Water Engineering and Development Centre
Pit latrines are one of the oldest forms of formal sanitation in the world and for many they are still the best. Pit latrines are simple to build and can be constructed using local materials and technologies. Compared with other forms of sanitation they are relatively cheap, easy to operate and maintain and, if properly used, help prevent the spread of excreta related diseases. For most low-income communities in the developing world, the pit latrine in one form or another will be the most appropriate means of excreta disposal.
This guide describes how pit latrines work and the components of pit latrines. It also examines some of the main problems that can arise with this simple form of sanitation.