Basic sanitation consists on the activity of sewage collection and treatment, urban sanitation, solid waste handling and plague control, as well as any kind of pathogenic agent, focused at the health of communities. The drinking water supply and rainwater handling are also part of the activities in which the basic sanitation is included.
The basic sanitation service can be rendered by public companies, such as SABESP, in São Paulo, and CEDAE, in Rio de Janeiro, and under concession by private companies, as it happens to Aegea Saneamento and its subsidiary in several States of the Country.
The service rendered by sanitation companies is considered as essential, being important for the health of all society and for the environment. The absence of basic sanitation services allied with socioeconomic-cultural factors are decisive for the outbreak of infections by enteroparasitosis, with higher susceptibility to contagious infection diseases by the infant group. In Brazil, diseases deriving from lack of sanitation are among the main problems of public and environmental health.
The basic sanitation is a right assured by the Federal Constitution and established by the act # 11.445/2007 as a group of services, infrastructure and operational facilities of water supply, sanitary sewage, urban sanitation, urban drainage, solid wastes and rainwater handling.