The Advantages and Disadvantages of Building a Pit Toilet

A dry toilet or a non-flush toilet is a toilet that can be operated without flush water. One of the most commonly used type of dry toilet is the pit toilet or pit latrines. Pit toilets are used most specially in developing countries where flush toilets connected to septic systems or sewer systems won’t be possible.

Dry toilets are also quite useful in rural areas where sewerage infrastructure can cost a fortune especially in unfavorable terrains. These dry toilets can also be used for areas in developed countries like national parks or summer houses.


A pit toilet can be a suitable alternative to water flushed toilets when there is shortage of water for flushing. Another good reason to opt for pit toilets can be because the infrastructure for wastewater treatment used in flush toilets is too expensive to construct.

Dry toilets are used for a number of reasons.

 They are easy to construct, operate and maintain.

Its operation only includes regular water cleansing of the slab to remove any excreta or urine, daily cleansing of floor, squatting pan, door handles and all other parts of the toilet’s structure. Its door should be closed at all times. The drop hole should be left open as closing it would block the airflow.

Its maintenance include monthly inspections to check for any visible cracks on the floor slab or damage to the vent pipe and fly screen. Another maintenance task is to dig out the feces at the end of the dry season. When these feces have fully decomposed, they should be properly buried in a pit. These feces can be used as fertilizer after a year or more.

 Water Conservation

 Surface Water or Groundwater Pollution Prevention

 Safe Reuse of Excreta


 Since pit toilets don’t have water seal, odor problems may occur.

 Pathogens are present in the pit sludge so emptying the pit can be a challenge.
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