Modelling faecal pathogen flows in urban environments: a proposed approach to inform sanitation planning

Themes: Health impact Planning Research Sanitation Tools and guidance Urban Sanitation Research Initiative

Creating a methodology so city-level sanitation investment decisions can be supported by a better understanding of pathogen flows

This Policy Brief summarises an initial research study which developed a conceptual model of faecal pathogen pathways in urban environments.

The proposed model uses a “source-pathway-receptor” approach: it considers release of pathogens into the environment, transport in the environment, and eventual human exposure.

The model can potentially provide a framework for comparing the relative impacts of different sanitation options on health; the next step should be to test the approach in a real city.

This research was led by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). See open access: Mills, F., Willetts, J., Petterson, S., Mitchell, C. and Norman, G. 2018 ‘Faecal pathogen flows and their public health risks in urban environments: A proposed approach to inform sanitation planning’  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health