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Some Thoughts on Sanitation and the Environment

”The Western type of toilet system cannot solve the problem of getting rid of excreta in Third World countries. Nor, indeed, has it solved those problems in the developed world. The Western system is expensive. It uses large amounts of clean water to flush away a small amount of excreta. It dirties streams, lakes and groundwater. For the large majority of people who still have no piped water, such a system is not even something to consider”. Winblad and Kilama, 1985 "

...... the conventional approach ....... has primarily meant using water to carry wastes out of sight - through reticulated sewage systems to centralised treatment facilities, into decentralised septic systems and leach fields, or into the ground directly through simple water-sealed toilets.” ”About half of the nutrients flowing into the oceans .... is the result of raw or partially treated sewage discharged directly into coastal waters or carried there indirectly via rivers and streams and through seepage from septic systems and other failing or inadequate land-based treatment methods.” Rapaport, 1996 "

..... the disadvantages (of wet systems) mainly stem from the mobility given to the toilet waste by the water. The water might conveniently remove the waste from the toilet room but it is then difficult to contain and can easily spread both nutrients and pathogens to pollute valuable water supplies. It also means that often scarce potable water is wasted in that process”. Bencke, 1996