Borehole latrine


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Terms & Synonyms

Official WHO Definition

A site to receive and dispose of excreta in a hole drilled or bored by a machine (WHO et al. 2003).

Other Definitions


Interpretations and Explanations

A bored-hole latrine is a hole drilled in the ground to receive and store bodily wastes. It is similar to a basic pit latrine, but the pit is a hole bored with a soil auger, either mechanically or manually. A floor slab of wood or concrete is placed on top.The borehole diameter is recommended to be at least 0.4 metre, and the pit is 4–10 metres deep. The relatively small diameter permits a simpler, smaller, lighter and cheaper floor slab and foundation, but limits the storage capacity. A bored-hole latrine is suitable for stable, permeable soils, free of stones, and where the groundwater is deep beneath the surface. The top 0.5 metre of the pit is often lined to provide support for the slab, but the pit is not lined all the way to the bottom. It is mainly used in emergency situations (WHO et al. 2003).


WHO and IRC Water and Sanitation Centre (2003) Linking technology choice with operation and maintenance in the context of community water supply and sanitation: A reference document for planners and project staff

Caldwell EL, Parr LW. Ground water pollution and the bored-hole latrine. Journal of Infectious Disease 1937;61:148-83.Carter, JC, 1938. The bored-hole latrine. Bulletin of Hygiene, 13, 8, August 591-600.

WHO Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

External Resources


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