sanitation


Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes as well as the treatment and proper disposal of sewage or wastewater. Hazards can be either physical, microbiological, biological or chemical agents of disease. Wastes that can cause health problems include human and animal excreta, solid wastes, domestic wastewater (sewage, sullage, greywater), industrial wastes and agricultural wastes. Hygienic means of prevention can be by using engineering solutions (e.g., sewage treatment, stormwater drainage, solid waste management, excreta management), simple technologies (e.g., pit latrines, dry toilets, UDDTs, septic tanks), or even simply by personal hygiene practices (e.g., [[hand washing]] with soap, behavior change). The [[World Health Organization]] states that: {{quote|”Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and feces. Inadequate sanitation is a major cause of disease world-wide and improving sanitation is known to have a significant beneficial impact on health both in households and across communities. The word ‘sanitation’ also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and wastewater disposal.”}} Sanitation includes all four of these engineering infrastructure items (even though often only the first one is strongly associated with the term “sanitation”): Excreta management systems, wastewater management systems (included here are [[wastewater treatment plants]]), solid waste management systems, drainage systems for rainwater, also called stormwater drainage. Despite the fact that sanitation includes wastewater treatment, the two terms are often use side by side as “sanitation and wastewater management”. The term sanitation has been connected to several descriptors so that the terms sustainable sanitation, improved sanitation, unimproved sanitation, environmental sanitation, on-site sanitation, ecological sanitation, dry sanitation are all in use today. Sanitation should be regarded with a systems approach in mind which includes collection/containment, conveyance/transport, treatment, disposal or reuse. == Nomenclature or types == The term sanitation is connected with various descriptors to signify certain types of sanitation systems. Here they are shown in alphabetical order: === Dry sanitation === {{Further|Dry toilet}} The term “dry sanitation” is somewhat misleading as sanitation includes handwashing and can never be “dry”. A more precise term would be “dry excreta management”. When people speak of “dry sanitation” they usually mean sanitation systems with [[dry toilet]]s with [[urine diversion]], in particular the [[urine-diverting dry toilet]] (UDDT). === Ecological sanitation === {{Main|Ecological sanitation}} [[Ecological sanitation]], which is commonly abbreviated to ecosan, is an approach, rather than a technology or a device which is characterized by a desire to “close the loop” (mainly for the nutrients and organic matter) between sanitation and agriculture in a safe manner. Put in other words: “Ecosan systems safely recycle excreta resources (plant nutrients and organic matter) to crop production in such a way that the use of non-renewable resources is minimised”. When properly designed and operated, ecosan systems provide a hygienically safe, economical, and closed-loop system to convert human excreta into nutrients to be returned to the soil, and water to be returned to the land. Ecosan is also called resource-oriented sanitation. === Environmental sanitation === Environmental sanitation is the control of environmental factors that form links in disease [[Disease transmission|transmission]]. Subsets of this category are solid waste management, water and [[wastewater]] treatment, [[industrial waste]] treatment and noise and pollution control. === Improved and unimproved sanitation === {{Main|Improved sanitation}} [[Improved sanitation]] and [[unimproved sanitation]] refers to the management of human feces at the household level. This terminology is the indicator used to describe the target of the [[Millennium Development Goal]] on sanitation, by the [[WHO]]/[[UNICEF]] [[Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation]]. === Lack of sanitation === Lack of sanitation refers to the absence of sanitation. In practical terms it usually means lack of toilets or lack of hygienic toilets that anybody would want to use voluntarily. The result of lack of sanitation is usually [[open defecation]] (and open urination but this is of less concern) with the associated serious public health issues. === On-site sanitation === On-site sanitation, also called decentralised sanitation is the collection and treatment of waste is done where it is deposited. Examples are pit [[latrine]]s, [[septic tank]]s, and [[Imhoff tank]]s === Sustainable sanitation === {{Main|Sustainable sanitation}} [[Sustainable sanitation]] is a term that has been defined with five sustainability criteria by the [[Sustainable Sanitation Alliance]]. In order to be sustainable, a sanitation system has to be not only (i) economically viable, (ii) socially acceptable, and (iii) technically and (iv) institutionally appropriate, it should also (v) protect the environment and the natural resources. The main objective of a sanitation system is to protect and promote human health by providing a clean environment and breaking the cycle of