Effects of poor sanitation
Everyone must know about the adverse effects of poor sanitation. The problem is at its worst in villages, where proper sanitation is not available. Villagers defecate in the open, on dry river beds, railway tracks, fields and even directly in water. This causes water and soil pollution. Moreover, it contaminates and affects ground water as well as surface water, resulting in diseases such as cholera, typhoid, polio, meningitis, hepatitis and dysentery.
Sanitation is a major problem in developing countries such as India and China. The government is unable to provide proper sanitation through underground drainages. Also, lack of knowledge and of money, illiteracy, large population and lack of social awareness results in improper sanitation. To avoid these problems, low-cost onsite sewage disposal systems should be used. These systems collect human excreta and store it in a hole or a pipe, and later direct it to a sewage treatment plant. In the absence of a proper sanitation network, people can use some other mechanism for sewage disposal.
The other mechanisms are septic tanks, chemical toilets, composting pits and vermi-processing toilets.
Septic tanks are suitable for places such as hospitals, isolated buildings and clusters of houses where there is no sewage.
Local governments or private corporations usually provide septic tanks in areas that have no direct connection to main sewage pipes. The septic tank system consists of a small sewage treatment system.
Aeroplanes and trains usually have chemical toilets. A chemical toilet uses chemicals to disinfect human waste and remove its bad odour. That is why trains and aeroplanes do not have elaborate plumbs and sewage.
Another method of clearing human waste is by the process of composting pits.
A composting toilet is a system that converts human waste into organic compost and usable soil.
This happens when micro-organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, and macro-organisms, such as earthworms, oxidise organic waste to break it down into essential minerals.
A vermi-composting toilet is a process that involves earthworms, which treat human excreta. This process is low cost. Moreover, the entire human waste is converted into of vermi-compost.
Organisations such as Sulabh International have developed a twin-pit pour flush toilet system that is being used by ten million people every day. The waste from these toilets flows through covered drains into a biogas plant for the generation of biogas and bio-fertilisers.
Biogas plants offer safe and hygienic disposal of wastes. Biogas has great advantage, i.e. it is used as a source of low-cost fuel. It can be used for heating, cooking running heat engines, generating mechanical or electrical power.
Litter and Waste
Litter and waste cause sanitation havoc at public places. This becomes common when exhibitions and fares are conducted.
Public places such as railway stations, bus depots, airports and hospitals generate a lot of waste, which leads to diseases. To prevent disease, certain measures should be taken and awareness among people should be created.