Pit latrines and their impacts on groundwater quality: A systematic review

Pit latrines are one of the most common human excreta disposal systems in low-income countries, and their use is on the rise as countries aim to meet the sanitation-related target of the Millennium Development Goals. There is concern, however, that pit latrine discharges of chemical and microbial contaminants to groundwater may negatively affect human health. The researchers goals were to 1) calculate global pit latrine coverage, 2) systematically review empirical studies of the impacts of pit latrines on groundwater quality, 3) evaluate latrine siting standards, and 4) identify knowledge gaps regarding the potential for and consequences of groundwater contamination by latrines.

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