Wikipedia:WikiProject Sanitation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Welcome to WikiProject Sanitation. We are a group of Wikipedians interested in improving Wikipedia's coverage of sanitation related topics. This project was started in December 2014. The WikiProject Sanitation aims to manage and help in curation of Wikipedia's article that touch on sanitation-related topics. We edit articles and discuss all manner of issues on our talk page.

About this WikiProject[edit]


Presentation: "Engaging reseachers to contribute to Wikipedia" Keynote at Wikimania 2019 Conference by Olle Terenius

The WikiProject Sanitation seeks to provide up-to-date information to the general public and to people working in the WASH sector or related sectors. Topics that this project aims to improve relate to sanitation in the broadest sense: they include for example topics in the field of health, infrastructure and international development.

As with all Wikipedia articles we want to provide information to people which they can all read, appreciate, and respect, free of charge.

The project may cover sanitation issues around the world; however special emphasis is given to sanitation issues in developing countries and countries in transition as the need for improvements is greatest there. As can be seen by the list of articles below, articles of interest to this project range from purely sanitation-related topics (like sanitation, toilet) to articles that are more on the public health and medical side (like neglected tropical disease, diarrhea, helminthiasis), articles in the field of natural sciences (like groundwater pollution) and so forth.


The objectives of this WikiProject Sanitation are to:

  • Improve sanitation related articles on Wikipedia
  • Add links to sanitation issues into articles where such links are so far omitted (for example article on malnutrition)
  • Ensure that the lead paragraph of articles are written in basic, clear English such that they are understandable to as wide an audience as possible and can easily be translated into other languages as part of WikiProject Medicine Translation Taskforce
  • Ensure people working in other sectors (medical, humanitarian organisations, public health, environment, agriculture) can find clear, up to date information about sanitation topics
  • Engage researchers

Further information[edit]

What is a WikiProject? A WikiProject is a group of contributors who want to work together to improve Wikipedia. These groups often focus on a specific topic area, a specific location or a specific kind of task (for example, checking newly created pages). The English Wikipedia currently has over 2,000 WikiProjects, each with varying levels of activity. A WikiProject's pages are not used for writing encyclopedia articles directly, but as resources to help coordinate and organize the group's efforts at creating and improving articles. Further information on WikiProjects is here.

Sanitation articles[edit]

By quality and importance[edit]

WikiProject Sanitation assessment statistics


The table to the right provides an overview of the Wikipedia articles that we deem part of this Wikiproject.

To view the article pages, you need to click on the column headers (top, high, mid, low importance) or row labels (e.g. level B, C, start, stub quality). This takes you to a new page where the articles are listed alphabetically.

Alternatively, you can access the articles with these links, which link you to the talk pages of the articles (from the article's talk page, click at the top left on "article" to then get to the article):

You can access the articles grouped by their degree of completion or quality (from the article's talk page, click at the top left on "article" to then get to the article):

Assessment scheme for tagged articles[edit]

  • All articles that are tagged are assessed for quality and importance. This assessment scheme is explained here: Explanation of the assessment scheme for articles.
  • An article can progress from low quality (e.g. "stub" or C) to higher quality (e.g. B or utimately to GA which stands for good article standard).

How to tag articles and connect them to this project[edit]

To tag an article as sanitation related you need to add the following code to the talk pages of that article articles (here for the example of class being "start" and importance being "low"): {{WikiProject Sanitation|class=start|importance=low}}. If the talk page has more than two projects already then you should use the collapsed version to save space. {{WikiProjectBannerShell|1={{WikiProject Sanitation|class=B|importance=high}}}}.

The result will look like this for example, see at the top of this talk page of the sanitation article:

On this page you can check which articles have recently been added to the WikiProject Sanitation or have been re-assessed: Tracking of new tags

By popularity (page views)[edit]

A list of popular articles of this Wiki Project (on a monthly basis) is available here: List of popular pages for this Wiki Project.

Here is another tool that can be used for this purpose: Massviews Analysis You can run it for all the articles in the category "Sanitation": (however, this is not identical with the articles tagged with this WikiProject Sanitation)

A list of popular articles for all the Wikipedia articles is available here for a weekly time period: List of popular pages for all Wikipedia articles (top 5000)

And see here for a yearly time period: Popular pages for all Wikipedia articles (top 5000) for 2016. Previous yearly reports are avilable here.

By theme[edit]

The table below shows all articles that have been tagged with this WikiProject by thematic area (please do not add a new articles to this table unless you have tagged it with the WikiProject Sanitation on its talk page, except for terms in the last column which are for articles yet to be created):

