The majority of people in developing countries are without reasonable access to safe drinking water and are forced to live without proper sanitation. This lack of safe water and poor sanitation is the major cause of untold misery, disability, disease and death. The United Nations declared the 1980's as the “International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade” with the lofty goal of safe water and adequate sanitation for all by 1990. Realizing it required about 150 years for sanitation systems to evolve in the developed nations, it is important that the developing nations learn from their mistakes. The future sanitation systems for developing countries must use appropriate low cost technologies, rather than the conventional high cost water carriage sewerage technology of the developed nations. These low cost solutions when properly sited, designed, constructed and maintained are no less prestigious and as the overall environmental impacts become understood are in many instances the preferred solution.

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