatment plants, on-site sanitation systems, sewers, and community water supplies.

fuel truck edit3


PID’s research portfolio includes numerous studies relevant to FSM. Some aspects of FSM that we have been involved in researching include emptying technologies, worker health and safety, FSM business models, faecal sludge burial, faecal sludge treatment and reuse, and development and assessment of new sanitation technologies. See our documents page for more information.