Conducting Soils Evaluation for On-Site Wastewater System Design

Soil-assessment-brief_Feb2017.pdf

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In many parts of the developing world, wastewater effluent from failing septic tanks and undersized leaching systems pose an environmental health threat. In the urban slums of Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire, unsafe sanitation systems contribute to diarrhea and cholera, which are persistent health threats.1 While significant resources have been spent on reducing open defecation, surfacing effluent from poorly designed systems brings pathogens back into close contact with community members, posing a significant risk of disease. However, with correctly designed systems, soils can be used to safely disperse wastewater effluent into the environment.

This technical brief from PSI’s Sanitation Service Delivery (SSD) project describes the procedure for conducting soil evaluations accurately and without a laboratory or expensive soil sieve.