Sustainable sanitation, improved use of composting latrines through mixing and moisturizing: case study in Paraguay

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© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Providing sanitation for water-starved areas is crucial to environmental sustainability. Composting latrines are a sustainable sanitation method since they do not require water. However, little analysis has been done on the decomposition process occurring inside the latrine, including what temperatures are reached and what variables most affect the composting process. Having better knowledge of how outside variables affect composting latrines can aid designers and users on the choice, design, and use. Detailed field measurements of pit temperature in a latrine for several months were taken with the compost being frequently mixed and moistened. Ambient temperatures and the mixing of liquid to the compost resulted in temperature increases 100 % of the time, with seasonal ambient temperatures determining the rate and duration of the temperature increases. However, compost only reached total pathogen destruction levels in 10 % of the measurements. Storage time recommendation outlined by the World Health Organization should be complied with. If these storage durations are obtainable, the use of composting latrines is an economical and sustainable solution to sanitation while conserving water resources.

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Environment, Development and Sustainability