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close this book Water purification, distribution and sewage disposal for Peace Corps volunteers
close this folder Section 8: The privy method of excreta disposal design for a village
View the document Overview:
View the document The sanitary survey
View the document The pit privy
View the document Example privy designs
View the document Latrine for village use
View the document Thailand water-seal privy
View the document Lesson plans


A sanitary survey and a description of the area where a disposal system will be installed is necessary so the project will ensure the public health. This section covers the design and construction of disposal projects of the privy type. The trainees will learn to construct several types of privy and be able to make the proper selection for a given situation.



Design, plan, and construct a privy system which extends the present system to provide minimum satisfactory service within the community's social and economic limits of acceptability.


1. Establish criteria that proposed system must meet.

2. Define the capacity of the present system.

3. Sketch the location of any disposal facilities with respect to any water supply sources, irrigation systems, and food supply areas.

4. Determine whether these facilities are potential sources of contamination of any of the above.

5. For each disposal facility that is a potential source of contamination, determine whether a feasible means for arresting this situation is available.

6. Estimate population and define the community's capacity requirements for a disposal system.

7. Determine whether the present system is adequate in terms of the community requirements and the design criteria established above.

8. Define the extent to which new installations are necessary.

9. Determine the attitude toward sanitation and the practices of personal hygiene in the community.

10. Determine which types of installations are most likely to be maintained by the community.

11. Determine where any new facilities should be located so that:

a. They do not contaminate any of the existing water supply sources.

b. They are dry, well drained, and above flood level.

c. They are compatible with social attitudes in the community.

12. Identify the types of pit privy systems that satisfy the design criteria.

13. Determine what material and financial resources are available.

14. Prepare a plan to acquire public support toward and finances for the system.

15. Select the privy system that is most feasible.

16. Set up a program to construct this privy system.

17. Carry out this program.


1. Bore a test hole with a hand-held auger.

2. Determine how far faecal borne diseases can be carried in each of the strata or soils encountered in the test hole.

3. Conduct a survey to determine the population of the community.

4. Estimate the volume of pits, holes, and tanks.

5. Determine the practices of hygiene in the community.

6. Identify the components of various types of pit privies.

7. Dig a pit.

8. Mix concrete

9. Construct structures with brick, stone masonry, and rough cut logs.

10. Train local persons in the masonry and carpentry skills needed to build the system.

11. Provide instruction in the maintenance of the system.


1. With a hand-held auger, bore a hole, with horizontal dimensions of from 4 to 12 inches to a depth of 24 feet and determine how far faecal borne diseases can be carried in each of the strata or soils encountered in this test hole.

2. Determine the population of a designated community.

3. In a field exercise, determine the volume of any pits, holes, and tanks.

4. Determine the practices of personal hygiene in a designated community.

5. On a written examination, sketch three different designs for pit privies and list opposite each one of these the materials needed 'or construction.

6. Given the designs and materials needed to construct a pit privy, in a field exercise, construct this privy.