In a recent post on nrdc.org, author Ed Osann talks about the world’s sanitation crisis and how an international group of experts (under the umbrella of the ISO) is working towards standards that any new sanitation solution could, and should, meet.
These standards are a push to introduce sanitation solutions – that do not require sewerage – that can be easily and quickly deployed anywhere, regardless of location.
The international panel (of which the author is a part of), The Panel on Sustainable Non-Sewered Sanitation Systems, co-led by experts from the US and Senegal, is currently working on a draft of these standards and hopes to have a final draft submitted by the summer of 2018.
“If successful, this effort has huge implications for public health in the developing world, but it could also be a game-changer for water and wastewater management in the US and other developed countries. Remote locations, such as state and national parks, are obvious possibilities for early installations. But as more states and communities contend with recurring drought and the uncertainties of climate change, more communities will be receptive to sanitation solutions that do not require drinking water to operate. In fact, production for commercial installations in developed countries may speed up the availability of more affordable units for the developing world.”
We’ve mentioned the importance of developing international standards on this site multiple times before, but it bears repeating. Not only will standards help provide universal benchmarks to reach for – clearing a distinct path for future R&D and manufacturing processes – but they also help manufacturers create sanitation solutions that can be used by (and be useful to) the world at large, not just domestically.