|Description:||This image shows a Latin American woman standing in a pit, which had been dug down to a water pipe through which water was being pumped. This pipe had been intentionally punctured, enabling the water within to leak out into a collection bucket with which this woman, and others like her, would collect, and bring water back to their homes.|
In Latin America, waterborne transmission continues to play an important role in the spread of diseases like cholera. Large municipal water distribution systems distribute unfiltered, and unchlorinated water through leaky pipes at low pressure. Nearby this pit, were others, where sewage was being collected to be used by city inhabitants to fertilize and water gardens in small fields between houses. These unsanitary methods allow for ample opportunity for water in this pipe to become contaminated when the pipe’s interior pressure drops below safe levels, and back siphonage occurs, allowing dirty water to enter the “clean” water system.