A pit latrine, also known as pit toilet or long drop, is a type of toilet that collects human feces in a hole in the ground. A pit latrine generally consists of three major parts: a hole in the ground, a concrete slab or floor with a small hole, and a shelter. The shelter k&r portable toilets also called an outhouse. A basic pit latrine can be improved in a number of ways.
One includes adding a ventilation pipe from the pit to above the structure. This improves airflow and decreases the smell of the toilet. As of 2013 pit latrines are used by an estimated 1. 77 billion people, mostly in developing countries. 2016, mostly because they have no toilets. Pit latrines are sometimes also referred to as “dry toilets” but this is not recommended because a “dry toilet” is an overarching term used for several types of toilets and strictly speaking only refers to the user interface. A pit latrine without a slab is regarded as unimproved sanitation and does not count towards the target.
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The user positions themself over the small drop hole during use. Light should be prevented from entering the pit to reduce access by flies. A lid on the drop hole keeps light out of the pit and helps to stop flies and odors entering the toilet’s superstructure. The lid can be made from plastic or wood and is used to cover the hole in the floor when the pit latrine is not in use. A shelter, shed, small building or “super-structure” houses the squatting pan or toilet seat and provides privacy and protection from the weather for the user. Subsequently, these liquids from the pit enter the groundwater where they may lead to groundwater pollution. This is a problem if a nearby water well is used to supply groundwater for drinking water purposes.
The degree of pathogen removal strongly varies with soil type, aquifer type, distance and other environmental factors. As a very general guideline it is recommended that the bottom of the pit should be at least 2 m above groundwater level, and a minimum horizontal distance of 30 m between a pit and a water source is normally recommended to limit exposure to microbial contamination. However, no general statement should be made regarding the minimum lateral separation distances required to prevent contamination of a well from a pit latrine. In addition to the issue of pathogens, there is also the issue of nitrate pollution in groundwater from pit latrines. Schematic of the pit of a pit latrine.
The defecation hole in the slab is shown at the top, and the user squats or sits above this defecation hole. Pits can be lined with a support ring at the top of the pit as shown in this schematic. A “partially lined” pit latrine is one where the upper part of the hole in the ground is lined. Pit lining materials can include brick, rot-resistant timber, concrete, stones, or mortar plastered onto the soil.
A fully lined pit latrine has concrete lining also at the base so that no liquids infiltrate into the ground. One could argue that this is no longer a “pit” latrine in the stricter sense. The advantage is that no groundwater contamination can occur. Pit latrines are often built in developing countries even in situations where they are not recommended. In conditions where pit latrines are not suitable for the above-mentioned reasons, the installations of other types of toilets should be considered, e. Pit latrines collect human feces in a hole in the ground. Well maintained pit latrine at a rural household near Maseru, Lesotho.
Traditional pit latrine in North Kamenya, Kenya. This display shows children what toilets in rural areas in Germany used to look like in the recent past. Abandoned pit latrine in the peri-urban area of Durban, South Africa. Interior of an outhouse the structure usually built over the pit to provide privacy. VIP latrines are an improvement to overcome the disadvantages of simple pit latrines, e. The smell is carried upwards by the chimney effect and flies are prevented from leaving the pit and spreading disease. The principal mechanism of ventilation in VIP latrines is the action of wind blowing across the top of the vent pipe.