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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
open this folder and view contentsChapter 6. Operation and maintenance of on-site sanitation
close this folderChapter 7. Components and construction of latrines
View the documentPits
View the documentLatrine floors
View the documentSlabs
View the documentFootrests and squat holes
View the documentSeats for latrines
View the documentWater seals and pans
View the documentVent pipes
View the documentSuperstructure
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

Latrine floors

Floors of latrines, whether laid on the ground or supported over a pit, should be smooth and impervious so that they may be cleaned easily and have a satisfactory appearance to users. The upper surface should be at least 150 mm above the surrounding ground level (Fig. 7.8) to prevent rain and surface water entering the latrine.

The floor surface should slope gently to facilitate cleaning and to prevent surplus wash water from collecting in puddles. The slope is normally from the outer edge of the floor towards the squat hole or pan at the centre, so that the water used for cleaning flows into the pit and does not foul the area surrounding the slab. A fall of about 20 mm between the edge and the centre of a slab up to 1.5 m across is sufficient to prevent pools of liquid forming (Fig. 7.8). Where seats are used, the floor should slope away from the seat support so that any wash water flows towards the latrine entrance.

Fig. 7.8. Requirements of slabs


WHO 91468

If a precast slab is smaller than the inside floor area of the superstructure, an impervious surface is normally provided to seal the area between the slab and the inside wall of the building. Any area around the slab which is left as bare earth could be fouled, thus becoming a possible site for hookworm infestation. However, in order to minimize costs, the space around the squatting area inside the superstructure should be limited. This reduces building costs for the superstructure as well as flooring materials. But the squat hole or pan should not be so close to the superstructure that users are forced to lean against the wall when they are trying to defecate. A minimum floor space of 80 cm in width and 1 m from front to back is normally acceptable (Mara, 1985b).

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