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Water Sector Policy Database (WSPD)

Policy Name: Protocol to Manage the Potential of Ground Water Contamination from On-Site Sanitation

Open Policy Document Open Policy Document
This document has been opened: 2 384 times to date.
Date Of Release: 01 Dec 2003
Date Of Expected Review: 01 Dec 2007
Date Last Updated: 20 Jul 2009
Policy Type: Regulations
Policy Level: National
Department: Department of Water Affairs: Water Services Policy and Strategy
Contact Name: Mbentse Bekubuhle / Ndlovu Siboniso
Phone Number: 012 336 7451 / 336 7391
Fax Number: 012 336 6560
Email: /
Directorate: National Sanitation Programme
Contact Name: Mirriam Ngoatje
Phone Number: (012) 336 6587
Fax Number: (012) 336 4344
Topics covered:
WS Tools and Guidelines
Policy Precis:

This document assist sanitation planners to address the problem of ground water contamination when construction on-site sanitation systems such as VIP Latrines

Section Summary

  Section Number Section Heading Section Description
1. Introduction The introductory section covers the 8 guiding principles of the document and covers the concept of risk when making an assessment of the potential for ground water contamination.

2. The Ground Water Cycle and the Contamination Process This section describes the groundwater cycle. It describes how groundwater occurs and how it gets contaminated. It discussed the types of ground water contamination and covers how fast a sanitation scheme can pollute the ground water. The section covers the reduction of contamination in both the un-saturated and the saturated zones.

3. Technical Considerations The first section covers how to make changes to the sanitation system to reduce ground water contamination. It covers the changes that can be made to the design of schemes based on pit toilets, septic tanks and aqua privies and waterborne systems.

The second section covers how to assess the vulnerability of aquifers to contamination

The third section discusses protecting the ground water source at the point of abstraction.

In addition, geological and hydro-geological conditions are discussed as well as the placing and protecting of boreholes and surface water considerations.

4. Approach to Assessment of Contamination Risk A two stage approach to contamination assessment is suggested. This comprises an area-based hydrogeological assessment followed by project-based sanitary surveillance. Should this not be possible, a detailed project based assessment should be undertaken.

Stakeholder participation is covered as well as a list of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder is provided.

5. The Guidelines This section provides detailed guidelines on how to assess the risk of contamination, propose measures to reduce the contamination (should the project still be feasible), ensure legislative compliance, conduct ongoing monitoring and evaluation and the submission of reports to the relevant authorities.

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