Measures for Food-/Water-/WasteBorne Disease/Illness - Field Hygiene and Sanitation

Plan For Safe Water

  • Know the location of approved water distribution points.
  • Make sure your unit has an adequate supply of.
    • Iodine water purification tablets (1 bottle for each individual).
    • Field chlorination kits.
    • Bulk chlorine.
    • Chlor-Floc® kits.
  • Ensure water trailers and tankers (400 gallon and above) are inspected by PVNTMED personnel semiannually.
  • Inspect water containers before use.
  • Check the residual chlorine of bulk water supplies (5-gallon cans, water pillows, water trailer) before drinking and at least daily there after.

Plan For Safe Food

  • Ensure food service personnel maintain foods at safe temperatures.
  • Inspect food service personnel daily and refer for medical evaluation those withillness and/or skin infections.
  • Make sure foods, drinks, and ice purchased from civilian vendors are approved by the command medical authority.
  • Supervise the use of the mess kit laundry/sanitation center.
  • Ensure food service personnel and service members use handwashing devices.
  • Ensure all food waste is transported to an approved disposal site, buried, or burned daily (atleast 30 meters from food preparation area and water source).

Plan For The Construction And Maintenance Of Field Sanitation Devices

  • Determine type of field waste disposal devices required.
    • The primary type of human waste disposal devices in bivouac areas are the chemical toilets. Individual waste collection bags are the primary type used when on the march.
    • The type of improvised waste disposal used will depend on the mission, length of stay in the area, terrain, and weather conditions. When chemical toilets are not available, the burn-out latrine is the preferred improvised waste disposal device.


Always check local, state, federal, or host-nation regulations for restrictions or prohibitions on using standard or improvised field devices and waste disposal in the field.

  • Select locations for field latrines.
    • As far from food operations as possible (100 meters or more). Downwind and down slope, if possible.
    • Down slope from wells, springs, streams, and other water sources (30 meters or more).
  • Set up, construct, and maintain latrines .
    • As soon as the unit moves into a new area, detail service members to set up chemical toilets or dig latrines.
    • Detail service members to clean latrines daily.
    • Instruct the FST to spray the latrines with insecticide as necessary (not the pitcontents).
    • Always provide handwashing facilities at the food service facilities and thelatrines. Make use of handwashing devices at latrines mandatory. Cover, transport, burn, or bury waste daily.
    • Use the FST to train service members and unit leaders in PMM against food-/water-/wasteborne diseases.

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Field Hygiene and Sanitation Topics