The cost of urban sanitation solutions: a literature review

Project Duration November 2016 - May 2017 Category: Public finance and sanitation planning
Themes: Planning Public finance Research Sanitation Urban Sanitation Research Initiative


Conventional sewer systems are the most expensive urban sanitation solution, followed by systems based on septic tanks, ventilated improved pits (VIP), urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDT), then pour-flush pit latrines. Simplified sewer systems may cost less than both conventional sewer systems and septic tank-based systems.

Next steps

Cost reporting methodologies are inconsistent, and few studies provide data on lifecycle costs for the full urban sanitation chain. Building sanitation cost databases at country or city level could be useful for investment planning.

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