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close this bookA Guide to the Development of on-site Sanitation (WHO; 1992; 246 pages)
View the documentPreface
open this folder and view contentsPart I. Foundations of sanitary practice
close this folderPart II. Detailed design, construction, operation and maintenance
open this folder and view contentsChapter 5. Technical factors affecting excreta disposal
close this folderChapter 6. Operation and maintenance of on-site sanitation
View the documentPit latrines
View the documentSimple pit latrines
View the documentVentilated pit latrines
View the documentVentilated double-pit latrines
View the documentPour-flush latrines
View the documentOffset pour-flush latrines
View the documentDouble-pit offset pour-flush latrines
View the documentRaised pit latrines
View the documentBorehole latrines
View the documentSeptic tanks
View the documentAqua-privies
View the documentDisposal of effluent from septic tanks and aqua-privies
View the documentComposting latrines
View the documentMultiple latrines
View the documentOther latrines
open this folder and view contentsChapter 7. Components and construction of latrines
open this folder and view contentsChapter. 8 Design examples
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

Borehole latrines

Borehole latrines have an augered hole instead of a dug pit and may be sunk to a depth of 10 m or more, although a depth of 4-6 m is usual. Augered holes, 300-500 mm in diameter, may be dug quickly by hand or machine in areas where the soil is firm, stable and free from rocks or large stones. While a small diameter is easier to bore, the life of the pit is very short. For example a 300-mm hole 5 m deep will serve a family of five people for about two years.

The small diameter of the hole increases the likelihood of blockage, and the depth of the augered hole increases the danger of groundwater contamination. Even if the hole does not become blocked, the sides of the hole become soiled near the top, making fly infestation probable. However, borehole latrines are convenient for emergency or short-term use, because they can be prepared rapidly in great numbers, and light portable slabs may be used.

The holes should be lined for at least the top half-metre or so with an impervious material such as concrete or baked clay. Because of the small diameter and short life, the full depth is not usually lined.

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