At the end of each definition in this Glossary there is a number in brackets. This indicates the number of the Study Session where the term is first used in this OpenWASH module.

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parasitic worms

group of parasites such as tapeworms or nematodes (also known as roundworms); helminthes (2)


disease-causing agent (1)

peri-urban areas

areas around a town or city between the urban and rural areas and having some characteristics of both (2)


measure of acidity and alkalinity. It has a scale from 0 to 14: pH 7 is neutral, less than 7 is acid and more than 7 is alkaline (6)

placenta pit

pit in a hospital or healthcare centre grounds for disposal of anatomical and pathological waste (placentas, body parts, blood, body fluids) (12)

polluting potential

potential of wastewaters to cause pollution, i.e. to cause damage to the condition, health, safety or welfare of animals, humans, plants or property (4)


introduction into the environment of substances liable to cause harm (1)

pour-flush toilet

toilet where the urine and faeces are flushed away by pouring water from a jug down the toilet after use (5)

primary collection

collection of waste from individual households and businesses or from communal bins serving a number of households (9)

primary treatment

first stage of the sewage treatment process where most solids are removed by sedimentation (6)

private sector participation

involving the private sector (in waste management) (9)

process evaluation

assessment of the ways a project or programme has been undertaken to determine whether it is on track to meet its aims (15)


single-celled microscopic organisms, larger than bacteria (2)

public-private partnership

collaboration between a public sector body or organisation and a private sector company (9)

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