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Sanitation temple6.jpg


From sanitaire (1812 in Hatzfeld & Darmesteter), as in modern Latin *sānitārius, < Latin sānitās health: see sanity


  • 1: of or relating to health <sanitary measures>
  • 2: of, relating to, or used in the disposal especially of domestic waterborne waste <a sanitary sewer system>
  • 3: characterized by or readily kept in cleanlines


Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes. Hazards can be either physical, microbiological, biological or chemical agents of disease. Wastes that can cause health problems are human and animal feces, solid wastes, domestic wastewater (sewage, sullage, greywater), industrial wastes, and agricultural wastes. Hygienic means of prevention can be by using engineering solutions (e.g. sewerage and wastewater treatment), simple technologies (e.g. latrines, septic tanks), or even by personal hygiene practices (e.g. simple handwashing with soap).

The World Health Organization states that: "Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and faeces. Inadequate sanitation is a major cause of disease world-wide and improving sanitation is known to have a significant beneficial impact on health both in households and across communities. The word 'sanitation' also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and wastewater disposal.[1]