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close this book Water purification, distribution and sewage disposal for Peace Corps volunteers
close this folder Section 7: Scope of disposal system projects in host communities
View the document Overview:
View the document Public health importance of excreta disposal
View the document How disease is carried from excreta
View the document The characteristics of an adequate system
View the document Possible sanitary measures in rural areas
View the document Soil and ground-water pollution
View the document Location of latrines and other excreta disposal facilities
View the document Sludge accumulation and the life of a pit privy
View the document Community participation
View the document Family participation
View the document Role of health department and other agencies
View the document Public versus private latrines
View the document Human factors
View the document Lesson plans

Location of latrines and other excreta disposal facilities

There can be no standard rule governing the distance that is necessary for safety between the privy and a source of water supply. Many factors, such a as slope and level of ground water and soil-permeability, affect the removal of bacteria in ground water. It is of the greatest importance to locate the privy or cesspool downhill, or at least on some level piece of land, end to avoid, if possible, placing it directly uphill from a well. Where uphill locations cannot be avoided, a distance of 50 ft. will prevent bacterial pollution of well. Setting the privy off to either the right or the left

would considerably lessen the possibility of contaminating the ground water reaching the well. In sandy soil a privy may be located as close as 25 ft. from a properly constructed household well if it is impossible to place it at a greater distance. In the case of a higher-yielding well, not less than 50 ft. should separate the well from a latrine.

In homogeneous soils the chance of ground-water pollution is virtually nil if the bottom of a latrine is more than 5 ft. above the groundwater table. The same may be said if the bottom of a cesspool is more than 10 ft. above the level of the ground water.

A careful investigation should be made before building pit privies, bored-hole latrines, cesspools, and seepage pits in areas containing fissured rocks or limestone formations, since pollution may be carried directly through solution channels and without natural filtration to distant well or other sources of drinking-water supplies.

Regarding the location of latrines with respect to dwellings, the distance between the two is an important consideration in the acceptability of the sanitary facilities. The location of latrines, private or communal, at a considerable distance or away and uphill from dwellings, will often cause local people to avoid their regular use and proper maintenance. A latrine will more likely be kept clean if it is close to the house or other building which it serves.

Other considerations are as follows:

(1) The site should be dry, well drained, and above flood level.

(2) The immediate surrounding of the latrine-i.e., an area 6.5 ft. wide around the structure - should be cleared of all vegetation, wastes, and other debris. This recommendation may be ignored, however, in the initial stages of sanitary development of rural areas where it is necessary, for example, in order to secure acceptability of the latrine by the local population, to avoid disturbing the natural bush-type surroundings which were previously used for defaecation.