Sanitary Sewers for Developing Countries

by Michael G. McGarry, Assoc. Dir.; Health Sciences Div., International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 8, Pg. 70-75

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: To combat disease, we try to ensure water supply purity. Water is only one of many methods of disease transmission, however, and its purity does not alone eliminate the spread of disease. Domestic wastes must also be removed and treated. But sanitary sewers, the technology of developed nations, are not always appropriate for developing countries. Undeveloped countries need simple and dependable waste collection and treatment systems they can afford. One alternative is the biogas plant, which digests waste, capturing the gas for domestic cooking and lighting. The digested solids can be dried and used for fertilizer. Other technologies are also in use. The most cost-effective method of improving sanitation may be a combination of low-cost technology (improved pit latrine, composting privies, etc.) and an educational program on their effective use.

Subject Headings: Sanitary sewers | Developing countries | Domestic wastes | Composting |

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