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Nature sanitizes 41.7 mn ton of human waste every year: Study

Nature sanitizes about 41.7 million ton of human waste per year before the liquid enters the groundwater -- a service worth about $4.4 billion per year, according to a new study. The study, published in the journal One Earth, estimates that more than 2 million cubic meters of the cities' human waste are processed each year without engineered infrastructure. This includes pit latrine waste that gradually filters through the soil -- a natural process that cleans it before it reaches groundwater. "Nature can, and does, take the role of sanitation infrastructure," said researcher Alison Parker from the Cranfield University in the UK. "While we are not marginalizing the vital role of engineered infrastructure, we believe a better understanding of how engineered and natural infrastructure interact may allow adaptive design and management, reducing costs, and improving effectiveness and sustainability, and safeguard the continued existence of these areas of land," Parker added.........Read more