public health conditions related to clean drinking water and adequate disposal of human excreta and sewage

Sanitation means dealing with human waste (feces and urine) safely .[1] It also includes ways to maintain hygiene by disposing of garbage, treating wastewater and managing hazardous waste.[2] Sanitation is important because it helps prevent the spread of germs and diseases.[3] In past centuries it meant "health" and later "cleanliness".

A modern flush toilet

In poor countries, many people have poor sanitation because they do not have good toilets. They also do not have good sewage systems. In developed countries, people usually have good sanitation because they have a sewage system to filter disease and toxins from the water.[4] The use of toilets protects the health of a community by keeping germs out of the environment.[5]

There are also other types of toilets that are more economical, better for the environment, and do not need big sewer systems or wastewater treatment plants. Examples are dry toilets and twin-pit pour-flush toilets (of which many have been installed in India).


  1. "Sanitation". World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  2. "Global Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene (WASH)". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  3. "Water, Sanitation and Hygiene". UNICEF. Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  4. "Definition of "Sanitation" - the disposal of sewage and waste". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved on 15 February 2015.
  5. "Toilets for Health (Sanitation)". Hesperian Health Guides. Retrieved 15 February 2015.