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Sanitation refers to
public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease", prolonging life and improving quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a lis ...

public health
conditions related to clean
drinking water Drinking water, also known as potable water, is water that is safe to drinking, drink or use for food preparation. The amount of drinking water required to maintain good health varies, and depends on physical activity level, age, health-related ...

drinking water
and treatment and disposal of
human excreta Human waste (or human excreta) refers to the waste products of the human digestive system, menses, and human metabolism including urine and Human feces, faeces. As part of a sanitation system that is in place, human waste is collected, transpor ...
and
sewage Sewage (or domestic sewage, domestic wastewater, municipal wastewater) is a type of wastewater Wastewater is generated after the use of fresh water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and n ...
.
Preventing
Preventing
human contact with
feces Feces ( faeces) is the solid or semi-solid remains of food that was not digested in the , and has been broken down by bacteria in the . Feces contains a relatively small amount of products such as bacterially altered , and dead epithelial cel ...

feces
is part of sanitation, as is
hand washing Hand washing (or handwashing), also known as hand hygiene, is the act of cleaning one's hand A hand is a prehensile, multi- fingered appendage located at the end of the forearm The forearm is the region of the upper limb between the El ...

hand washing
with soap. Sanitation systems aim to protect human health by providing a clean environment that will stop the transmission of disease, especially through the
fecal–oral route The fecal–oral route (also called the oral–fecal route or orofecal route) describes a particular route of transmission of a disease wherein pathogens In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, inc ...
.SuSanA (2008)
Towards more sustainable sanitation solutions
Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)
For example,
diarrhea Diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery defecation, bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Signs of dehydration of ...
, a main cause of
malnutrition Malnutrition is 'a state of nutrition in which a deficiency or excess (or imbalance) of energy, protein and other nutrients causes measurable adverse effect on tissue and body form (body shape, size and composition) and function and clinical ou ...
and
stunted growth Stunted growth is a reduced growth rate in human developmentHuman development may refer to: * Development of the human body * Developmental psychology * Human development (economics) * Human Development Index, an index used to rank countries by ...
in children, can be reduced through adequate sanitation. There are many other diseases which are easily transmitted in communities that have low levels of sanitation, such as
ascariasis Ascariasis is a disease caused by the parasitic roundworm ''Ascaris lumbricoides''. Infections have no symptoms in more than 85% of cases, especially if the number of worms is small. Symptoms increase with the number of worms present and may in ...
(a type of intestinal worm infection or
helminthiasis Helminthiasis, also known as worm infection, is any macroparasitic disease of humans and other animals in which a part of the body is infected with parasitic Parasitism is a Symbiosis, symbiotic biological interactions, relationship betwe ...
),
cholera Cholera is an infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host A host is a person responsible for guests at an event or for providing hospit ...

cholera
,
hepatitis Hepatitis is inflammation Inflammation (from la, wikt:en:inflammatio#Latin, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or Irritation, irritants, and is a prot ...

hepatitis
,
polio Poliomyelitis, commonly shortened to polio, is an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology) ...

polio
,
schistosomiasis Schistosomiasis, also known as snail fever and bilharzia, is a disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function of all or part of an organism, and that is not due to any immediate ...
, and
trachoma Trachoma is an infectious disease caused by bacterium ''Chlamydia trachomatis ''Chlamydia trachomatis'' (), commonly known as chlamydia, is a bacterium that causes chlamydia, which can manifest in various ways, including: trachoma, lymphogra ...
, to name just a few. A range of sanitation technologies and approaches exists. Some examples are
community-led total sanitation Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) is an approach used mainly in developing countries 450px, Example of Older Classifications by the IMF and the United Nations, UN from 2008 A developing country is a country with a less developed indu ...
,
container-based sanitation Container-based sanitation (abbreviated as CBS) refers to a sanitation Sanitation refers to public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of Preventive healthcare, preventing disease”, prolonging life and improving ...
,
ecological sanitation Ecological sanitation, commonly abbreviated as ecosan (also spelled eco-san or EcoSan), is an approach to sanitation provision which aims to safely Reuse of excreta, reuse excreta in agriculture. It is an approach, rather than a technology or a de ...
,
emergency sanitation Emergency sanitation is the management and technical processes required to provide sanitation in emergency situations. Emergency sanitation is required during humanitarian relief operations for refugees, people affected by natural disasters an ...
, environmental sanitation,
onsite sanitation Sanitation refers to public health conditions related to clean drinking water and adequate treatment and disposal of Human waste, human excreta and sewage. Risk management, Preventing human contact with feces is part of sanitation, as is hand was ...
and
sustainable sanitation Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the capacity for Earth's biosphere and human civilization to co-exist. It is also defined as the ...
. A sanitation system includes the capture, storage, transport, treatment and disposal or reuse of human excreta and wastewater. Reuse activities within the sanitation system may focus on the nutrients, water, energy or organic matter contained in excreta and wastewater. This is referred to as the "sanitation value chain" or "sanitation economy". The people responsible for cleaning, maintaining, operating, or emptying a sanitation technology at any step of the sanitation chain are called "
sanitation worker A sanitation worker (or sanitary worker) is a person responsible for cleaning, maintaining, operating, or emptying the equipment or technology at any step of the sanitation Sanitation refers to public health Public health has been defined ...
s".World Bank, ILO, WaterAid, and WHO (2019)
Health, Safety and Dignity of Sanitation Workers: An Initial Assessment
World Bank, Washington, DC.
Several sanitation "levels" are being used to compare sanitation service levels within countries or across countries. The sanitation ladder defined by the Joint Monitoring Programme in 2016 starts at
open defecation Open defecation is the human practice of defecating frame, Anatomy of the anus and rectum Defecation is the final act of digestion Digestion is the breakdown of large insoluble food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutri ...
and moves upwards using the terms "unimproved", "limited", "basic", with the highest level being " safely managed". This is particularly applicable to
developing countries 450px, Example of Older Classifications by the IMF and the United Nations, UN from 2008 A developing country is a country with a less developed industrial base and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, ...
. The
Human Right to Water and Sanitation The Human Right to Water and Sanitation (HRWS) is a principle that acknowledges that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to every person's life. It was recognised as a human right Human rights are Morality, moral principle ...
was recognized by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2010. Sanitation is a
global development International development or global development is a broad concept denoting the idea that societies and countries have differing levels of "development" on an international scale. It is the basis for international classifications such as develop ...
priority and the subject of
Sustainable Development Goal 6 Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6 or Global Goal 6) is about "clean water and sanitation for all". It is one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, the official wording is: "Ensure av ...