Thematic category Existing articles Possible new articles
Agriculture and reuse Black soldier fly, Ecological sanitation, Fertilizer, Food security, Manure, Organic fertilizer, Peak phosphorus, Resource recovery, Reuse, Reuse of excreta, Smallholding, Soil conditioner, Soil fertility, Urban agriculture, Uses of compost, Wastewater reuse
Behaviour Anal cleansing, Defecation postures, Behavior change (public health), Behavior change communication, Behavior change methods, Flying toilet, Female genital mutilation, Open defecation, Public humiliation, Social and behavior change communication, Social norm, Violence against women
Concept or program Advocacy, Capacity building, Community Health Clubs in Africa, Community-led total sanitation (CLTS), Container-based sanitation (CBS), Dignity, Ecological sanitation, Ecosystem, Effects of global warming, Emergency management, Emergency sanitation, Failures of water supply and sanitation systems, Fecal sludge management, Fresh water, Global warming (climate change), Human right to water and sanitation, Improved sanitation, Improved water source, Indicator organism, Integrated urban water management, Integrated water resources management, Islamic toilet etiquette, Manual scavenging, Microcredit for water supply and sanitation, Millennium Development Goals, Millennium Villages Project, Nature Based Solutions, Off-the-grid, Peak phosphorus, Privatization of public toilets, Public health, Public health intervention, Resource recovery, Reuse, Reuse of excreta, Sanitation, Scavenger, Self-supply of water and sanitation, Social marketing, Stockholm Water Prize, Sustainability, Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), SDG 1, SDG 2, SDG 3, SDG 4, SDG 5, SDG 7, SDG 8, SDG 9, SDG 10, SDG 11, SDG 12, SDG 13, SDG 14, SDG 15, SDG 16, SDG 17, Sustainable sanitation, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission), Swachh Survekshan, Toilet Revolution in China, Water issues in developing countries, Water point mapping, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Waste picker, Water resource management, Water scarcity, Water security, Water-sensitive urban design, Water supply and sanitation in South Africa, Water supply and sanitation in Latin America, Water supply and sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa, Water supply and women in developing countries Health impacts from lack of sanitation, sanitation marketing (currently part of social marketing), WinS (WASH in schools)
Hygiene (includes cleaning products) Antimicrobial, Cloth menstrual pads, Feminine hygiene, Handwashing, Hygiene, Ivory (soap), Lysol, Menstrual hygiene management (redirects to Menstrual Hygiene Day), Menstrual cup, Sanitary napkin, Tampon, Tampon tax, THINX, Vector control
Material to be sanitized or treated Biodegradable waste, Biomedical waste, Blackwater, Coffee wastewater, Compost, Fecal sludge, Feces, Garbage, Greywater, Human feces, Human waste, Industrial waste, Litter, Municipal solid waste, Night soil, Septage, Sewage, Sewage sludge, Sludge, Shit, Stormwater, Urine, Waste, Wastewater
Medical and health Antimicrobial resistance, Child health and nutrition in Africa, Child mortality, Cholera, Defecation, Diarrhoea, Diseases and epidemics of the 19th century, Environmental enteropathy, Environmental health, Eradication of infectious diseases, Fecal-oral route, Gastroenteritis, Geophagy, Global health, London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases, Malnutrition, Malnutrition in children, Malnutrition in South Africa, Malnutrition in Zimbabwe, Menstruation, Neglected tropical diseases, One Health, Public health, Scatology, Stunted growth, Transmission (medicine), Urination, Waterborne diseases
Medical: helminths and helminth infections (and organizations) Anthelmintic, Amphistomiasis, Ancylostoma duodenale, Ascariasis, Ascaris lumbricoides, Cestodiasis, Children Without Worms, Clonorchiasis, Coenurosis, Cysticercosis, Deworming, Dracunculiasis, Echinococcosis, Eggs per gram, Enterobiasis, Fasciolopsiasis, Fasciolosis, Filariasis, Geohelminth, Helminthiasis, Helminths, Hookworm infection, Hookworm vaccine, Hymenolepiasis, Intestinal parasite, Kato technique, Mass deworming, Mass drug administration, Necatoriasis, Nematode, Opisthorchiasis, Paragonimiasis, Parasitology, Schistosomiasis, Soil transmitted helminth (Geohelminth), Soil transmitted helminthiasis, Taeniasis, Tapeworm infection, Timeline of deworming, Trichuriasis, Trichuris trichiura, Trichostrongylus
Organization, company, special UN Day or notable person Abel Wolman, Africa AHEAD, Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association, Biffa, Bill Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Boyan Slat, Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), European Union of Water Management Associations, Global Sanitation Fund, Grace Schneiders-Howard, Gram Vikas, High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, Kalavati Devi, Development aid agencies, Global Handwashing Day, International Year of Sanitation, Jack Sim, James Heilman, Linn Enslow, Saaesp, Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, Menstrual Hygiene Day, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, National Water and Sewerage Corporation (Uganda), Oxfam, Philadelphia Water Department, Sanitation and Water for All, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Stockholm Environment Institute, Stone Family Foundation, Sustainable Sanitation Alliance, Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, Thomas Crapper, UN-Water, UN World Water Development Report, Veolia, Viridor, Vitthal Laxman Phadke, WaterAid, Water Environment Federation, Water and sanitation program, Water supply and sanitation collaborative council (WSSCC), World Toilet Day, World Toilet Organization, World Water Day African Water Association (AfWA)
Specific location, country or incident 2012 Guangxi cadmium spill, Baños de Tenerías, Baños del Ángel, Baños del Caballel, Bayakou (trade) (Haiti), Deonar dumping ground, Deptford pumping station, East Kolkata Wetlands, Indian states and union territories ranked by prevalence of open defecation, National Sanitation Day (Ghana), Porcelain Palace, PRODES, Recycling in the Netherlands, Urban water management in Bogotá, Colombia, Walkerton E. coli outbreak, Warren County PCB Landfill, Waste in New Zealand, Water management in Greater Mexico City, Water management in the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo, Water pollution in Brazil, Water pollution in India, Water pollution in New Zealand, Water privatisation in South Africa, Water Resources in India