disease. ==Wastewater management== === Collection === {{Details|Wastewater|date=September 2009}} The standard sanitation technology in urban areas is the collection of [[wastewater]] in sewers, its treatment in [[Sewage treatment|wastewater treatment plants]] for [[reuse]] or disposal in rivers, lakes or the sea. Sewers are either combined with [[storm drain]]s or separated from them as [[sanitary sewer]]s. [[Combined sewer]]s are usually found in the central, older parts or urban areas. Heavy [[stormwater|rainfall]] and inadequate maintenance can lead to combined sewer overflows or [[sanitary sewer overflow]]s, i.e., more or less diluted raw [[sewage]] being discharged into the environment. Industries often discharge wastewater into municipal sewers, which can complicate wastewater treatment unless industries pre-treat their discharges. The high investment cost of conventional wastewater collection systems are difficult to afford for many [[developing countries]]. Some countries have therefore promoted alternative wastewater collection systems such as condominial sewerage, which uses pipes with smaller diameters at lower depth with different network layouts from conventional sewerage. === Treatment === {{Details|Sewage treatment}} ==== Centralised treatment ==== In developed countries treatment of municipal wastewater is now widespread, but not yet universal (for an overview of technologies see [[wastewater treatment]]). In [[developing countries]] most wastewater is still discharged untreated into the environment. For example, in Latin America only about 15% of collected sewerage is being treated (see [[water and sanitation in Latin America]]) ==== On-site treatment, decentralised treatment ==== In many suburban and rural areas households are not connected to sewers. They discharge their wastewater into [[septic tank]]s or other types of on-site sanitation. On-site systems include [[drain field]]s, which require significant area of land. This makes septic systems unsuitable for most cities. [[Constructed wetlands]] are another example for a possible decentralised treatment option. === Disposal or reuse of treated wastewater === The reuse of untreated or partially treated wastewater in [[Irrigation|irrigated agriculture]] is common in developing countries. The reuse of treated wastewater in landscaping, especially on golf courses, irrigated agriculture and for industrial use is becoming increasingly widespread. ==Solid waste disposal== {{Details|Waste management}} Disposal of [[solid waste]] is most commonly conducted in [[landfill]]s, but incineration, [[recycling]], [[compost]]ing and conversion to [[biofuel]]s are also avenues. In the case of landfills, [[advanced countries]] typically have rigid protocols for [[daily cover]] with topsoil, where [[underdeveloped countries]] customarily rely upon less stringent protocols. The importance of daily cover lies in the reduction of vector contact and spreading of [[pathogen]]s. Daily cover also minimises odor emissions and reduces windblown litter. Likewise, developed countries typically have requirements for perimeter sealing of the landfill with clay-type soils to minimize migration of [[leachate]] that could contaminate [[groundwater]] (and hence jeopardize some [[drinking water]] supplies). For incineration options, the release of [[air pollutant]]s, including certain [[toxic]] components is an attendant adverse outcome. Recycling and biofuel conversion are the [[sustainable]] options that generally have superior lifecycle costs, particularly when total [[ecological]] consequences are considered. Composting value will ultimately be limited by the market demand for compost product. ==Food preparation== {{Details|food safety}} Sanitation within the food industry means the adequate treatment of food-contact surfaces by a process that is effective in destroying vegetative cells of [[microorganism]]s of [[public health]] significance, and in substantially reducing numbers of other undesirable microorganisms, but without adversely affecting the food or its safety for the consumer ([[U.S. Food and Drug Administration]], [[Code of Federal Regulations]], 21CFR110, USA). [[Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures]] are mandatory for food industries in [[United States]], which are regulated by 9 CFR part 416 in conjunction with 21 CFR part 178.1010. Similarly, in Japan, food hygiene has to be achieved through compliance with food sanitation law. In the food and [[biopharmaceutical]] industries, the term “sanitary equipment” means equipment that is fully cleanable using [[clean-in-place]] (CIP) and sterilization-in-place (SIP) procedures: that is fully drainable from cleaning solutions and other [[liquid]]s. The design should have a minimum amount of deadleg, or areas where the [[turbulence]] during cleaning is insufficient to remove product deposits. In general, to improve cleanability, this equipment is made from [[Stainless Steel]] 316L, (an [[alloy]] containing small amounts of [[molybdenum]]). The surface is usually [[electropolish]]ed to an effective surface roughness of less than 0.5 [[micrometre]] to reduce the possibility of [[bacteria]]l adhesion. == Health impacts == === General aspects === For any social and economic development, adequate sanitation in conjunction with good hygiene and safe water