Sustainable Development Goal 6
.WHO and UNICEF (2017
Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: 2017 Update and SDG Baselines
Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2017
The estimate in 2017 by JMP states that 4.5 billion people currently do not have
safely managed sanitation Sanitation refers to public health conditions related to clean drinking water and adequate treatment and disposal of Human waste, human excreta and sewage. Risk management, Preventing human contact with feces is part of sanitation, as is hand was ...
. Lack of access to sanitation has an impact not only on
public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease", prolonging life and improving quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a lis ...

public health
but also on human
dignity Dignity is the right Rights are law, legal, social, or ethics, ethical principles of Liberty, freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people according to some legal s ...

dignity
and personal safety.


Definitions

There are some variations on the use of the term "sanitation" between countries and organizations. The
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the co-ordinating machinery of the Unit ...
defines the term "sanitation" as follows: Sanitation includes all four of these technical and non-technical systems: Excreta management systems, wastewater management systems (included here are
wastewater treatment plants Wastewater is any water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosph ...
),
solid waste management upContainers for consumer waste collection at the Gdańsk University of Technology Waste management (or waste disposal) includes the processes and actions required to manage waste Waste (or wastes) are unwanted or unusable mater ...

solid waste management
systems as well as drainage systems for rainwater, also called . However, many in the
WASH Wash or the Wash may refer to: Industry and sanitation * WASH or WaSH, "water, sanitation and hygiene", three related public health issues * Wash (distilling), the liquid produced by the fermentation step in the production of distilled beverages ...
sector only include excreta management in their definition of sanitation. Another example of what is included in sanitation is found in the handbook by
Sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a Geometry, geometrical object that is a solid geometry, three-dimensional analogue to a circle in two-dimensional space. A sphere is the Locus (mathematics), set of points that are ...
on "Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response" which describes minimum standards in four "key response sectors" in
humanitarian response Humanitarian aid is material and Humanitarian Logistics, logistic assistance to people who need help. It is usually short-term help until the long-term help by the government and other institutions replaces it. Among the people in need are the ...
situations. One of them is "Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion" (
WASH Wash or the Wash may refer to: Industry and sanitation * WASH or WaSH, "water, sanitation and hygiene", three related public health issues * Wash (distilling), the liquid produced by the fermentation step in the production of distilled beverages ...
) and it includes the following areas:
Hygiene Hygiene is a series of practices performed to preserve health Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, Mental health, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmi ...

Hygiene
promotion,
water supply Water supply is the provision of water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for ...
, excreta management,
vector control Vector control taking place in the Southern United States during the 1920s. Vector control is any method to limit or eradicate the mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the cl ...

vector control
, solid waste management and WASH in
disease outbreak In epidemiology Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where), patterns and risk factor, determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is a cornerstone of public health, and shapes ...
s and
healthcare Healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health Health, according to the , is "a state of complete physical, and social and not merely the absence of and ".. (2006)''Constitution of the World Health Organization''– ''Basic Docume ...

healthcare
settings.Sphere Association (2018
The Sphere Handbook: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response
fourth edition, Geneva, Switzerland, 2018.
Hygiene Hygiene is a series of practices performed to preserve health Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, Mental health, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmi ...

Hygiene
promotion is seen by many as an integral part of sanitation. The
Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council The Sanitation and Hygiene Fund (SHF) (formerly Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)) is a United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and in ...
defines sanitation as "The collection, transport, treatment and disposal or reuse of human excreta, domestic wastewater and solid waste, and associated hygiene promotion." Despite the fact that sanitation includes wastewater treatment, the two terms are often used side by side as "sanitation and wastewater management". Another definition is in the
DFID , type = Department , logo = DfID.svg , logo_width = 180px , logo_caption = , picture = File:Admiralty Screen (411824276).jpg , picture_width = 180px , picture_caption = Department for International Development (London office) (far right ...
guidance manual on water supply and sanitation programmes from 1998: Sanitation can include personal sanitation and public hygiene. Personal sanitation work can include handling menstrual waste, cleaning household
toilet A toilet is a piece of sanitary hardware that collects human urine and Human feces, feces, and sometimes toilet paper, usually for disposal. Flush toilets use water, while dry toilet, dry or non-flush toilets do not. They can be designed for ...

toilet
s, and managing household
garbage Garbage, trash, rubbish, or refuse is waste material that is discarded by humans, usually due to a perceived lack of utility. The term generally does not encompass bodily waste products, purely liquid or gaseous wastes, nor toxic waste produ ...

garbage
. Public sanitation work can involve garbage collection, transfer and treatment ( municipal solid waste management), cleaning drains, streets, schools, trains,
public space A public space is a place that is generally open and accessible to people. Roads (including the pavement), public square A town square (or square, plaza, public square, city square, urban square, or piazza) is an open public space commonl ...
s, community toilets and
public toilet A public toilet is a room or small building with toilet A toilet is a piece of hardware that collects human and , and sometimes , usually for disposal. use water, while do not. They can be designed for a sitting position popular in ...

public toilet
s, sewers, operating sewage treatment plants, etc.PRIA (2019)
Lived Realities of Women Sanitation Workers in India: Insights from a Participatory Research Conducted in Three Cities of India
Participatory Research in Asia, New Delhi, India
Workers who provide these services for other people are called
sanitation workers A sanitation worker (or sanitary worker) is a person responsible for cleaning, maintaining, operating, or emptying the equipment or technology at any step of the sanitation Sanitation refers to public health Public health has been defined as ...
.


Purposes

The overall purposes of sanitation are to provide a healthy living environment for everyone, to protect the natural resources (such as
surface water Surface water is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known forms of ...
,
groundwater Groundwater is the water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known form ...

groundwater
,
soil Soil is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, comp ...

soil
), and to provide safety, security and
dignity Dignity is the right Rights are law, legal, social, or ethics, ethical principles of Liberty, freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people according to some legal s ...

dignity
for people when they
defecate Image:Anorectum.gif, frame, Anatomy of the anus and rectum Defecation is the final act of digestion, by which organisms eliminate solid, semisolid, or liquid waste material from the digestive tract via the anus. Humans expel human feces, feces w ...
or
urinate Urination is the release of urine Urine is a liquid by-product A by-product or byproduct is a secondary product derived from a production process, manufacturing process or chemical reaction; it is not the primary product or service being pr ...
.The
Human Right to Water and Sanitation The Human Right to Water and Sanitation (HRWS) is a principle that acknowledges that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to every person's life. It was recognised as a human right Human rights are Morality, moral principle ...
was recognized by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2010. It has been recognized in
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
through human rights treaties, declarations and other standards. It is derived from the
human right Human rights are Morality, moral principles or Norm (social), normsJames Nickel, with assistance from Thomas Pogge, M.B.E. Smith, and Leif Wenar, 13 December 2013, Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyHuman Rights Retrieved 14 August 2014 for c ...
to an adequate standard of living. Effective sanitation systems provide barriers between excreta and humans in such a way as to break the
disease transmission In medicine Medicine is the Art (skill), art, science, and Praxis (process) , practice of caring for a patient and managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, prevention, therapy, treatment or Palliative care , palliation of their ...
cycle (for example in the case of fecal-borne diseases). This aspect is visualised with the F-diagram where all major routes of fecal-oral disease transmission begin with the letter F: feces, fingers, flies, fields, fluids, food. One of the main challenges is to provide
sustainable sanitation Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the capacity for Earth's biosphere and human civilization to co-exist. It is also defined as the ...
, especially in
developing countries A developing country is a sovereign state with a less developed Industrial sector, industrial base and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no ...

developing countries
. Maintaining and sustaining sanitation has challenges that are technological, institutional and social in nature. Sanitation infrastructure has to be adapted to several specific contexts including consumers' expectations and local resources available. Sanitation technologies may involve centralized
civil engineering Civil engineering is a professional engineering Regulation and licensure in engineering is established by various jurisdictions of the world to encourage public welfare, safety, well-being and other interests of the general public and to defin ...
structures like
sewer systems Sewer commonly refers to a part of sewerage Sewerage is the infrastructure Infrastructure is the set of fundamental facilities and systems that support the sustainable functionality of households and firms. Serving a country, city, or other are ...
,
sewage treatment Sewage treatment (or domestic wastewater treatment, municipal wastewater treatment) is a type of wastewater treatment Wastewater treatment is a process used to remove contaminants from wastewater or sewage Sewage, or domestic/municip ...
,
surface runoff Surface runoff (also known as overland flow) is the flow of water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it ac ...
treatment and solid waste
landfill A landfill site, also known as a tip, dump, rubbish dump, garbage dump, or dumping ground, is a site for the disposal of waste Waste (or wastes) are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance which is discarded after primar ...

landfill
s. These structures are designed to treat
wastewater Wastewater is generated after the use of fresh water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It i ...

wastewater
and
municipal solid waste Municipal solid waste (MSW), commonly known as trash or garbage in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It consists of 50 , ...
. Sanitation technologies may also take the form of relatively simple onsite sanitation systems. This can in some cases consist of a simple
pit latrine A pit latrine, also known as pit toilet, is a type of toilet A toilet is a piece of sanitary hardware that collects human urine and Human feces, feces, and sometimes toilet paper, usually for disposal. Flush toilets use water, while dry ...
or other type of non-flush toilet for the
excreta Excretion is a process in which metabolic waste Metabolic wastes or excrements are substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a ...
management part. Providing sanitation to people requires attention to the entire system, not just focusing on technical aspects such as the
toilet A toilet is a piece of sanitary hardware that collects human urine and Human feces, feces, and sometimes toilet paper, usually for disposal. Flush toilets use water, while dry toilet, dry or non-flush toilets do not. They can be designed for ...

toilet
,
fecal sludge management Fecal sludge management (FSM) (or faecal sludge management in British English) is the storage, collection, transport, treatment and safe end use or disposal of fecal sludge. Together, the collection, transport, treatment and end use of fecal slud ...
or the
wastewater treatment Wastewater treatment is a process used to remove contaminants from wastewater or sewage Sewage, or domestic/municipal wastewater, is a type of wastewater that is produced by a community of people. It is characterized by volume Volume is ...
plant.Tilley, E., Ulrich, L., Lüthi, C., Reymond, Ph. and Zurbrügg, C. (2014)
Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. 2nd Revised Edition
Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Duebendorf, Switzerland
The "sanitation chain" involves the experience of the user, excreta and wastewater collection methods, transporting and treatment of waste, and
reuse Reuse is the action or practice of using an item, whether for its original purpose (conventional reuse) or to fulfill a different function (creative reuse Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste ...
or disposal. All need to be thoroughly considered.


Economic impacts

The benefits to society of managing human excreta are considerable, for public health as well as for the environment. As a rough estimate: For every US$1 spent on sanitation, the return to society is US$5.50. For developing countries, the economic costs of inadequate sanitation is a huge concern. For example, according to a World Bank study, economic losses due to inadequate sanitation to The Indian economy are equivalent to 6.4% of its GDP. Most of these are due to premature mortality, time lost in accessing, loss of productivity, additional costs for healthcare among others. Inadequate sanitation also leads to loss from potential tourism revenue. This study also found that impacts are disproportionately higher for the poor, women and children. Availability of toilet at home on the other hand, positively contributes to economic well-being of women as it leads to an increase in literacy and participation in labor force.


Types and concepts (for excreta management)

The term sanitation is connected with various descriptors or adjectives to signify certain types of sanitation systems (which may deal only with
human excreta Human waste (or human excreta) refers to the waste products of the human digestive system, menses, and human metabolism including urine and Human feces, faeces. As part of a sanitation system that is in place, human waste is collected, transpor ...
management or with the entire sanitation system, i.e. also greywater, stormwater and solid waste management) – in alphabetical order:


Basic sanitation

In 2017, JMP defined a new term: "basic sanitation service". This is defined as the use of
improved sanitation Improved sanitation (related to but distinct from a "safely managed sanitation service") is a term used to categorize types of sanitation for monitoring purposes. It refers to the management of human feces at the household level. The term was coi ...
facilities that are not shared with other households. A lower level of service is now called "limited sanitation service" which refers to use of improved sanitation facilities that are shared between two or more households.


Container-based sanitation


Community-led total sanitation


Dry sanitation

The term "dry sanitation" is not in widespread use and is not very well defined. It usually refers to a system that uses a type of
dry toilet A dry toilet (or non-flush toilet, no flush toilet or toilet without a flush) is a toilet A toilet is a piece of sanitary hardware that collects human urine and Human feces, feces, and sometimes toilet paper, usually for disposal. Flush toi ...
and no sewers to transport excreta. Often when people speak of "dry sanitation" they mean a sanitation system that uses
urine-diverting dry toilet A urine-diverting dry toilet (UDDT) is a type of dry toilet with urine diversion that can be used to provide safe, affordable sanitation in a variety of contexts worldwide. The separate collection of feces Feces (American and British Engli ...
(UDDTs).Platzer, C., Hoffmann, H., Ticona, E. (2008)
Alternatives to waterborne sanitation – a comparative study – limits and potentials
IRC Symposium: Sanitation for the urban poor – partnerships and governance, Delft, The Netherlands
Flores, A. (2010)
''Towards sustainable sanitation: evaluating the sustainability of resource-oriented sanitation''
PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, UK


Ecological sanitation


Emergency sanitation


Environmental sanitation

Environmental sanitation encompasses the control of environmental factors that are connected to
disease transmission In medicine Medicine is the Art (skill), art, science, and Praxis (process) , practice of caring for a patient and managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, prevention, therapy, treatment or Palliative care , palliation of their ...
. Subsets of this category are solid waste management, water and
wastewater Wastewater is generated after the use of fresh water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It i ...

wastewater
treatment,
industrial waste Industrial waste is the waste produced by industrial activity which includes any material that is rendered useless during a manufacturing process such as that of factories A factory, manufacturing plant or a production plant is an industrial ...
treatment and
noise pollution Noise pollution, also known as or sound , is the propagation of noise with ranging impacts on the activity of human or animal life, most of them harmful to a degree. The source of outdoor noise worldwide is mainly caused by machines, transport, ...
control.


Improved and unimproved sanitation


Lack of sanitation

Lack of sanitation refers to the absence of sanitation. In practical terms it usually means lack of toilets or lack of hygienic toilets that anybody would want to use voluntarily. The result of lack of sanitation is usually
open defecation Open defecation is the human practice of defecating frame, Anatomy of the anus and rectum Defecation is the final act of digestion Digestion is the breakdown of large insoluble food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutri ...
(and open urination but this is of less concern) with associated serious public health issues. It is estimated that 2.4 billion people still lacked
improved sanitation Improved sanitation (related to but distinct from a "safely managed sanitation service") is a term used to categorize types of sanitation for monitoring purposes. It refers to the management of human feces at the household level. The term was coi ...
facilities including 660 million people who lack access to safe drinking water as of 2015.WHO and UNICEF
Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-water: 2015 Update
', WHO, Geneva and UNICEF, New York


Onsite sanitation

Onsite sanitation (or on-site sanitation) is defined as "a sanitation system in which excreta and wastewater are collected and stored or treated on the plot where they are generated". The degree of treatment may be variable, from none to advanced. Examples are pit
latrine A latrine is a toilet A toilet is a piece of sanitary hardware that collects human urine and Human feces, feces, and sometimes toilet paper, usually for disposal. Flush toilets use water, while dry toilet, dry or non-flush toilets do no ...

latrine
s (no treatment) and
septic tank A septic tank is an underground chamber made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic through which domestic wastewater (sewage) flows for Sewage treatment, basic treatment. Settling and Anaerobic digestion, anaerobic processes reduce solids and org ...

septic tank
s ( primary treatment of wastewater). On-site sanitation systems are often connected to
fecal sludge management Fecal sludge management (FSM) (or faecal sludge management in British English) is the storage, collection, transport, treatment and safe end use or disposal of fecal sludge. Together, the collection, transport, treatment and end use of fecal slud ...
(FSM) systems where the fecal sludge that is generated onsite is treated at an offsite location. Wastewater (
sewage Sewage (or domestic sewage, domestic wastewater, municipal wastewater) is a type of wastewater Wastewater is generated after the use of fresh water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and n ...
) is only generated when piped
water supply Water supply is the provision of water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for ...
is available within the buildings or close to them. A related term is a decentralized wastewater system which refers in particular to the wastewater part of on-site sanitation. Similarly, an
onsite sewage facility Onsite sewage facilities (OSSF), also called septic systems, are wastewater systems designed to treat and dispose of effluent on the same property that produces the wastewater, in areas not served by public sewage infrastructure. A septic tank ...
can treat the wastewater generated locally.


Safely managed sanitation

Safely managed sanitation is the highest level of household sanitation envisioned by the . It is measured under the Sustainable Development Goal 6.2, Indicator 6.2.1, as the “Proportion of population using safely managed sanitation services, including a handwashing facility with soap and water”. The current value in the 2017 baseline estimate by JMP is that 4.5 billion people currently do not have safely managed sanitation. The operation definition of indicator 6.2.1a is the following: The proportion of population that is using an improved sanitation facility, which is not shared with other households, and where the excreta produced is either * treated and disposed in situ, * stored temporarily and then emptied and transported to treatment off-site, * or transported through a sewer with wastewater and then treated off-site. In other words, safely managed sanitation is a basic sanitation service where in addition excreta are safely disposed of in situ or transported and treated offsite. In addition, under SDG Indicator 6.2.1, safely managed services include handwashing facilities with soap and water, and this is measured separately under Indicator 6.2.1b.


Sustainable sanitation


Other

Other terms used to describe certain types of sanitation include: * Community-based sanitation (often related to decentralized wastewater treatment or DEWATS)


Other types, concepts and systems


Wastewater management

Wastewater management consists of collection,
wastewater treatment Wastewater treatment is a process used to remove contaminants from wastewater or sewage Sewage, or domestic/municipal wastewater, is a type of wastewater that is produced by a community of people. It is characterized by volume Volume is ...
(be it municipal or
industrial wastewater Industrial wastewater treatment describes the processes used for treating wastewater that is produced by industries as an undesirable by-product. After treatment, the treated industrial wastewater (or effluent) may be reused or released to a sa ...
), disposal or reuse of treated wastewater. The latter is also referred to as
water reclamation Water reclamation (also called wastewater reuse) is the process of converting wastewater into water that can be reused for other purposes. Reuse may include irrigation of gardens and agricultural fields or replenishing surface water and groundwater ...
. Sanitation systems in urban areas of developed countries usually consist of the collection of
wastewater Wastewater is generated after the use of fresh water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It i ...

wastewater
in gravity driven sewers, its treatment in
wastewater treatment plants Wastewater is any water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosph ...
for
reuse Reuse is the action or practice of using an item, whether for its original purpose (conventional reuse) or to fulfill a different function (creative reuse Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste ...

reuse
or disposal in rivers, lakes or the sea. In
developing countries A developing country is a sovereign state with a less developed Industrial sector, industrial base and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no ...

developing countries
most wastewater is still discharged untreated into the environment. Alternatives to centralized sewer systems include
onsite sanitation Sanitation refers to public health conditions related to clean drinking water and adequate treatment and disposal of Human waste, human excreta and sewage. Risk management, Preventing human contact with feces is part of sanitation, as is hand was ...
, decentralized wastewater systems,
dry toilet A dry toilet (or non-flush toilet, no flush toilet or toilet without a flush) is a toilet A toilet is a piece of sanitary hardware that collects human urine and Human feces, feces, and sometimes toilet paper, usually for disposal. Flush toi ...
s connected to
fecal sludge management Fecal sludge management (FSM) (or faecal sludge management in British English) is the storage, collection, transport, treatment and safe end use or disposal of fecal sludge. Together, the collection, transport, treatment and end use of fecal slud ...
.


Stormwater drainage

Sewers are either combined with
storm drain A storm drain, storm sewer (United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the Unite ...

storm drain
s or separated from them as
sanitary sewer A sanitary sewer is an underground pipe or tunnel system for transporting sewage Sewage (or domestic sewage, domestic wastewater, municipal wastewater) is a type of wastewater Wastewater is generated after the use of fresh water W ...
s.
Combined sewer A combined sewer is a type of with a system of pipes, tunnels, pump stations etc. to transport and together to a plant or disposal site. This means that during rain events, the sewage gets diluted, resulting in higher flowrates at the treatme ...
s are usually found in the central, older parts or urban areas. Heavy
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and inadequate maintenance can lead to combined sewer overflows or
sanitary sewer overflow Sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) is a condition in which untreated sewage Sewage, or domestic/municipal wastewater, is a type of wastewater that is produced by a community of people. It is characterized by volume Volume is the quantity of t ...
s, i.e., more or less diluted raw
sewage Sewage (or domestic sewage, domestic wastewater, municipal wastewater) is a type of wastewater Wastewater is generated after the use of fresh water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and n ...
being discharged into the environment. Industries often discharge wastewater into municipal sewers, which can complicate wastewater treatment unless industries pre-treat their discharges.


