6.2  Pit emptying

The process of pit emptying is sometimes called desludging. There are manual and mechanical methods for desludging, but the manual removal of faecal sludge from pit latrines poses severe risks to those undertaking the task.

  • What are the risks associated with manual emptying of pit latrines using buckets and shovels?

  • Firstly, there is risk of contact with faeces which could contain pathogens and cause disease. There could also be a danger of the pit collapsing if someone has to get inside to dig out the sludge.

Whether using manual or mechanical methods, the personal safety of anyone employed in pit emptying should be of primary importance. Operatives should wear gloves, masks and protective clothing.

6.1  Faecal sludge management

6.2.1 Vacuum trucks