Water supply and sanitation in the following countries, states, regions or towns: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England and Wales, Ethiopia, European Union, France, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Latin America, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian territories, Panama, Paraguay, Pernambuco, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sub-Saharan Africa, Syria, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Water resource management in the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, modern Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Syria, Uruguay

Technical, scientific Biochemical oxygen demand, Biofuel, Biomass, Chemical oxygen demand, Denitrification, Disinfection by-product, Dry animal dung fuel, Effective microorganism, Environmental impact of pharmaceuticals and personal care products, Environmental persistent pharmaceutical pollutant, Groundwater, Groundwater pollution, Microplastics, Nitrification, Odor, Organisms involved in water purification, Phosphorus, Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment, Soil, Terra Preta, Urban runoff, Wastewater quality indicators, Water pollution, Water resources, Wetland, Pit additive gulper
Technical, standards and norms CEN/TC 165, Drinking water quality standards, EN 12566, Wastewater discharge standards in Latin America, Safe Drinking Water Act
Technology (without toilets) Activated sludge, Aerobic digestion, Aerobic granulation, Aerobic treatment system, Agricultural wastewater treatment, Anaerobic digestion, Appropriate technology, Bar screen, Biodegradation, Biogas, Bioreactor landfill, Biosolids, Bioswale, Carbon filtering, Ceramic water filter, Cesspit, cistern, Clarifier, Combined sewer, Composting (redirects to Compost), Condominial sewerage, Constructed wetland, Decentralized wastewater system (DEWATS), Disinfectant, Drinking water, Drying, Effluent sewer, Facultative lagoon, Folkewall, Garbage dump (redirects to Landfill), Gravity sewer, Grease trap, Grinder pump, Hydrodynamic separator, Industrial wastewater treatment, In-vessel composting, LifeSaver bottle, Leachate, Membrane bioreactor, Milorganite, Mound system, Moving bed biofilm reactor, Municipal wastewater treatment energy management, NEWater, Omni Processor, Onsite sewage facility, Plumbing, Portable water purification, Rainwater harvesting, Reclaimed water, Sanitary sewer, Sanitary sewer overflow, Secondary treatment, Sedimentation (water treatment), Septic tank, Septic drain field, Sequencing batch reactor, Sewage farm, Sewage collection and disposal, Sewage sludge treatment, Sewage treatment plant (redirects to Sewage treatment), Sewerage, Sewer mining, Simplified sewerage, Sludge incineration, Waste stabilization pond, Storm drain, Stormwater harvesting, Total suspended solids, Treatment pond, Trickling filter, Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, UASB, Vacuum sewer, Vacuum truck, Vermicompost, Vermifilter, Vermitechnology, Waste disposal (redirects to Waste management), Wastewater-based epidemiology, Wastewater surveillance, Wastewater treatment, Wastewater treatment plant, Water purification, water sachet, Water supply, Water treatment gulper, biogas sanitation
Technology (toilets and sanitary ware equipment) Accessible toilet, Aircraft lavatory, Arborloo, Automatic self-clean toilet seat, Bathroom, Bidet, Bidet shower, Bucket toilet, Chemical toilet, Clivus Multrum, Composting toilet, Deodorizing toilet seat, Dignified Mobile Toilets, Dual flush toilet, Dry toilet, Electronic bidet, Electronic toilet, Female urinal, Female urination device, Flushometer, Flush toilet, Flying toilet, Freezing toilet, Incinerating toilet, Intelligent toilet, Latrine, Low-flush toilet, Outhouse, Passenger train toilet, Pay toilet, Pig toilet, Pissoir, Pit latrine, Plug (sanitation), Portable toilet, Portland Loo, Public toilet, Sanisette, Sanitary napkin, Space toilet, Squat toilet, Toilet, Toilets in Japan, Toilet (room), Toilet seat, Unisex public toilet, Urinal, Urinal deodorizer block, Urine diversion, UDDT, Vermifilter toilet, Washlet Onsite sanitation, hanging latrines, shared latrines
Article of the type: "list" or disambiguation page Failures of water supply and sanitation systems, List of abbreviations used in sanitation, List of development aid agencies, List of people who died on the toilet, List of pollution-related diseases, List of countries by total renewable water resources, List of largest wastewater treatment plants, List of wastewater treatment technologies, List of water supply and sanitation by country, List of responsibilities in the water supply and sanitation sector in Latin America and the Caribbean, Treatment pond
Society and culture, e.g. movies, books, occupations Baby-led potty training, Beach cleanup, Can't Take This Shit Anymore, Culture and menstruation, Pipelayer, Public bathing, Restroom attendant, Sanitary engineering, Sanitation worker, Street sweeper, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Waste collector, Women's Health Protective Association, Workers' right to access the toilet
Various, e.g. linguistic terms, historical terms, history articles, local slang terms, humanities, professions Anti urination devices in Norwich, Cloaca Maxima, Close stool, Commode, Commode chair, Developing country, Dump digging, Dunny, Garderobe, Gong farmer, History of waste management, History of water supply and sanitation, Honeywagon (vehicle), Honey bucket, Kunwar Bai Yadav, Lavatorium, Homeless shelter, Miasma theory, Pail closet, Pipelayer, Privy digging, Sanitation in ancient Rome, Slopping out, Slum, Tersorium, Toilet god, Toilet-related injuries and deaths "Safely managed Sanitation" (SDG term)

