RTI hosted Vincent Santos (TUV SUD/Singapore Water Services) at our prototype site at CEPT University in Ahmedabad on 13 April.
RTI and TUV Sud are collaborating as part of the working group engaged with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in developing a new international standard for non-sewered sanitation systems. Currently the standard is in the draft and is undergoing a validation process.
Vincent and the TUV Sud team are engaging with a number of the BMGF reinvent the toilet grantees to validate the practicality, applicability and accuracy of test requirements outlined in the draft standard with those technologies that are now in active field testing.
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.
To read the post (it’s a quick read too) in it’s entirety, click here.
Providing sanitation for every human on the planet by 2030 is going to take a Herculean amount of effort. Many projects just like our own, have discovered tough barriers that have to be overcome in order to improve global sanitation. As with any multi-tiered effort, when groups work together and share their solutions, we all benefit from our past collective wisdom. But that wisdom is only as good as it’s universal availability.
That’s where developing standards come in.
ISO.org recently (November, 2016) published an article documenting a “two-step solution to improving sanitation for 2.4 billion people” (ISO 24521). The post is a great description/example of how standards can help aid with valuable advice on “…training users and operators, evaluating risks and designing and building basic on-site domestic wastewater systems, including alternative technologies that can be set up using local resources. ISO 24521 can be used by both publicly and privately operated sanitation wastewater services for one or more dwellings, regardless of the type of facility model.”
“The demand for this guidance came from government agencies looking to bring sanitation services into many rural and some underprivileged urban communities that do not have such infrastructure, or that have it but do not know how to manage it and offer better services to their users,” explains Gerryshom Munala, Convenor of the working group that developed ISO 24521.
There are other published standards documents as well! Some of which, members of our project have provided valuable input. Here’s one we recently published in August, 2016: Non-Sewered Sanitation Systems: General safety and performance requirements for design and testing.
To read ISO.org’s recent post (with links to ISO 24521), click right here.