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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
 

Shallow pit

People working on farms may dig a small hole each time they defecate and then cover the faeces with soil. This is sometimes known as the "cat" method. Pits about 300 mm deep may be used for several weeks. Excavated soil is heaped beside the pit and some is put over the faeces after each use. Decomposition in shallow pits is rapid because of the large bacterial population in the topsoil, but flies breed in large numbers and hookworm larvae spread around the holes. Hookworm larvae can migrate upwards from excreta buried less than 1 m deep, to penetrate the soles of the feet of subsequent users.

Advantages

Disadvantages

No cost

Considerable fly nuisance

Benefit to farmers as fertilizer

Spread of hookworm larvae

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