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< prev - next > Disaster response mitigation and rebuilding Emergency relief KnO 100425_Types of toilet and their suitability (Printable PDF)
Types of toilet and their suitability
Practical Action
Pour-Flush Latrine
Where water is more widely available, or traditionally used for anal cleansing, a pour flush latrine
may be appropriate
and can bring a
number of further
benefits on top of
simple or VIP
latrines. A water-
seal is created by a
plastic u-bend
which prevents bad
odour and flies
affecting the user
(this system is less
susceptible to
building errors
than the VIP
system). The
system only
requires a few
litres of water and
so should not put a
strain on resources
and could be
provided by
greywater from the
Figure 4: A pour-flush latrine set over a pit latrine (left) and discharging to an offset pit (right)
(Source: Harvey et al, 2002)
The system effectively reduces levels of flies,
mosquitoes and odour
The system can incorporate an offset pit (see
below) and so can be installed inside a
The installations are easy to keep clean
They work easily i.e. the construction is not
as complicated as a VIP latrine
Requires a supply of water to operate the
The water seal prevents the use of solid anal
cleansing materials
The plastic pan requires increased skill to
More expensive than simpler types
Offset pits : These are a means of improving the operational nature of a latrine, but may
increase the cost of construction and increase the complexity of the system. Two main
advantages of employing an offset pit are to make emptying easier without having to disturb the
superstructure and they can also enable the toilet to be constructed inside the house.
Single or Double Pit : It is also possible to include a double pit, this involves the need to change
the direction of flow between pits. The advantage of a double pit is that the contents of one pit
gradually decompose over time whist the other pit used and become safer to remove. The
sanitation facility also becomes a more permanent piece of infrastructure as the superstructure
never has to be removed. One area for caution is to ensure that the double pits are operated
correctly, in some cases it has been observed that incorrect use means the contents of one pit
are not safe to remove (Pickford, 1995).