Newsletter and Technical Publications
<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>
5.2 Collection and transfer (Topic b)
At the end of the international Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade,
as per data collected by PAHO, wastewater and excreta disposal facilities were
extended, in one way or another, to 66% of the population of the Region. This
figure represented an increase of over 7% from the 1980's coverage. The
extension of urban services just kept up with the population growth, only
increasing from 78 to 80%. The rural coverage increased during the same period
from 22% to 32% respectively. By comparison in 1995 the total coverage increased
to 69%. The urban services remained constant at 80%, while the rural services
were extended to approximately 40% of the population. This information is
reflected in Table 5.2.
Table 5.2: Sewage and Excreta Disposal Coverage
||Percent of Coverage/year
The data further indicated that in the urban areas only 52% of the population
is connected to municipal sewage collection services. The remaining is served by
individual systems, such as septic tanks, cesspools and pit latrines. For the
most part, disposal in rural areas is handled by individual systems, mainly
latrines and in limited cases septic tanks and seepage fields.
Table 5.3 and Map 5.2 show the level of coverage for sewage collection and
excreta by country and for urban and rural areas; and Table 5.4 shows the
comparison between the coverage in sewage and excreta disposal reported in 1995
Table 5.3: South and Central America population with
sanitation services, data from 1995 (population in thousands)
Map 5.2: Sanitation Service Coverage (% of Population Served) 1995
( lager image )
In addition country-by country data recently issued by PAHO1 on
their 1998 Health in Americas has shown the following specific information:
1Data from Brazil have come also from the Brazilian
Society and Environmental Engineering (ABES).
- The Undersecretariat for Water Resources management have compared and
analysed cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants (84% of the population). From
1991 to 1995 sewerage service coverage rose from 37.3% to 50 %, but nearly 17
million people have no sewerage connections. In the Southern Terra del Fuego
sewerage coverage reached 84% of the population; and in the capital, Buenos
Aires sewerage coverage rose from 46% in 1991 to 61% in 1995.
Table 5.4: Comparison between 1988 and 1995 sewage and excreta
- In Brazil the population served with sewage collection systems has risen
from 28% to 30% from 1993 to 1996, the 1995 National Survey Program showing
that the coverage is 71% in the urban areas against 14% in the rural areas.
- In Bolivia the sewerage connection rate rose 2.8% from 1993 to 1995. In
1996 the sewerage coverage was 44.5% in the urban areas and 17% in the rural
- 84.7% of the Chilean population is serviced with sewers.
- The goal of the National Plan for Environment and Sanitation for the year
1998 was to serve 77% of the population with sewerage systems.
- In 1996 the sewerage coverage in Ecuador was 41.7%, with 61.4% being the
figure for the urban populations.
- In the French Guyana sewered households jumped from 34.3% to 44.3% in the
period 1982 to 1990.
- The sewerage coverage in the urban areas of Guatemala was 72% in 1994, i.e,
4.2 million people had no adequate services.
- Recent data from the Bureau of Statistics indicate that in Guyana 91.8%
of the urban population and 80.4% of the rural population have access to sewage
and excreta disposal services.
- In Honduras it is estimated that 82% of the population is provided with
sewerage, septic tank or latrine systems.
- The mean for the percentage of sewage collected that received treatment
in Mexico is 13%; Mexico has built 16 treatment systems to control the discharge
of wastewater into the Lerma-Santiago River basin.
- 21.9% of the housing units were connected to sewerage systems, the Nicaraguan
Water Supply and Sewerage Institute operating 19 sewerage systems.
- In Paraguay, the availability of sewerage systems nationwide in 1996 was
14.8%, being 50% the rate of the population served in Asunción, the Country’s
capital. In the Country’s interior only two localities had such systems.
There were no systems in 11 of the Country’s departments, and in the remaining
6 coverage was below 10%.
- The 1995 the Peruvian Household Survey reported that 47.4% of the population
had sewerage services; in the urban areas this figure was 66% and 9% in the
rural areas. Latrines were used by 21.95% of the population and 24% of the
- In Suriname no buildings are required to install either sewers or septic
- Public sewerage services reach 43% of the Uruguay’s population, being
51% the figure for the urban areas and 80% for Montevideo, the Country’s
capital. When an IDB funded project is completed the capital’s figure will
rise to over 95%.
- In Venezuela sewers benefit 69% of the urban population.