Groundwater pollution risk estimation

When preparing an SFD graphic for a city, you can use this page to help estimate the risk of groundwater pollution. Answering these six questions will give you an estimate of whether the risk of groundwater pollution is low or significant.
You can then apply the result in Step One of the SFD Graphic Generator to help you select the appropriate sanitation system from the SFD selection grid. The page can be used repeatedly to model different areas of a city where different sanitation systems maybe in use.

Q1: Vulnerability of the aquifer

A: What is the rock type in the unsaturated zone?
See supplementary information in Table 1
B: What is the depth to the groundwater table?
See supplementary information in Figure 1
Q1 Risk Outcome

Q2: Lateral separation

A: What is the percentage of sanitation facilities that are located <10m from groundwater sources?
See supplementary information in Figure 1
B: What is the percentage of sanitation facilities, if any, that are located uphill of groundwater source?
Q2 Risk Outcome

Q3: Water supply

What is the percentage of drinking water produced from groundwater sources?

Q4: Water prodution

What is the water production technology used?
See supplementary information in Table 2

Overall Risk

Overall Risk Outcome




  • Online course by CSE in July 2018

    The Centre for Science and Environment is launching an online course on the preparation of Shit Flow Diagrams (SFDs). You can find out more on their website and apply by June 10th.

  • SFD PI Update 7

    Live Q&A, training events, reports, publications... - Check out the latest developments of the SFD Promotion Initiative on the SuSanA Forum

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    Check out how the city of Patna, located at the Southern banks of river Ganga, manages its sanitation!

    Read its new SFD Report!

  • New SFD Report available from Tikapur, Nepal

    Find out more on the sanitation practices in Tikapur:

    98% on-site sanitation technologies (pit latrines, septic tanks, biogas digesters)

    2%  open defecation

  • Material of the Question & Answer session available

    Any questions about SFDs? Watch our recent Q&A session about SFDs 

    1. Presentation: The SFD Manual - a guide to content and process

    2. Presentation: The SFD Review Procedure

    3. Presentation: The SFD Helpdesk

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