TWP Brings Improved Sanitation Technologies to Rural El Salvador


A family stands next to their new dry composting pit latrine.

TWP recently installed 10 dry composting pit latrines in El Salvador, a project that will significantly improve the quality of life for families by decreasing soil contamination and consequent spread of disease.  This sanitation technology replaces traditional pit latrines, which often leach waste into soils and surrounding water supplies, and can overflow with heavy rains and puddle on ground surface.  Pit latrines can be extremely problematic and if not handled properly could be a source for Cholera incubation.  Click here to learn more about how dry composting latrines work.

How Do Composting Latrines Work?

The dry compost latrines consist of two chambers made of concrete cinder blocks with a toilet seat, including urine diverter, placed over each of the chambers.  After each use, stove ash, compost, and/or sawdust is added inside the chamber to reduce odors and keep the chamber dry. It also includes a vent to allow fresh air to circulate and further dry the solid matter.  After one chamber is filled it is left to dry during six to eight month periods while the second chamber is in use. The contents of the first chamber are then transformed into a rich fertilizer that can be used on surrounding crops or trees after a drying period under the sun and mixed with a 1:1 ratio of earth.  One dry composting latrine can serve families of more than six people for over 10 years with proper maintenance.

Photo by IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

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Trees, Water & People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to developing sustainable community-based conservation solutions.

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