Sanitation System : 2 Types of Sanitation System ( Conservancy & Water Carriage System )

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A sanitation system is the hygienic means of maintaining proper health through the prevention of human contact with hazards of wastes by appropriate treatment and disposal of solid and liquid wastes.


Conservancy System of Sanitation


Humans use the resources of the earth, and waste products are produced. These wastes are generated by domestic, commercial, and industrial activities. If these wastes are not carefully disposed of, it results in water, soil, and air pollution.

Sanitation has played a significant role in maintaining a healthy life and environment for the living of humans and other creatures on the earth.



   Types of Sanitation System  

There are two types of sanitation systems that are commonly utilized. They are:

i. Conservancy Sanitation System

ii. Water Carriage Sanitation System



  i. Conservancy Sanitation System  

In the conservancy sanitation system, different types of garbages or refuse are collected, conveyed, and disposed of separately by methods like burning, filling, burying, etc.

✔ Refuse, or garbage is collected in dustbins and is conveyed by trucks to the disposal point. Then, combustible & non-combustible portions are separated.

✔ Combustible portions like dry leaves, waste papers, furniture, plastics, etc., are burnt and remained residue is buried.

✔ Non-combustible materials like sand, silt, clay, etc., are used for filling the low-level areas.

system of sanitation


✔ Human excreta is collected separately in conservancy latrines or privies and is carried by human agencies.

✔ The conservancy sanitation system is also called the dry system of sanitation.



a. Advantages of Conservancy Sanitation System  

Some of the advantages of the conservancy system are:

a. Its initial cost is very low.

b. No need for water for flushing purposes.

c.  No need for sewer pipes as in the water carriage system.

d. Sewage quantity reaching the treatment plant before disposal is low.



b. Disadvantages of Conservancy Sanitation System 

Some of the disadvantages of the conservancy system are:

a. This system entirely depends upon human agencies. So, a lack of workforce or strike by agencies can cause the unhygienic condition in the city.

b. A large area is required to bury the residue ( remained part after burning combustible portions) or excremental matter.

c. Labours are needed daily for the collection of waste.

d. Decomposition of excreta takes place before its removal. This causes a nuisance of smell.

e. It is not suitable for most of the buildings.

f. It is unhygienic and causes unsanitary conditions.

g. This method also increases the risk of an epidemic. ( E.g., There is a risk of new waves of viruses like coronavirus if labourers do not adopt proper safety.)

h.  Liquid wastes from laboratories may percolate into the ground, causing groundwater table pollution.


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  ii. Water Carriage Sanitation System  

A water Carriage System is a method for the disposal of wastes, where water carries the wastes from its point of production to the point of treatment for final disposal.

✔ The wastes become liquid due to the high quantity of water (99.9%) carried by the sewers.

✔ A sewer is a pipe or conduit that carries wastewater.

✔ Solid waste materials like garbage are collected separately in the conservancy system because they may clog the sewers.

✔ Every person uses 5 to 10 litres of water for their hygiene, and wasted water is used to maintain the sewers’ flushing system.

✔ Also, the wastewater from kitchens, baths, washbasins, industries, commercial buildings, etc., is led to the sewers and used for flushing.

✔ Finally, those collected sewerage led by the sewers is treated suitably and disposed of by different methods.

✔ A water carriage system is a sanitation process carried out with the help of sewers & water. So, it is also called a water carriage system of sewers.



  a. Types of Water Carriage Sanitation System  

There are three types of water carriage systems. They are:

1. Separate system

2. Combined system

3. Partially combined system



  1. Separate System   

In a separate system, there are two separate sewers ( i.e., Foul Sewer & Stormwater Sewer).

Foul sewer is also called sanitary sewer and is used to carry sewage from buildings (but not stormwater) to the point of treatment.

Stormwater sewer is used to carry stormwater from roads, buildings & surfaces.  The stormwater is discharged into rivers without treatment.

✔ If a separate outlet for stormwater is available and the town’s topography is such that it can be disposed of in natural drains, then it is suitable to construct a separate system.


Advantages of Separate System

a. Load on the treatment unit is low.

b. It is more economical for the long term.

c. It is more uniform.

d. If one sewer gets clogged, it doesn’t affect another sewer system.

e. It is more hygienic and pollution-free as compared to combined & partially combined.

f. It mitigates the problem of flooding.

g. It allows the use of stormwater as a resource.

h. It optimizes the efficiency of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).


Disadvantages of Separate System 

a. Cleaning of two sewers have to be done.

b. Two sets of sewers are ultimately costly to construct.

c. Confusion about the pipe can be there.

d. Reconstruction process may disrupt the traffic, businesses, etc.



  2. Combined System   

✔ In Combined System, there is only one set of the sewer.

✔ Sewages from houses and commercial buildings and rainwater are carried in the same sewer.

It means that the same sewer act as both sanitary sewer and stormwater sewer.


Advantages of Combined System

a. It requires only one sewer. This reduces the cost of construction.

b. Because of the large diameter, cleaning is easy.

c. Self-cleaning velocity can be easily achieved in this method.


Disadvantages of the Combined System 

a. Handling and transportation of sewer is difficult.

b. Load on the treatment plant is increased.

c. During heavy rains, it may flow out.

d. They are large, which requires more area & gets easily silted.

e. Pollution of stormwater unnecessarily.

f. If the pump is required, it becomes uneconomical.



  3. Partially Separate System   

✔ In this system, two sewers are provided.

Storm water from roofs, yards, and pavements is mixed in the sanitary sewer, and stormwater from other places is conveyed in a separate storm sewer.


Advantages of Partially Separate System

a. The cleaning process is easy.

b. It combines the advantages of both.

c. Fewer chances of choking.


Disadvantages of Partially Combined System

a. In dry weather, velocity is low.

b. It increases the treatment load.



  b. Advantages of Water Carriage System of Sanitation  

Some advantages of the water carriage system are:

1. It improves the aesthetic appearance of the city.

2. As compared to the conservancy system, less area is required.

3. No problem with foul smell or hygienic trouble as it immediately removes excreta with water.

4. Depending on the topography of the town, sewage may or may not require pumping while treating it before disposing of it.

5. Waste materials are treated up to the required degree of sanitation.

6. It makes the environment more hygienic and pollution-free.



  c. Disadvantages of Water Carriage System of Sanitation  

Some disadvantages of the water carriage system are:

1. The initial cost of construction is high.

2. Operation and maintenance are more costly.

3. It is not suitable for the areas having less water.


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