Solid waste disposal

Disposal of
solid waste Municipal solid waste (MSW), commonly known as trash or garbage in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, ...
is most commonly conducted in
landfill A landfill site, also known as a tip, dump, rubbish dump, garbage dump, or dumping ground, is a site for the disposal of waste Waste (or wastes) are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance which is discarded after primar ...

landfill
s, but incineration,
recycling Recycling is the process of converting waste Waste (or wastes) are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use, or is worthless, defective and of no use. A by-product A by-product or ...

recycling
,
compost Compost is a mixture of ingredients used to fertilize and improve the soil. It is commonly prepared by decomposing plant and food waste and recycling Recycling is the process of converting waste Waste (or wastes) are unwanted ...

compost
ing and conversion to
biofuel Biofuel is fuel that is produced through contemporary processes from biomass, rather than by the very slow geological processes involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as oil. Since biomass technically can be used as a fuel directly (e. ...

biofuel
s are also avenues. In the case of landfills, advanced countries typically have rigid protocols for daily cover with topsoil, where underdeveloped countries customarily rely upon less stringent protocols. The importance of daily cover lies in the reduction of vector contact and spreading of pathogens. Daily cover also minimizes odor emissions and reduces windblown litter. Likewise, developed countries typically have requirements for perimeter sealing of the landfill with clay-type soils to minimize migration of leachate that could contaminate
groundwater Groundwater is the water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known form ...

groundwater
(and hence jeopardize some
drinking water Drinking water, also known as potable water, is water that is safe to drinking, drink or use for food preparation. The amount of drinking water required to maintain good health varies, and depends on physical activity level, age, health-related ...

drinking water
supplies). For incineration options, the release of air pollutants, including certain toxic components is an attendant adverse outcome. Recycling and biofuel conversion are the sustainable options that generally have superior lifecycle costs, particularly when total ecological consequences are considered. Composting value will ultimately be limited by the market demand for compost product.


Food safety

Sanitation within the food industry means the adequate treatment of food-contact surfaces by a process that is effective in destroying vegetative cells of microorganisms of
public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease", prolonging life and improving quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a lis ...

public health
significance, and in substantially reducing numbers of other undesirable microorganisms, but without adversely affecting the food or its safety for the consumer (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Code of Federal Regulations, 21CFR110, USA). Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures are mandatory for food industries in United States. Similarly, in Japan, food hygiene has to be achieved through compliance with food sanitation law. In the food and biopharmaceutical industries, the term "sanitary equipment" means equipment that is fully cleanable using clean-in-place (CIP) and sterilization-in-place (SIP) procedures: that is fully drainable from cleaning solutions and other liquids. The design should have a minimum amount of deadleg, or areas where the turbulence during cleaning is insufficient to remove product deposits. In general, to improve cleanability, this equipment is made from Stainless Steel 316L, (an alloy containing small amounts of molybdenum). The surface is usually electropolished to an effective surface roughness of less than 0.5 micrometre to reduce the possibility of bacterial adhesion.


Hygiene promotion

In many settings, provision of sanitation facilities alone does not guarantee good health of the population. Studies have suggested that the impact of hygiene practices have as great an impact on sanitation related diseases as the actual provision of sanitation facilities. Hygiene promotion is therefore an important part of sanitation and is usually key in maintaining good health. Hygiene promotion is a planned approach of enabling people to act and change their behavior in an order to reduce and/or prevent incidences of WASH, water, sanitation and hygiene (
WASH Wash or the Wash may refer to: Industry and sanitation * WASH or WaSH, "water, sanitation and hygiene", three related public health issues * Wash (distilling), the liquid produced by the fermentation step in the production of distilled beverages ...
) related diseases. It usually involves a participatory approach of engaging people to take responsibility of WASH services and infrastructure including its operation and maintenance. The three key elements of promoting hygiene are; mutual sharing of information and knowledge, the mobilization of affected communities and the provision of essential material and facilities.


Health aspects

Sanitation is a necessity for a healthy life. Health impacts of the lack of safe sanitation systems can be grouped into three categories: Direct impact (infections), sequelae (conditions caused by preceding infection) and broader well-being. It was estimated in 2002 that inadequate sanitation was responsible for 4.0 percent of deaths and 5.7 percent of disease burden worldwide. Lack of sanitation can result in feces-contaminated
drinking water Drinking water, also known as potable water, is water that is safe to drinking, drink or use for food preparation. The amount of drinking water required to maintain good health varies, and depends on physical activity level, age, health-related ...

drinking water
and cause life-threatening forms of
diarrhea Diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery defecation, bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Signs of dehydration of ...
to infants. In 2011, infectious diarrhea resulted in about 0.7 million deaths in children under five years old and 250 million lost school days. It can also lead to
malnutrition Malnutrition is 'a state of nutrition in which a deficiency or excess (or imbalance) of energy, protein and other nutrients causes measurable adverse effect on tissue and body form (body shape, size and composition) and function and clinical ou ...
and
stunted growth Stunted growth is a reduced growth rate in human developmentHuman development may refer to: * Development of the human body * Developmental psychology * Human development (economics) * Human Development Index, an index used to rank countries by ...
among children. Numerous studies have shown that improvements in drinking water and sanitation (
WASH Wash or the Wash may refer to: Industry and sanitation * WASH or WaSH, "water, sanitation and hygiene", three related public health issues * Wash (distilling), the liquid produced by the fermentation step in the production of distilled beverages ...
) lead to decreased risks of diarrhea. Open defecation – or lack of sanitation – is a leading cause of diarrheal death. Approximately two billion people are infected with soil-transmitted helminths worldwide. This type of intestinal worm infection is transmitted via worm eggs in feces. It happens in environments where there is no effective separation of humans and feces due to lack of sanitation.


