The apartment was outdated, with more than ten households sharing a single water supply and toilet. In summer it can be tolerated, but in winter anytime the water pipe bursts and its surroundings become flooded.
And it was frozen and it was hard to draw water. Almost every winter, the water pipes in the bathrooms freeze and become unusable every winter, which again became a major concern.
When I was in an emergency, I often looked around for other restrooms and often used school restrooms. It was difficult to go to the bathroom even when the water pipe did not freeze.
I usually had to wait in line, so it was common to step on the ground during morning work hours. (Kim hyon-hui “as a woman”)
Housing density in poor districts is very high. There is basic water supply in such areas, but no sewage. Therefore, a shared toilet must be used. You may see a carefully constructed building between houses. It is a well house and the center of social life in the area. Next to the well there is a small courtyard where children play, women draw water and do laundry,
And gossip. (Andrey Lankov, North of the DMZ: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea)