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Boreholes and pit latrines


I will shortly be departing to Uganda and have been asked to consider several projects while I am there. These are:

Reviewing existing boreholes and the site for several proposed new boreholes

Meeting a supplier for bio-sand filters for the above boreholes - and to make recommendations

Review the potential for using a reservoir instead of boreholes

Review the possibility of rainwater harvesting

Review sanitation arrangements - particularly within the local village where there are either no formal arrangements or pit latrines which would affect groundwater.

I'd be grateful for your advice and some essential reading matter!

1 Answer


Things like the pit latrines polluting the groundwater are not always such a big concern - it is usually much better to ensure good excreta disposal i.e. a lot of working pit latrines, even if they pollute the groundwater somewhat.

By the time the groundwater reaches the well (or even borehole) faecal pollution is likely to have been filtered out. Sanitary surveys in Engineering in Emergencies are a good idea for this kind of situation.

Specific guidance might be much more useful - providing solutions to specific problems you observe rather than giving you generic texts. Texts might be good for the rainwater harvesting parts and reservoirs - there are some small earth dam books in the library.

Bio-sand filters - a good resource is which is one of Bushproof's websites.


Toby Gould