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< prev - next > Sanitation and Cleanliness for a Healthy Environment (Printable PDF)
44 Sanitation and Cleanliness for a Healthy Environment
Pour-flush pit toilets
Pour-flush toilets use water to flush waste into a pit. These toilets are common in
both urban and rural areas where water is used for anal cleansing. They are not
much more costly than pit toilets. Because well-built pour-flush toilets prevent
smells, they can be built in or near the home.
Pour-flush toilets use a plastic, fiberglass, or cement bowl
or squatting pan set into a concrete platform. The bowl or
pan often has a ‘water-seal trap’ that prevents smells and
insect breeding in the wet pits. The concrete platform is
placed directly over a pit. Or it can be connected by pipe to
water-seal trap
a pit or 2 pits.
How to use a pour-flush toilet
When there is 1 pit, the toilet is used until full, and then
it must be emptied before it can continue to be used.
When there are 2 pits, there is a valve that directs waste
towards the pit in use. The first pit is used until near full.
Then waste is diverted into the second pit. Soil is then
added to the first pit. Its contents are left to settle for
at least 2 years, until it can be emptied without risk of
illness from germs. The second pit is used until the first
pit is emptied, and then it is allowed to settle as the first
pit is used again.
water-seal trap set in
concrete platform
1 pit pour-flush toilet
2 pit pour-flush toilet
One lined
pit 2 meters
deep under
the toilet.
chamber to
allow water
to flow down
to pits
Pipes and valve
to divert flow
from one pipe to
the other
A family of 5 will fill this pit in
about 5 years’ time.
With regular care, this toilet will
last many, many years.
2 lined pits
1 meter deep