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Investigation into pollution from on-site dry sanitation systems
Expanded Title:Many studies have been conducted on the widespread use of pit latrines. Regrettably, no consistent methodology has been used to monitor or report the extent of nutrient or pathogen movement. Very often, the studies comprise monitoring of local boreholes down gradient of informal or peri-urban developments. Several case studies report incidences of nutrient and pathogen contamination as a result of on-site sanitation contaminating water resources. Elevated concentrations of nutrients and pathogens have been observed between 20 and 90 m from latrines. Studies also claim that observations from boreholes some 900 m downstream of developments where pit latrines are used have shown increases in pathogen abundance. Only one study warns that the rapid lateral subsurface flow from extreme events may move nutrients and pathogens from pit latrines, but no observations are evident in the literature. Four sites on two geologies were established in this study. A transect of four VIP latrines were monitored on a hillslope and an associated background site was couple with this transect. Three other sites were established to monitor individual pour flush latrines. The study found that In comparison to previous studies, nitrate movement does not appear to be as significant at the KwaZulu-Natal study sites compared to other studies. However they are consistent with each other in terms of greatest mobility during periods of high rainfall. The same can be said for the mobility of E.coli. However at the slangspruit site, a distinct E.coli plume extended to 26 m, whereas the nitrate was only clear up to 3 m. At this site where the water table was consistently high (i.e. <1 m) it may be suggested that in these circumstances, faecal coliform pose a great chance of contaminating nearby water resources.
Date Published:01/05/2015
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Wastewater Management - Domestic, Sanitation - On site sanitation
Document Keywords:Pollution control
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:2115/1/15
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0671-1
Authors:Lorentz S; Wickham B; Still D
Project No:K5/2115
Originator:WRC
Organizations:University of KwaZuIu-Natal; Partners in Development
Document Size:4 919 KB
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