Environmental aspects


Indicator organisms

When analyzing environmental samples, various types of indicator organisms are used to check for fecal pollution of the sample. Commonly used indicators for bacteriological water analysis include the bacterium ''Escherichia coli'' (abbreviated as ''E. coli)'' and non-specific fecal coliforms''.'' With regards to samples of
soil Soil is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, comp ...

soil
, sewage sludge, biosolids or fecal matter from
dry toilet A dry toilet (or non-flush toilet, no flush toilet or toilet without a flush) is a toilet A toilet is a piece of sanitary hardware that collects human urine and Human feces, feces, and sometimes toilet paper, usually for disposal. Flush toi ...
s, helminth eggs are a commonly used indicator. With helminth egg analysis, eggs are extracted from the sample after which a viability test is done to distinguish between viable and non viable eggs. The viable fraction of the helminth eggs in the sample is then counted.


Climate change

Global warming, Climate change can have negative impacts on existing sanitation services in several ways: damage and loss of services from floods and reduced carrying capacity of waters receiving wastewater. The sanitation sector is already affected in many different ways by "weather and climate-related phenomena such as variability, seasonality and extreme weather events". Extreme weather events, such as floods and Drought, droughts, are increasing in frequency and intensity due to climate change. They affect the operation of
water supply Water supply is the provision of water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for ...
, Storm drain, storm drainage and sewerage infrastructure, and Wastewater treatment, wastewater treatment plants. A publication by World Health Organization, WHO provides guidance on how Climate change adaptation, adaptation policies should consider these risks from extreme weather events. Technical solutions for climate change adaption for sanitation systems can include separate systems (storm water pipes kept separate from sewer pipes), backflow valves on sewers (Backflow prevention device, backflow prevention devices), Dry toilet, dry toilets instead of flush toilets, locating sanitation infrastructure outside of flood zones if possible. Water and sanitation services contribute to Greenhouse gas, greenhouse gas emissions. It has been estimated that sanitation services produce roughly 2–6% of global man-made methane, one of the greenhouse gases. Septic tanks, pit latrines, Anaerobic lagoon, anaerobic lagoons, Anaerobic digestion, anaerobic digesters are anaerobic treatment processes and thus emit methane which may or may not be captured (usually not captured in the case of septic tanks). To reduce those emissions, the following can be done: Choice of wastewater treatment technologies, improved pumping efficiency, use of Renewable energy, renewable sources of energy, and within-system generation of energy offer potential for reducing emissions. Sustainable sanitation systems can lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by producing renewable energy in the form of biogas, heat recovery or directly from excreta. These options have additional Climate change mitigation, mitigation potential. Researchers at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) have found in 2017 that "nearly all National Adaptation Plans published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Framework Convention for Climate Change identify improving sanitation and hygiene as a priority".


Global mechanisms


Sustainable Development Goal Number 6

In the year 2016, the Sustainable Development Goals replaced the Millennium Development Goals. Sanitation is a
global development International development or global development is a broad concept denoting the idea that societies and countries have differing levels of "development" on an international scale. It is the basis for international classifications such as develop ...
priority and included
Sustainable Development Goal 6 Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6 or Global Goal 6) is about "clean water and sanitation for all". It is one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, the official wording is: "Ensure av ...

Sustainable Development Goal 6
(SDG 6). The target is about "clean water and sanitation for all" by 2030. It is estimated that 660 million people still lacked access to safe drinking water as of 2015. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the fight for clean water and sanitation is more important than ever. Handwashing is one of the most common prevention methods for Coronavirus, yet two out of five people do not have access to a hand-washing station.


Millennium Development Goal Number 7 until 2015

The United Nations, during the Millennium Summit in New York in 2000 and the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, developed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at poverty eradication and sustainable development. The specific sanitation goal for the year 2015 was to reduce by half the number of people who had no access to drinking water, potable water and sanitation in the baseline year of 1990. As the JMP and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report in 2006 has shown, progress meeting the MDG sanitation target is slow, with a large gap between the target coverage and the current reality. In December 2006, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2008 "The International Year of Sanitation", in recognition of the slow progress being made towards the MDGs sanitation target. The year aimed to develop awareness and more actions to meet the target. There are numerous reasons for this gap. A major one is that sanitation is rarely given political attention received by other topics despite its key importance. Sanitation is not high on the international development agenda, and projects such as those relating to
water supply Water supply is the provision of water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for ...
projects are emphasised. The Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation of WHO and UNICEF (JMP) has been publishing reports of updated estimates every two years on the use of various types of drinking-water sources and sanitation facilities at the national, regional and global levels. The JMP report for 2015 stated that: * Between 1990 and 2015,
open defecation Open defecation is the human practice of defecating frame, Anatomy of the anus and rectum Defecation is the final act of digestion Digestion is the breakdown of large insoluble food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutri ...
rates have decreased from 38% to 25% globally. Just under one billion people (946 million) still practise open defecation worldwide in 2015. * 82% of the global urban population, and 51% of the rural population is using improved sanitation facilities in 2015, as per the JMP definition of "
improved sanitation Improved sanitation (related to but distinct from a "safely managed sanitation service") is a term used to categorize types of sanitation for monitoring purposes. It refers to the management of human feces at the household level. The term was coi ...
".


