Reinventing Pit Latrines Using Breathable Laminate Liners o Mitigate Groundwater Contamination
By Texas A&M University – San Antonio
In many conflict-affected countries, over half of the population is dependent on pit latrines and groundwater resources, which puts people at risk of contracting disease outbreaks transmitted via the faeco-oral route such as diarrhoea, shigella, cholera and typhoid. Consequently protecting the groundwater by promoting safe excreta disposal practices has shown to reduce childhood diarrhea in emergency situations.
Texas A&M University – San Antonio is developing an innovative breathable laminate-lined pit latrines to protect the groundwater from fecal contamination without compromising safe excreta disposal. Liners will be applied inside pit latrines to hygienically collect and store human waste. These liners contain laminated ‘breathable’ membranes that allow water vapor to evaporate from fecal sludge while preventing the passage of any solids, liquids and pathogens to nearby water sources. These laminates are reusable and will need minimal supervision once in place. In addition, they will also provide an alternate sanitation solution to fully-sealed cess pits in high water table areas.