Sanitation

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Sanitation is the hygienic disposal or recycling of waste materials, particularly human excrement and urine. Sanitation is an important public health measure which is essential for the prevention of disease. Sanitation is particulary important in isolation of water supply systems from sewage discharge. A considerable fraction of the world is lacking adequate basic sanitation; partly this deficiency has an economic root, but it is primarily a result of overcrowding and overpopulation, since the earth's land and water resources have a limited carrying capacity for sanitation needs if we consider water-propelled sanitation (such as currently used in much of the developed world). However, this problem can be significantly reduced by utilization of new technologies such as ecological sanitation. The scope of public sanitation usually extends to solid waste disposal and street-cleaning.

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[edit] Relation to potable water

One of the principal reasons for sanitation standards (such as the desireability of wastewater treatment) is the separation of untreated sewage from water supplies. Most advanced countries have sewage treatment as part of standard infrasructure<ref>Typical U.S. water treatment standards</ref>, where underdeveloped countries often lack such sewage treatment, and consequently drinking water can be contaminated resulting in a multitude of public health and environmental problems. The importance of waste isolation lies in an effort to prevent water-borne diseases, which afflicts both developed countries as well as undeveloped countries to differing degrees. Approximately 14,000 people die each day from preventable water-borne disease<ref>Water Partners International</ref>, as a result of exposure to contaminated water. Often this contamination can be traced to lack of proper sanitation methods(e.g. separation of wastewater from drinking water). In some cases a source of inadequate sanitation derives from an industrial or chemical discharge<ref>.Environmental Biotechnology: Advancement in Water And Wastewater Application, edited by Z. Ujang, IWA Proceedings, Malaysia (2003)</ref>

[edit] Food industry

Image:Canteen kitchen.jpg
Modern restaurant food preparation area.

Sanititation within the food industry means to the adequate treatment of food-contact surfaces by a process that is effective in destroying vegetative cells of microorganisms of public health significance, and in substantially reducing numbers of other undesirable microorganisms, but without adversely affecting the product or its safety for the consumer (FDA, Code of Federal Regulations, 21CFR110, USA).

Additionally, in the food and Biopharmaceutical industries, the term sanitary equipment means equipment that is fully cleanable using Clean-in-place (CIP), and Sterilization in place (SIP) procedures: that is fully drainable from cleaning solutions and other liquids. The design should have a minimum amount of deadleg<ref>Treatment of deadleg plumbing areas</ref> or areas where the turbulence during cleaning is not enough to remove product deposits. In general, to improve cleanability, this equipment is made from Stainless Steel 316L, (an alloy containing small amounts of molybdenum). The surface is usually electropolished to an effective surface roughness of less than 0.5 microns, to reduce the possibility of bacterial adhesion to the surface.

[edit] Solid waste disposal

Disposal of solid waste is most commonly conducted in landfills, but incineration, recycling, composting and conversion to biofuels are also avenues. In the case of landfills, advanced countries typically have rigid protocols for daily cover with topsoil, where underdeveloped countries customarily rely upon less stringent proocols<ref>George Tchobanoglous and Frank Kreith Handbook of Solid Waste Management, McGraw Hill (2002)</ref>. The importance of daily cover lies in the reduction of vector contact and spreading of pathogens. Daily cover also minimises odour emissions and reduces windblown litter. Likewise, developed countries typically have requirements for perimeter sealing of the landfill with clay-type soils to minimize migration of leachate that could contaminate groundwater (and hence jeopardize some drinking water supplies).

For incineration options, the release of air pollutants, including certain toxic components is an attendant adverse outcome. Recycling and biofuel conversion are the sustainable options that generally have superior life cycle costs, particularly when total ecological consequences are considered<ref>William D. Robinson, The Solid Waste Handbook: A Practical Guide, John Wiley and sons (1986)</ref>. Composting value will ultimately be limited by the market demand for compost product.

[edit] History

Although the Romans had some elements of sanitation systems, especially related to wastewater collection and transport away from populated areas, there is little record of sanitation until the High Middle Ages. Unsanitary conditions were widespread throughout Europe and Asia throughout the Middle Ages, but there were no cataclysmic results until the 1300s when overpopulation of some regions created overcrowding and magnified the impacts of lack of sanitation.<ref>Carlo M. Cipolla, Before the Industrial Revolution: European Society and Economy 1000-1700, W.W. Norton and Company, London (1980) ISBN 0-393-95115-4</ref> Between 1348 and 1351 the plague killed 25 million Europeans or almost one third of the entire population.

Very high infant and child mortality prevailed in Europe throughout medieval times, due not only to deficiencies in sanitation but to insufficient food supplies for the population that had expanded faster than agriculture<ref>Burnett White, Natural History of Infectious Diseases</ref>. Thus sanitation and food supply are looked upon as the balances of rapidly expanding population in the period 1300 to 1600 in most of Europe, especially for the towns.

[edit] References

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[edit] See also

Look up sanitation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

[edit] External links

Sanitation

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