Initiatives to promote sanitation

In 2011 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" to promote safer, more effective ways to treat human waste. The program is aimed at developing technologies that might help bridge the global sanitation gap (for example the Omni Processor, or technology for
fecal sludge management Fecal sludge management (FSM) (or faecal sludge management in British English) is the storage, collection, transport, treatment and safe end use or disposal of fecal sludge. Together, the collection, transport, treatment and end use of fecal slud ...
). In 2015, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation published their "Water, sanitation, and hygiene strategy portfolio update and overview" called "Building demand for sanitation". The latest innovations in the field of public health sanitation, currently in the testing phase, comprise - use of ‘locally produced alcohol-based hand rub’; ‘novel latrine improvement’; and ‘container-based sanitation’. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national public health agency of the United States has recognized the stated three initiatives.


Capacity development

Capacity building, Capacity development is regarded as an important mechanism to achieve progress in the sanitation sector. For example, in India the Sanitation Capacity Building platform (SCBP) was designed to "support and build the capacity of town/cities to plan and implement decentralized sanitation solutions" with funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from 2015 to 2022.Kapur, D. (2020
UNDERSTANDING EFFECTIVENESS OF CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT: Lessons from Sanitation Capacity Building Platform, Part 1: Journey of Urban Sanitation Capacity Development in India
National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), India
Results from this project showed that capacity development best happens on the job and in a learning organization culture.Kapur, D. (2021) UNDERSTANDING EFFECTIVENESS OF CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT : Lessons from Sanitation Capacity Building Platform (SCBP)
Part III : Capacity Development Effectiveness Ladder (CDEL) Framework
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF URBAN AFFAIRS, India
In a government capacity development initiative, it is critical to have an enabling policy and program funding to translate capacity development input into program and infrastructure outputs. Capacity development aims to empower staff and institutions, develop a learning strategy, learning content and training modules, as well as strengthened partnerships and institutions of learning. The Capacity Development Effectiveness Ladder Framework (CDEL) identifies five critical steps for capacity development interventions: Developing original learning content, partnerships for learning and outreach, learning strategy, visioning change and designing solutions, contribution to capacity development discourse.


Costs

A study was carried out in 2018 to compare the lifecycle costs of full sanitation chain systems in developing cities of Africa and Asia. It found that conventional sewer systems are in most cases the most expensive sanitation options, followed, in order of cost, by sanitation systems comprising
septic tank A septic tank is an underground chamber made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic through which domestic wastewater (sewage) flows for Sewage treatment, basic treatment. Settling and Anaerobic digestion, anaerobic processes reduce solids and org ...

septic tank
s, ventilated improved
pit latrine A pit latrine, also known as pit toilet, is a type of toilet A toilet is a piece of sanitary hardware that collects human urine and Human feces, feces, and sometimes toilet paper, usually for disposal. Flush toilets use water, while dry ...
s (VIP), Urine-diverting dry toilet, urine diversion dry toilets and pour-flush pit latrines. The main determinants of urban sanitation financial costs include: Type of technology, labour, material and utility cost, density, topography, level of service provided by the sanitation system,
soil Soil is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, comp ...

soil
condition, energy cost and others (distance to
wastewater treatment Wastewater treatment is a process used to remove contaminants from wastewater or sewage Sewage, or domestic/municipal wastewater, is a type of wastewater that is produced by a community of people. It is characterized by volume Volume is ...
facility, climate, Reuse of excreta, end-use of treatment products, business models, water table height). Some grassroots organizations have trialled community-managed toilet blocks whose construction and maintenance costs can be covered by households. One study of Mumbai Shanty town, informal settlements found that US$1.58 per adult would be sufficient for construction, and less than US$1/household/month would be sufficient for maintenance.


History

Major human settlements could initially develop only where fresh surface water was plentiful, such as near rivers or natural springs. Throughout history people have devised systems to get water into their communities and households, and to dispose (and later also treat) wastewater. The focus of sewage treatment at that time was on conveying raw sewage to a natural body of water, e.g. a river or ocean, where it would be diluted and dissipated. The Sanitation in the Indus Valley Civilization in Asia is an example of public water supply and sanitation during the Bronze Age (3300–1300 Common Era, BCE). Sanitation in ancient Rome was quite extensive. These systems consisted of stone and wooden drains to collect and remove
wastewater Wastewater is generated after the use of fresh water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It i ...

wastewater
from populated areas—see for instance the Cloaca Maxima into the River Tiber in Rome. The first sewers of ancient Rome were built between 800 and 735 BCE.Farnsworth Gray, Harold. "Sewerage in Ancient and Mediaeval Times." Sewage Works Journal Vol.12.5 (1940): 939-46


By country


Society and culture

There is a vast number of professions that are involved in the field of sanitation, for example on the technical and operations side:
sanitation workers A sanitation worker (or sanitary worker) is a person responsible for cleaning, maintaining, operating, or emptying the equipment or technology at any step of the sanitation Sanitation refers to public health Public health has been defined as ...
, waste collectors, Sanitary engineering, sanitary engineers.


See also

* List of abbreviations used in sanitation * List of water supply and sanitation by country * Environmental health * Water pollution * Self-supply of water and sanitation * Sustainable Sanitation Alliance * World Toilet Day


References


External links

*
Sustainable Sanitation Alliance

Sanitation and Wastewater Atlas of Africa
{{Authority control Sanitation, Hygiene Sewerage Articles containing video clips