are essential to good health. Lack of proper sanitation causes diseases. Most of the diseases resulting from sanitation have a direct relation to poverty. The lack of clean water and poor sanitation causes many diseases and the spread of diseases. It is estimated that inadequate sanitation is responsible for 4.0 percent of deaths and 5.7 percent of disease burden worldwide. Lack of sanitation is a serious issue that is affecting most developing countries and countries in transition. The importance of the isolation of excreta and waste lies in an effort to prevent diseases which can be [[Transmission (medicine)|transmitted]] through human waste, which afflict both [[developed countries]] as well as [[developing countries]] to differing degrees. It is estimated that up to 5 million people die each year from preventable [[water-borne diseases|waterborne diseases]], as a result of inadequate sanitation and hygiene practices. The effects of sanitation has impacted the society of people throughout history. Sanitation is a necessity for a healthy life. === Diarrhea === Diarrhea plays a significant role: Deaths resulting from diarrhea are estimated to be between 1.6 and 2.5 million deaths every year.{{citation needed|date=January 2015}} Most of the affected are young children below the ages of five.{{citation needed|date=January 2015}} [[Open defecation]] – or lack of sanitation – is a major factor in causing various diseases, most notably [[infectious diarrhea|diarrhea]] and [[helminthiasis|intestinal worm infections]]. For example, infectious diarrhea resulted in about 0.7 million deaths in children under five years old in 2011 and 250 million lost school days. It can also lead to [[malnutrition]] and [[stunted growth]] in children. Open defecation is a leading cause of diarrheal death; 2,000 children under the age of five die every day, one every 40 seconds, from [[diarrhea]]. === Impacts on children’s development === Poor sanitation accounts for almost 50 percent of underweight child since it has a direct link to diarrhea. Children suffering from diarrhea are more vulnerable to become underweight (due to [[stunted growth]]) which makes them more vulnerable to other diseases such as [[Acute respiratory infection|acute respiratory infections]] and [[malaria]]. === List of diseases caused by lack of sanitation === Relevant diseases and conditions caused by lack of sanitation and hygiene include: * [[Waterborne diseases]], which can contaminate drinking water * Diseases transmitted by the [[fecal-oral route]] ** [[helminthiasis|Infections with intestinal helminths]] (worms) – approximately two billion people are infected with [[soil-transmitted helminths]] worldwide; they are transmitted by eggs present in human faeces which in turn contaminate soil in areas where sanitation is poor. * [[Stunted growth]] in children * [[Malnutrition]], particularly in children The list of diseases that could be reduced with proper access to sanitation and hygiene practices is very long. For example in India, 15 diseases have been listed which could be stamped out by improving sanitation: # [[Anaemia]], [[malnutrition]] # [[Ascariasis]] (a type of intestinal worm infection) # [[Campylobacteriosis]] # [[Cholera]] # Cyanobacteria toxins # [[Dengue]] # [[Hepatitis]] # [[Japanese encephalitis]] (JE) # [[Leptospirosis]] # [[Malaria]] # [[Ringworm]] or Tinea (a type of intestinal worm infection) # [[Scabies]] # [[Schistosomiasis]] # [[Trachoma]] # [[Typhoid]] and paratyphoid enteric fevers [[Polio]] is in fact another disease which is related to improper sanitation and hygiene. == Improving global access == The [[United Nations]] [[Millennium Development Goals]] (MDGs) include a target to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015. In December 2006, the [[United Nations General Assembly]] declared 2008 “The International Year of Sanitation”, in recognition of the slow progress being made towards the MDGs sanitation target. The year aimed to develop awareness and action to meet the target. Particular concerns are: * Removing the stigma around sanitation, so that the importance of sanitation can be more easily and publicly discussed. * Highlighting the [[poverty reduction]], [[health]] and other benefits that flow from better hygiene, household sanitation arrangements and wastewater treatment. The [[Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation]] of [[WHO]] and [[UNICEF]] has defined [[improved sanitation]] as follows: * [[Flush toilet]] or flush / pour-flush to a [[pit toilet|pit latrine]] with are connected to either a [[sanitary sewer|sewer]] system or a [[Septic tank|septic system]] * Ventilated improved pit latrine (VIP) * [[Pit latrine]] with slab * [[Composting toilet]] The JMP publishes a report of updated estimates every two years on the use of various types of drinking-water sources and sanitation facilities at the national, regional and global levels. In March 2012, the JMP released its latest updates. According to the definition above, 1.8 billion more people used improved sanitation in 2010 than in 1990, bringing the percentage of people using improved sanitation to 63% globally. However, the world remains off track for the sanitation target of the [[Millennium Development Goal]]s. 2.5 billion lack improved sanitation. According to the JMP, if current trends continue, in 2015 2.4 billion people will lack access to improved sanitation facilities. 