We have grouped the articles that have been tagged for the WikiProject Sanitation by the following thematic categories:

  • Agriculture and reuse
  • Behaviour
  • Concept or program
  • Hygiene (includes cleaning products)
  • Material to be sanitized or treated
  • Medical and health
  • Medical: helminths
  • Organization, company, special UN Day or notable person
  • Specific location, country or incident
  • Technical, scientific
  • Technical or technology
  • Technical, standards and norms
  • Technology
  • Technology (toilets and sanitary ware equipment)
  • List article
  • Society and culture, e.g. movies, books, occupations
  • Various, e.g. linguistic terms, historical terms, history articles, local slang terms, humanities

By thematic working group[edit]

The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance has 13 working groups which have the following topics:

Thematic working group title Articles of relevance
Capacity development List of abbreviations used in sanitation, Failures of water supply and sanitation systems, Capacity building, Knowledge Management
Market development Social marketing, Microcredit for water supply and sanitation, Market development, Portable toilet, Pay toilet, Micro-enterprise, Self-supply of water and sanitation
Energy and climate change Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Biofuel, Biomass, Dry animal dung fuel
Sanitation systems and technology options Decentralized wastewater system, Public health, Handwashing and all the articles that are listed here under the categories:
  • Technical, scientific
  • Technology (without toilets)
  • Technology (toilets and sanitary ware equipment)
Food security and productive sanitation systems Agriculture and reuse articles: Black soldier fly, Ecological sanitation, Fertilizer, Organic fertilizer, Soil conditioner, Uses of compost, Reclaimed water, Resource recovery, Reuse, Reuse of excreta, Peak phosphorus, Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment

Materials to be sanitized or treated: Blackwater (waste), Compost, Fecal sludge, Greywater, Human feces, Human waste, Septage, Urine, Wastewater

Cities Decentralized wastewater system (DEWATS redirects to there), Fecal sludge management, Urbanization, Urban planning, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Technical aspects of urban planning, Failures of water supply and sanitation systems, Integrated urban water management, Waste management
Sustainable WASH in institutions and gender equality Menstrual Hygiene Day, Community-led total sanitation, Participatory Rural Appraisal, Gender equality, Open defecation, Behavior change (public health)
Emergency & reconstruction situations Container-based sanitation, Disaster Risk Reduction, Emergency sanitation, Emergency Management, Latrine, Pit latrine, Sanitation
Public awareness, advocacy, civil society engagement World Toilet Day, Global Handwashing Day, Human right to water and sanitation, Sustainable sanitation, Advocacy, Civil society campaign, Public toilet, Taboo, Shit

Other article ideas: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Movement), Failures of water supply and sanitation systems, Water supply and women in developing countries, Jack Sim, Stockholm Water Prize, Hygiene, Compost

Operation, maintenance and sustainable services Articles on O&M and services: Sustainable sanitation, Willingness to pay, Fecal sludge management, Public toilet, Project stakeholder, Good governance

Articles on particular technologies: Pit latrine, Urine diversion, Septic tank, Stabilisation pond, Vacuum truck, Appropriate technology, Onsite sewage facility, Condominial sewerage, Grease trap

Groundwater protection Groundwater pollution, Groundwater, Pit latrine, Water well, Septic tank, Onsite sewage facility
WASH and nutrition Malnutrition, Malnutrition in children, Stunted growth, Child mortality, School feeding in low-income countries, Diarrhea, Cholera, Hygiene, Sanitation, Mass deworming
Behaviour change Behavior change (public health), Behavior change communication, Open defecation, Design for behaviour change, Community-led Total Sanitation, Barrier analysis, Handwashing, Menstrual Hygiene Day, Global Handwashing Day


Current members[edit]

The following Wikipedia users are members of this project:

  1. Doc James (talk · contribs)
  2. EvMsmile (talk · contribs)
  3. mll_mitch (talk · contribs)
  4. Bio-CLC (talk · contribs)
  5. Cryacrem (talk · contribs)
  6. David Allen Still (talk · contribs)
  7. ASRASR (talk · contribs)
  8. Gruster (talk · contribs)
  9. Jknappe (talk · contribs)
  10. RobynWaite13 (talk · contribs)
  11. Kevintayler (talk · contribs)
  12. FloNight (talk · contribs)
  13. CFCF (talk · contribs)
  14. Mregelsberger (talk · contribs)
  15. IRSDPakistan (talk · contribs)
  16. JoshMuirWikipedia (talk · contribs)
  17. Akweaver32 (talk · contribs)
  18. Dmrobbins10 (talk · contribs)
  19. Efuhrm (talk · contribs)
  20. lividlili (talk · contribs)
  21. SatchieNZ (talk · contribs)
  22. Meshuwa (talk · contribs)
  23. Kutoid (talk · contribs)
  24. NightLyrical (talk · contribs)
  25. rkeerswa (talk · contribs)
  26. exobarbiche (talk · contribs)
  27. PlanetCare (talk · contribs)
  28. EsLoSh (talk · contribs)
  29. dowdowFR (talk · contribs)
  30. Kalipza (talk · contribs)
  31. KAH87 (talk · contribs)
  32. YYlinde (talk · contribs)
  33. RHrani (talk · contribs)
  34. Matthias S (talk · contribs)
  35. Ajpolino (talk · contribs)
  36. rajivkraman (talk · contribs)
  37. Salice84 (talk · contribs)
  38. NahKone (talk · contribs)
  39. Mmekidmfon (talk · contribs)
  40. HtetPyae (talk · contribs)
  41. Eruditescholar (talk · contribs)
  42. Sparsh85 (talk · contribs)
  43. Chaiwe (talk · contribs)
  44. Rwebogora (talk · contribs)
  45. Velella (talk · contribs)
  46. Watercyclist (talk · contribs)
  47. Wil540 art (talk · contribs)

