c. Handwashing Devices. A simple handwashing device should be installed
outside each latrine enclosure. The device should be easy to operate and constantly
supplied with water. The importance of handwashing devices must be given aggressive
emphasis since hands contaminated with fecal material are a common means of
disease transmission. A soakage pit should be provided for these devices. An ample
supply of soap is to be available at all times.
d. Policing. Latrines should be policed every day. Certain unit personnel
should be assigned the responsibility of ensuring that the latrines are being properly
e. Night Alternative. If the latrine is located some distance from the sleeping
area, a large can or pail may be placed at a convenient location in the area for use as a
urinal at night. The can used for this purpose must be emptied into the soakage pit
every morning and washed with soap and water before being reused.
f. Closing. When a latrine pit has been filled to within one foot of the surface or
when it is to be abandoned, remove the latrine box and close the pit.
(1) Fill the pit to the ground surface with successive, 3-inch layers of earth.
Pack each layer down so that a compacted layer of 1 foot remains. The purpose of this
method of closing is to prevent any fly pupa that may hatch in the closed latrine from
(2) Place a rectangular sign on top of the mound. The sign must indicate
"closed latrine" and the date it was closed.
LATRINES USED IN NORMAL WATER TABLE AREAS
a. Cat Hole. The simplest of all field latrines is the "cat hole" (see Figure 3-1).
This method is used by the individual on the march, on patrol, or in similar situations
where no latrine facilities are available. The individual simply digs a hole about a foot
wide and 6 to 12 inches deep. After use, the hole is covered and packed immediately.
b. Straddle Trench Latrines. The most common type of latrine for temporary
bivouacs of 1 to 3 days' duration is the straddle trench latrine (see Figure 3-2). A
straddle trench latrine is usually dug 1 foot wide, 2 1/2 feet deep, and 4 feet long. This
will accommodate two people at the same time. Thus a unit composed of 100 men and
100 women would have two-4 foot straddle trench latrines for the men (100 men x .04X
=4 x 2 ft per male = 8 ft of trenches) and three-4 foot straddle trench latrines for the
women (100 women x .06X = 6 x 2 ft per female = 12 ft of trenches). The trenches
should be at least two feet apart. There are no seats in this type of latrine, but boards
may be placed along both sides of the trench to provide better footing. Toilet paper
should be placed on suitable holders and protected from bad weather by a tin can or
other covering. The earth removed in digging is piled at the end of the trenches. A
shovel or paddle is provided so that each individual can properly cover his excreta and