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Basic Environmental Engineering (2009) - Malestrom

Basic Environmental Engineering (2009) - Malestrom

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Published by Melvin Soldia

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Published by: Melvin Soldia on Oct 17, 2011
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11/23/2012

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When water table is low and the soil is porous (as in desert areas) soak pits are
preferable. It is easy to construct a soak pit and cheap also. It is a circular pit with
a dry masonry lining (without mortar). A size of 3.0 m diameter and 3 m depth is
sufficient for a moderate family of 5 persons for a cleaning period of 7 years in porous
soil. The whole sewage of the house can be accommodated in this and nothing comes
out of it so there is no problem of treatment and disposal. Actually it is planned and
constructed in such a way that the water of sewage is soaked in the soil and penetrates
deep under the ground. The only consideration is of ground water table. It should
be deep so that either the percolating sewage does not mixes with it or it gets purified
in its journey through the soil layers before it mixes with the ground water. After
all if it mixes with the ground water the pathogenic bacteria present in it shall
contaminate the ground water and one has to treat the tube-well water before direct
consumption. Unfortunately in India we assume the water from wells and tube-wells
to be pure and potable and consume it directly without disinfection. Even the water
flowing in the rivers or the stagnant water of ponds is directly consumed without
any hitch. No effort has been made to disinfect the wastewater going into the soak

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Basic Environmental Engineering

pits or the drinking water coming out of the handpumps or the wells. Otherwise the
soak pit is a very cheap and effortless solution of the sanitation problem. As there
is no sewer line, treatment plant and requirement of space for the disposal it is very
cheap and can be called as sewerless sanitation.

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