Add yourself to member list[edit]

If you like the idea of this Wiki Project, then please become a member. All you have to do is to add yourself to the end of the list. For example if your user name is Mary13 then you would add the following to the end of the list (use the "edit source" button which you see next to the heading "Members" for this section):

# {{User|IsaacNyameke}}

This will look like this after you have saved your edit:

9. Mary13 (talk · contribs)

Adding member box to your user page[edit]

You can also show your support by adding the Project's "user box" on your user page. If you don't have a Wikipedia login yet, then do create one, as that makes it much easier to discuss articles, ask questions about edits etc.

You can then add this template {{User WikiProject Sanitation}} to your userpage. That code can be pasted in if you use the source editor, not VisualEditor. You can also add the template in VisualEditor by going to the "Insert" menu and inserting a template with that name. When you save the page, the result will look like this:

This user is a participant in
WikiProject Sanitation.

If you don't like userboxes, you can also add [[:Category:WikiProject Sanitation participants]] to your user page.

Start editing[edit]

A video describing Editing Wikipedia for medical content (WikiProject Medicine)

Would you like to help, but you're not really quite sure what to do? WikiProject sanitation pages will have many opportunities for improvement (even this page, which you can edit). You don't need to be an expert.

Wikipedia is a work in progress, so nearly all articles could use improvement. A list of articles that have been tagged so far as sanitation-related and which could use improvement is provided via the table shown above.

Visual editor compared to source editor[edit]

When Wikipedia started it only had the source editor (tab "Edit source"). As of April 2015, a visual editor (tab "Edit") is available by default to users. If you can't see both tabs then you need to adjust your Wikipedia Preferences by clicking on "Preferences" at the top right, then click on "Editing" and at the pull-down menu next to "Editing mode" select "show me both editor tabs". This will let you choose between the Source Editor ("Edit source") and the Visual Editor ("Edit").

When should I use which editor?

Use the source editor (tab “Edit source”) when you want to:

  • copy content - including references - from one Wikipedia article to another
  • have full control about how the page looks
  • add special things like tags on talk pages (note the talk pages only have the source editor anyhow)
  • reduce the amount of edit conflicts when working on the article together with another person (as it locks only the section but not the entire page)
  • enjoy the feeling of working with source code

Use the visual editor (tab “Edit”) when you:

  • want to correct typos and minor wording changes
  • want to add images to the article using the Insert > Media button at the top of the page in the edit mode
  • are working on an article pretty much alone, without other people wanting to edit it at the same time (as the entire page gets locked)
  • are scared of seeing source code

Ten simple rules for editing Wikipedia[edit]

These Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia are worth reading when starting out as an editor on Wikipedia.

Use the Style Advice for sanitation-related articles[edit]

Please consult the Style advice for sanitation-related articles for advice on editing and formatting articles related to sanitation. Giving all sanitation articles a similar, consistent structure and style helps readers to quickly find what they are looking for.

How you can help by working on existing articles[edit]

Choose something easy from the list below and see for yourself how easy it is. Pick the low hanging fruit, and just get started. We have also set up a detailed list of options on how to help on the events page of our Wikipedia edit-a-thon on 19-21 March 2017, see here.

Add references[edit]

Add content, with references[edit]

Some topics aren't covered accurately or were written before additional research was available. See what you can do to:

  • Correct and improve existing content. Is the content accurate? complete? out-dated?
  • Are there enough references? Wikipedia suggests one reference after the period at the end of each sentence.
  • Cite reliable references such as journal publications, documents in the SuSanA library, publications by UN bodies, the World Bank or the like. Even newspaper articles may qualify. Open access content is preferable.
  • Add internal links to existing Wikipedia articles (either as wikilinks in the article itself or in the "See also" section, being careful to follow Wikipedia guidelines).

Point out "citation needed"[edit]

The content may be fine in terms of accuracy, brevity and clarity. However, if there aren't enough references to back up assertions being made, the article needs your help.

  • Add citations that will support assertions made.
  • If you can't find a citation yet think the statement is probably correct, you can add a "citation needed" tag to flag this to other editors. To do so, simply add this to the end of the sentence while editing in the source editor: {{citation needed}}. After you save the change, it looks like this in the article: [citation needed]
  • Delete text that cannot be backed up from credible sources -- that's part of the job.

Check existing references for reliability[edit]

  • Learn what Wikipedia means by "reliability" here.
  • Pick an article that you care about and click on any reference to see if it would be considered "reliable". For example, a link to somebody's blog post or to a discussion forum is not reliable in Wikipedia terms.
  • You could search for and insert a better reference, or insert a "citation needed" note (see Point 5 above for explanation).

Want to learn about the especially high standards of reliability for health-related content on Wikipedia? Click Identifying reliable sources of medical content

How to add references?[edit]

The Wikipedia explanation on how to add references (also called citations or sources) to Wikipedia is here: Citing sources. An even better one for beginners it this one: Referencing for beginners.

