Walk at least 100 paces from water and campsites. Dig 15cm deep and cover well.
With so many people visiting the Alps – and the potential for spread of infectious diseases (such as giardia and hepatitis A) – the management of human waste is a serious issue. If faeces, urine or toilet paper gets into the water supply, or are uncovered by animals, the results are very unsightly and potentially very dangerous for both people and animals.
Practice minimum impact by carrying out toileting waste
In the Main Range area (above the treeline) of Kosciuszko National Park if a park toilet is not available you are asked to be prepared for and follow carry out procedures for your toileting waste. This can be easily done using ‘poo tubes’ or ‘wag bag’ systems which are clean and hygienic for later disposal. A good information resource for backcountry toileting and waste disposal etiquette and best practice can be found in this Trailspace article : Human Waste Disposal in the Backcountry: How to pee and poop in the woods Please don’t dispose of bagged toilet waste or any other rubbish into flushing or pit toilets. They can be placed into general putrescible waste bins.
Carelessness upstream could affect you downstream!
Where there are no toilets, please carry and use a trowel or carry out your toilet waste (above the treeline or popular backcountry areas). Below the treeline walk at least 100 paces (or as far as practicable) from creeks, lakes, campsites and tracks, dig a hole as deep as your trowel/hand (about 15 cm), then bury your waste and the toilet paper very carefully. In high use areas without toilets, plan to carry out your toilet waste.
Collect water upstream of huts, campsites and toilets to avoid possible pollution. Boil water for at least five minutes to avoid gastroenteritis.
Wash at least 100 metres from watercourses
Please take care when washing yourself or your belongings. Detergents, toothpaste and soap (even biodegradable ones) harm fish and water-life. Instead of washing in creeks or lakes use a container well away from the water. When finished, spread the washing water and food scraps away from creeks or lakes so that it can filter through the soil before returning to the stream. Some people use hot water, gritty sand and a scourer instead of soap to clean billies and dishes.
Practice good camp hygiene
Research has found that most walker/visitor related stomach bugs and illnesses can be traced back to poor camp, toileting and food preparation hygiene rather than water quality issues. Whilst careful consideration about where to collect and how to treat water before drinking is important, good basic hygiene practices such as regular hand washing after toileting and before eating and food preparation are just as important.