Minimising Public Health Risk from Human Waste after a large Wellington Fault Earthquake (2019)
Type of ContentConference Contributions - Other
- QuakeCoRE: Posters 
The greater Wellington region, New Zealand, is highly vulnerable to large earthquakes. While attention has been paid to the consequences of earthquake damage to road, electricity and water supply networks, the consequences of wastewater network damage for public health, environmental health and habitability of homes remain largely unknown for Wellington City.
The Canterbury and Kaikōura earthquakes have highlighted the vulnerability of sewerage systems to disruption during a disaster. Management of human waste is one of the critical components of disaster planning to reduce faecal-oral transmission of disease and exposure to disease-bearing vectors. In Canterbury and Kaikōura, emergency sanitation involved a combination of Port-a-loos, chemical toilets and backyard long-drops.
While many lessons may be learned from experiences in Canterbury earthquakes, it is important to note that isolation is likely to be a much greater factor for Wellington households, compared to Christchurch, due to the potential for widespread landslides in hill suburbs affecting road access. This in turn implies that human waste may have to be managed onsite, as options such as chemical toilets and Port-a-loos rely completely on road access for delivering chemicals and collecting waste. While some progress has been made on options such as emergency composting toilets, significant knowledge gaps remain on how to safely manage waste onsite.
In order to bridge these gaps, laboratory tests will be conducted through the second half of 2019 to assess the pathogen die-off rates in the composting toilet system with variables being the type of carbon bulking material and the addition of a Bokashi composting activator.
RightsCC-BY 4.0 International
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Kaiser A; Hill M; Bourguignon S; Gerstenberger M; Lee R; Wotherspoon L; Pancha A; Roten D; Bradley, Brendon (2021)In Wellington, 3D basin amplification effects observed at 1 – 2 second spectral periods were identified as one factor likely to have exacerbated damage to mid-rise structures during the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikōura earthquake ...
Infrastructure Failure Propagations and Recovery Strategies from an Alpine Fault Earthquake Scenario: Establishing Feedback Loops Between Integrated Modelling and Participatory Processes for Disaster Impact Reduction Davies A; Zorn C; Wotherspoon L; Beaven S; Davies T; Matthew H; Wilson, Thomas (2021)While it is well established that community members should participate in resilience planning, participation with genuine decision-making power remains rare. We detail an end-to-end disaster impact reduction modelling ...
Thomas, Kristie-Lee; Kaiser, Lucy; Campbell, Emily; Johnston, David; Campbell, Hamish; Solomon, Rana; King, Debbie; Jack, Helen; Borrero, Jose; Northern, Ali; Callan, John (2019)On 15 August 1868, a great earthquake struck off the coast of the Chile-Peru border generating a tsunami that travelled across the Pacific. Wharekauri-Rekohu-Chatham Islands, located 800 km east of Christchurch, Aotearoa-New ...