We also have a shorter description for you below:

Method 1: Using the source editor[edit]
  • Click on Edit Source (this shows the source code for the whole page)
  • At the top of this page is a menu and the furthest option on the right is "Cite"
  • This then displays a menu on the top-left of templates and then you choose the one you want to use (cite journal, cite web etc)
  • You then get an additional box where you put in all the information you have about the reference and click insert. The reference should then appear with all the correct information.
  • If there is any likelihood that the reference may be used more than once in the article, you should give it an optional "refname" in the field "Ref name", for example Smith2013

If your document has an ISBN number or a DOI, then Method 1 is great because you can simply enter the ISBN number or the DOI and click on the search icon (magnifying glass). This will then fill in the other fields automatically in most cases. Another method is to use this template generator.

If you want to copy a reference from one Wikipedia article to another then you need to use the source editor.

Method 2: Using the visual editor[edit]
  • Click on edit. Now you are using the visual editor.
  • The top of the page shows the option cite, from there you can access a drop down menu and choose the correct template.
  • Insert information as before (see Method 1).

Improve readability[edit]

The readability of many Wikipedia articles is low, meaning they are difficult to understand. Here are some examples how you can help to improve the situation:

  • Replace long words with short words whenever possible.
  • Reduce sentences to 15-20 words. Sometimes it's as simple as turning one long sentence into two short ones.
  • Reduce paragraphs to 5-6 lines. Readers skim over dense, non-stop text. Paragraph breaks offer white space and give readers a chance to breathe.
  • Consider converting passive voice to active voice.

A helpful tool is Hemingway App. It highlights long and complex sentences, passive voice verbs, and adverbs (which are often, but not always, unnecessary). It also provides some statistics and a grade-level reading score. It doesn't choke on jargon which is important. If you want to try it, then just copy your text, go to the website, and paste it into the middle of their webpage (as if to replace the description/instructions there).

Another tool to check the readability of a specific Wikipedia page is by using this tool (webfx) or this tool (online utility) (we used to recommend this tool (readability of Wikipedia) but it no longer seems reliable as of July 2020). Then, see if you can improve the readability score. On the 0-100 scale, higher is better for the Flesh reading ease score. Aim for at least 55.

Improve the lead section[edit]

What Wikipedia calls the "Lead" appears first--just before the table of contents and the first section of every article. Help to improve the lead section of Wikipedia articles.

The lead section (also known as the lead or introduction) of a Wikipedia article is the section before the table of contents and the first heading. The lead serves as an introduction to the article and a summary of its most important contents. The lead is supposed to summarise the article in four easy-to-understand paragraphs. More information about the lead is here.

Be aware that it's the content of the lead that gets used in digital assistants like Siri or Amazon’s Echo, or indeed Google’s own efforts to provide answers to questions using voice assistants, the Google Knowledge Graph, Google answer boxes and so on (source and more information here).

Some readers only want an overview. A good lead will inspire people to read more.

The lead should:

  • be like an "executive summary" for the article (similar to an abstract for a journal paper)
  • have up to 4 paragraphs (each paragraph no longer than 6 lines).
  • include hyperlinks for key words (so readers will click and go to other Wikipedia pages).
  • use short clear sentences of no more than 15-20 words.
  • achieve a Flesch readability score of 60-70.

You can assess the quality of the lead by looking at readability (using Flesch score and this website), the image and image caption used, and comprehensiveness.

An example of a good lead in terms of length is the one for pit latrine (although readability can still be improved!).

Add images[edit]

The official guide to adding images in Wikipedia is here. There is also a short video about adding images available here.

A picture is worth a 1000 words. Adding images can greatly increase the value of Wikipedia articles. Many sanitation-related images already exist in Wikimedia Commons which is the image repository for Wikipedia. Here is what you need to know:

  • Adding an image from Wikimedia Commons to an article is very easy: Go to the article where you want to add an image; then click on "edit" at the top of the page (i.e. use the visual editor, not source editor); then "insert" (at the top, second row), then select "Media" from the drop down menu. You can now select from images that have been found, or add another keyword into the search field to find more images. Click on the image that you have selected, then click on "W - Use this file" at the top middle. Then copy the URL text to your Wikipedia article, e.g. [[File:Pharmaceutical personnel per 1,000 population, OWID.svg|thumb|Pharmaceutical personnel per 1,000 population, OWID]].
  • Make sure you use a clear image caption, sticking to the rules provided in the Manual of Style for captions.
  • To add your own photo to a Wikipedia article, you have to first add it to Wikimedia Commons. To do so, click on "upload file" to the left of an article, then click on "Commons Wizard" in the left column of the table that appears. Follow the prompts from there.

Everything on Wikipedia comes under the open access licence CC BY SA and Wikipedia is very strict about copyright rules. All images have to be under the CC-BY SA or a more open licence, like CC-0.

Therefore, you can only use images that are either your own or those that have been released under this open access licence (CC BY SA). If the image is yet to be released under this licence, it can be done by e-mail to the person who owns the photo: "Are you willing to release this image under the open license CC BY SA? If so please respond yes and we will take care of the rest and make sure you get proper attribution". Once you receive the "yes" by e-mail you forward the e-mail trail to: . Another option is to use the online copyright release form which is accessible through the Wikimedia Commons image uploader.

