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close this bookA Guide to the Development of on-site Sanitation (WHO; 1992; 246 pages)
View the documentPreface
close this folderPart I. Foundations of sanitary practice
open this folder and view contentsChapter 1. The need for on-site sanitation
open this folder and view contentsChapter 2. Sanitation and disease transmission
open this folder and view contentsChapter 3. Social and cultural considerations
close this folderChapter 4. Technical options
View the documentOpen defecation
View the documentShallow pit
View the documentSimple pit latrine
View the documentBorehole latrine
View the documentVentilated pit latrine
View the documentPour-flush latrine
View the documentSingle or double pit
View the documentComposting latrine
View the documentSeptic tank
View the documentAqua-privy
View the documentRemoval systems for excreta
open this folder and view contentsPart II. Detailed design, construction, operation and maintenance
open this folder and view contentsPart III. Planning and development of on-site sanitation projects
View the documentReferences
View the documentSelected further reading
View the documentGlossary of terms used in this book
View the documentAnnex 1. Reuse of excreta
View the documentAnnex 2. Sullage
View the documentAnnex 3. Reviewers
View the documentSelected WHO publications of related interest
View the documentBack Cover


An aqua-privy has a watertight tank immediately under the latrine floor. Excreta drop directly into the tank through a pipe. The bottom of the pipe is submerged in the liquid in the tank, forming a water seal to prevent escape of flies, mosquitos and smell. The tank functions like a septic tank. Effluent usually infiltrates into the ground through a soakpit. Accumulated solids (sludge) must be removed regularly. Enough water must be added to compensate for evaporation and leakage losses.



Does not need piped water on site

Water must be available nearby

Less expensive than a septic tank

More expensive than VIP or pour-flush latrine


Fly, mosquito and smell nuisance if seal is lost because insufficient water is added


Regular desludging required, and sludge needs careful handling


Permeable soil required to dispose of effluent

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