Published in: 2011
INREM Foundation, India
Location of library entry
Going into the second decade of the 21st century, the question of good sanitation is yet unresolved in most of the developing world. A variety of contributing factors dictate that on-site sanitation is still the most widespread mode of sanitation available. If properly implemented, such options could in combination with other larger scale services offer viable alternatives and complementary approaches to dominantly sewer-based sanitation systems. However, both poor design of such on-site sanitation systems, dense habitation and a combination of physical hydrogeologic factors result in threat to the contamination to fresh groundwater resources. Drinking water in both rural and urban parts of the developing world being highly decentralized and dependent critically on aquifers, this contamination of groundwater such on-site sanitation has a heavy public health burden, visible through a host of diseases, causing widespread morbidity and mortality.
The objective of this report is to first provide ways of assessing this threat of contamination to groundwater and practical means of evaluating future vulnerability at the design stage itself. The report also looks at options for adaptation with such threat especially in dense habitations where both on-site sanitation and drinking water facilities are spaced very closely. The study is based on review of literature, discussion with experts and practitioners and calibrating these with presentations in public forums. The presented “Policy Review” and “Technical Review” parts of this report attends to the needs of planners, aid agencies, researchers and practitioners to unravel through the mesh of this question and find reasonable solutions that can make headway. Presented also is a simple spreadsheet tool that summarizes the learnings and offers a method to assess vulnerability and compare alternatives.
Krishnan, S. (2011). On-site Sanitation and Groundwater Contamination: A Policy and Technical Review. INREM Foundation, India
East Asia & Pacific English Groundwater protection (WG11) Recommended by SuSanA (other than SuSanA publications)
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