Two more places to find sanitation images:

  1. Choose from SuSanA’s flickr photostream. All of SuSanA's photos are already included in Wikimedia Commons (see here for further background and here). Therefore, you can simply add an image by finding it in Wikimedia Commons, usually by typing in the title of the photos into the search field in Wikimedia Commons.
  2. Your own photos or those of colleagues or friends who have given you permission (see above). You can add them to Wikimedia Commons by clicking on "Upload file" to the left of the article. Alternatively, you can also upload them to Wikimedia Commons here. We recommend that you also add those photos to SuSanA’s flickr photostream because from there, photos are regularly (about once per year) transferred to Wikimedia Commons.

Translate articles into other languages[edit]

Plenty of people are working on articles in the English Wikipedia. The sanitation community of practice needs more content in other languages. French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Indonesian, Odia, Russian, Swahili, Urdu, Yoruba, Twi... all welcome here.

  • What sanitation-related pages do you want people in your home country to be able to read in their own language? You can see at the left of the article which other language versions already exist for that article.
  • Be a translator, please. You will make a lasting contribution to sanitation.
  • Check out this video on using the Wikipedia translator tool here
  • Another useful page for new translators, including translation guides for different languages, is here.

There are short videos available which explain how to use the translation tool on Wikipedia: Video 1, Video 2, Video in Spanish

It is fairly easy to translate in Wikipedia. After signing up as a user, tick Translation in the Beta Menu, then go in via the Contributions Menu. The program gives you a first draft of the text (which is not very good), but the important thing is that it maintains the links to the bibliography and tries to recreate the wiki links to words.

You can see at the left of the article which other language versions already exist for that article. If you want to know how many Wikipedia articles exist already in lesser known languages check here.

Remove inappropriate external links[edit]

Some articles attract inappropriate links, such as internet chat boards and advertisements. You can review the external links in any article, or you can use Special:Linksearch to find articles containing a specific link, such as * or * . Details are available in the full guidelines for all of Wikipedia and also the specific guidelines for medicine-related articles.

Apply the "Manual of Style (Sanitation)" to existing articles[edit]

Help us improve all sanitation-related articles by using the Manual of Style (Sanitation) which is explained here. Using standard headlines on all articles as much as possible makes it much easier for readers to access and absorb information quickly.

  • Use the Manual of Style for your work editing pages or creating pages.
  • Select specific articles and gently adapt them to the Manual of Style, particularly in regard to headings used.
  • If you plan to make major changes to an article, do explain your plans on the talk page of the article first. Then ideally wait a couple of days to see if there are any objections from other editors.

Update country-specific articles on "Water Supply and Sanitation"[edit]

Previous Wikipedians have created an amazing List of Wikipedia pages on Water Supply and Sanitation You'll find one article for each of 86 countries, but some articles are incomplete or outdated.

  • Find a country that you care about in this list.
  • Edit the content in the article to make the information more complete or more current, and add references.
  • You can also use the SuSanA discussion forum to invite others to help update information.

Link to "Water Supply and Sanitation" articles from country articles[edit]

Wouldn't it be great if the average user could find information about water supply and sanitation when they look up a country article in Wikipedia?

  • Add a subsection in "infrastructure" to a country article, where you mention some key fact about water supply and sanitation in that country (with references) and then create a link to the water supply and sanitation country article.
  • For inspiration check out the examples for Philippines here and China here.

Options for people with slow or intermittent internet access[edit]

  • Make a list of wording changes, citations to add, typos to fix, open sources images to add, etc. Then ask someone you know who has more reliable internet to make the changes on your list.
  • If you can't find someone to make those changes for you, email your list to and make the same request.
  • Another option: Work in WikiFundi which is an offline editable environment that provides a similar experience to editing Wikipedia online.

Other ways to help[edit]

Set up student assignments[edit]

If you work in a university (or similar) environment consider setting up a student assignment to create or improve articles related to sanitation. Anyone considering using Wikipedia for student assignments would do well to read through the guidance at outreach:Education. There are a lot of resources available as well at the outreach:Education/Resources page, and anyone setting up a programme should make use of the meta:Programs & Events Dashboard to help organise the assignments. Means exist for putting organisers in touch with experienced Wikimedians, either locally or online.

If you put this: Template:Student on the talk page of a new editor who is a student, they get some helpful hints for student editors (set up by the Wikiproject Medicine).

If you are interested in learning more on how to use Wikipedia in teaching, have a look at the example courses listed below.

Examples of university courses[edit]

Examples of courses where students edit Wikipedia pages on water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) topics:

Examples of Wikipedia course instructors[edit]

  • User Polypompholyx, a professor at Imperial College London, UK
  • User Dianaceballos, a research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard University, USA)


  • Stay in touch. Put this page on your watchlist, and feel free to communicate on the talk page.
  • Recruit members. Assist in public relations and outreach by recruiting editors interested in medicine to contribute to Wikipedia (m:Wiki Project Med is a non-profit corporation that shares this goal). Invite good editors to join us. Personal messages are best when inviting Wikipedia editors.

Work behind the scenes[edit]

  • Tag the talk pages of sanitation-related articles. Add {{WikiProject Sanitation|class=|importance=}} to the article's talk page and assess the article according to our assessment scale.

