KARST VULNERABILITY AND WATER QUALITY IN HAITI
Many shallow karst aquifers, springs, hand-dug wells, and virtually all surface water in rural Haiti, are subject to contamination and recontamination by fecal bacteria and other pathogens due to inadequate sanitation practices. Only 10% of rural Haitians have access to improved sanitation facilities. The lack of tree and soil cover, and the attenuation of contaminants that they provide, exacerbate water quality vulnerability. Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have implemented pit toilet programs in an attempt to improve sanitation in rural Haiti. In order for these efforts to be successful at improving water quality they must be implemented in a way that is compatible with the vulnerable karst and fractured limestone aquifers on which many Haitians depend. Potential pit toilet locations should be evaluated prior to construction, and design modifications made, in order to protect vulnerable aquifers.