15 per cent of the population still practise [[open defecation]], defined as defecation in fields, forests, bushes, bodies of water or other open spaces. This represents 1.1 billion people. Though the proportion of people practising [[open defecation]] is decreasing, the absolute number has remained at over one billion for several years, due to population growth. In 2011 the [[Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation]] launched the [[Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation|Reinvent the Toilet Challenge]] to promote safer, more effective ways to treat human waste. The program is aimed at developing technologies that might help bridge the global sanitation gap. This outcome presents substantial public health risks as the waste could contaminate [[drinking water]] and cause life-threatening forms of [[diarrhea]] to infants. Most cities can neither afford a sewage drainage system, nor a sewage treatment system, as Sunita Narain spelled out in the magazine [http://www.dandc.eu/articles/220395/index.en.shtml ”D+C Development and Cooperation”]. Improved sanitation, including [[hand washing]] and water purification, could save the lives of 1.5 million children who die from diarrheal diseases each year. Research from the [[Overseas Development Institute]] suggests that sanitation and hygiene promotion needs to be better “mainstreamed” in development, if the MDG on sanitation is to be met. At present, promotion of sanitation and hygiene is mainly carried out through water institutions. The research argues that there are, in fact, many institutions that should carry out activities to develop better sanitation and hygiene in developing countries. For example, educational institutions can teach on [[hygiene]], and health institutions can dedicate resources to preventative works (to avoid, for example, outbreaks of [[cholera]]). There are also civil society organisations providing the necessary infrastructure where national governments cannot do that on their own. In Ghana, there is an umbrella organisation for those programmes, called CONIWAS (Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation) as reported in the magazine [http://www.dandc.eu/articles/220737/index.en.shtml ”D+C Development and Cooperation”]. The [[Institute of Development Studies]] (IDS) coordinated research programme on [[community-led total sanitation]] (CLTS) is a radically different approach to rural sanitation in developing countries and has shown promising successes where traditional rural sanitation programmes have failed. CLTS is an unsubsidized approach to rural sanitation that facilitates communities to recognize the problem of [[open defecation]] and take [[collective action]] to clean up and become “[[open defecation]] free”. It uses community-led methods such as participatory mapping and analysing pathways between feces and mouth as a means of galvanizing communities into action. An IDS policy brief suggests that in many countries the MDG for sanitation is off track and asks how CLTS can be adopted and spread on a large scale in the many countries and regions where open defecation still prevails. ==History== {{Further|History of water supply and sanitation}} The earliest evidence of urban sanitation was seen in [[Harappa]], [[Mohenjo-daro]], and the recently discovered [[Rakhigarhi]] of [[Indus Valley civilization]]. This urban plan included the world’s first urban sanitation systems. Within the city, individual homes or groups of homes obtained water from [[Water well|wells]]. From a room that appears to have been set aside for bathing, waste water was directed to covered drains, which lined the major streets. [[Ancient Rome|Roman]] cities and [[Roman villa]]s had elements of sanitation systems, delivering water in the streets of towns such as [[Pompeii]], and building stone and wooden drains to collect and remove [[wastewater]] from populated areas—see for instance the [[Cloaca Maxima]] into the [[River Tiber]] in Rome. But there is little record of other sanitation in most of Europe until the [[High Middle Ages]]. Unsanitary conditions and overcrowding were widespread throughout [[Europe]] and [[Asia]] during the [[Middle Ages]], resulting periodically in cataclysmic [[pandemic]]s such as the [[Plague of Justinian]] (541-42) and the [[Black Death]] (1347–1351), which killed tens of millions of people and radically altered societies. Very high infant and child mortality prevailed in Europe throughout [[medieval]] times, due not only to deficiencies in sanitation but to an insufficient food supply for a population which had expanded faster than [[agriculture]]. This was further complicated by frequent [[warfare]] and exploitation of civilians by autocratic rulers. ==References== {{Reflist|2}} ==External links== {{Wiktionary|sanitation}} *[http://www.irc.nl/ IRC /en/ World Health Organization overview on sanitation] *[http://water.worldbank.org/water/shw-resource-guide Sanitation, Hygiene and Wastewater Resource Guide (World Bank)] * [[www.susana.org|Sustainable Sanitation Alliance]] {{public health}} [[Category:Sanitation| ]] [[Category:Hygiene]] [[Category:Public health]] [[Category:Sewerage]]

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