The following "work behind the scenes" tasks relate to the WikiProject Medicine and have not yet been adapted to the WikiProject Sanitation:

Give out awards[edit]

Writing good sanitation-related articles and trimming poorly cited article content can be hard work! Why not reward someone you've seen do some good work in the area? Any editor may present an award to any person as a reward for and public recognition of good work (we have yet to created awards for the WikiProject Sanitation but in the meantime we can use those of the Wikiproject Medicine).

Example: I could copy this barnstar onto the talk page of another user if that user has done good work on revising the page on sewage sludge.

The Cleanup Barnstar
Excellent work on Sewage sludge (example).  EMsmile  

Other ideas from WikiProject Medicine[edit]

The following applies to the WikiProject Medicine, but over time we may build up similar points for this project:

Offline version of all articles[edit]

Medical Wikipedia is a mobile app which provides offline access to health information on Wikipedia. On June 10th, 2015 Wiki Project Med Foundation and Wikimedia Switzerland launched an android app that contains all of English Wikipedia's health care content: It includes a broad range of medical, anatomy, medication, and sanitation related articles (i.e. articles that have been tagged with the respective WikiProjects).

That means it includes all articles that have been tagged with this WikiProject Sanitation.

For more information and to download the app to your mobile phone, see here.


A banner to raise awareness of the app is here. Discussion is here.

It looks like this:

The consensus was to not have a banner at the top of the article but rather at the bottom right under external links: {{offline|med}}


All events of this WikiProject are available here.

Past events[edit]

  • Online edit-a-thon during Global Goals Week for all 17 SDGs, including SDG 6 on water and sanitation.
  • 1 September to 30 November 2017 for World Toilet Day on 26 November 2017, see here. Use this hashtag on twitter: #edit4toilets
  • Sustainable Sanitation Alliance Edit-a-thon for World Water Day March 2017 @ SuSanA Platform Worldwide, see here. On twitter: #edit4impact

Upcoming events[edit]

None scheduled

List of abbreviations[edit]

When an abbreviation or acronym is first used, it should be spelled out and the abbreviation put in brackets behind the long version. For longer articles, a repeat of the long version of the abbreviation every now and again is helfpul.

You can consult this list of abbreviations used in sanitation to find out what an abbreviation or acronym means. Please also help us improve this list!


We are not planning to develop our own glossary of terms for this WikiProject. For technical terms of the sanitation system we point you to the glossary of the Eawag-Sandec "Compendium of sanitation systems and technologies".[1]

Other available glossaries on Wikipedia:


The following is taken from WikiProject Medicine which is serving as inspiration for editing sanitation articles:

Guidelines and Policies

An introductory video about how to edit Wikipedia and medicine.
  • Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and has a distinct style that may take some time getting used to.
  • It is important that we use the best sources and that we give them due weight. Setting us apart from scientific papers we prefer secondary sources over primary sources. We'd rather cite a review article than an original trial.
  • To get you started and to explain why this is important we have a number of guides and guidelines:
Reliable Sources      Manual of Style
Conflicts of Interest      How to edit
Our guides complement Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines and take great care to explain why they are relevant.
More resources


Content related[edit]

The following Wikipedia "templates" are sometimes added to the end of sanitation-related articles and need to be kept up to date:

Other interesting templates:

User related[edit]

So far, we have not created templates for the Wikiproject Sanitation, but if needed, one could adapt these ones from the Wikiproject Medicine.

  • Welcome messages (all of these copied onto a user's talk page):
    • {{subst:WPMED-welcome}} - Welcome message for new Wikipedians (with invitation to join us) old, basic
    • {{subst:WPMED welcome}} - Welcome message for new Wikipedians (with invitation to join us) - newish, with video
    • {{subst:MedWelcome}} - Welcome template to greet new Wikipedians and invite them to join WikiProject Medicine. - includes general intro links
    • {{subst:MedInvitation}} - Invite for established Wikipedians to join WikiProject Medicine.
    • {{subst:MedGreeting}} - After editor added to participation list.
    • {{subst:Welcome medical student}} - For welcoming new editors who appear to be students associated with a course
  • [[File:New medical editor.ogv|thumb|thumbtime=2:59|right|320px|Welcome to Wikipedia and [[WP:MED|Wikiproject Medicine]]]] A video that can be transcluded onto the pages of new users.
  • {{subst:The Sanitation Barnstar|1=message ~~~~}}—awarded to editors who've made significant contributions to Sanitation-related articles.
The Sanitation Barnstar
message ~~~~


Categories serve like overviews of groups of articles that are grouped together to find related articles more easily. The link to categories can be added to the end of an article. Relevant categories for this project include:

Category page Command to be used in source editor
Category:Sanitation [[category:Sanitation]]
Category:Hygiene [[category:Hygiene]]
Category:Public health [[category:Public health]]
Category:Water supply and sanitation by country [[category:Water_supply_and_sanitation_by_country]]
Category:Sewerage [[category:Sewerage]]
Category:Toilets [[category:Toilets]]
Category:Water pollution [[category:Water pollution]]
Category:Environmental engineering [[category:Environmental engineering]]

Related WikiProjects and portals[edit]

The offline app allows you to download all of Wikipedia's medical articles in an app to access them when you have no Internet.
Wikipedia's health care articles can be viewed offline with the Medical Wikipedia app.
  1. ^ "The online compendium of sanitation systems and technologies". Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Switzerland, seecon and SSWM.