Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Safe and sustainable sanitisation for people in developing countries

Safe and sustainable sanitisation for people in developing countries

TÜV SÜD TO DEVELOP SPECIALIST NETWORK OF TEST AND CERTIFICATION LABORATORIES

"This next stage of our programme fully supports this goal by building an effective test and certification network that will drive the commercialisation of research and development ideas. This will help to make access to safe and sustainable sanitisation a reality for people in developing countries."

 

Mei Yee Chan

Senior Programme Manager at TÜV SÜD


Since 2015, TÜV SÜD has been working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on projects, one of which being the project lead for the development of the two international standards - ISO 30500 and ISO 31800, as nominated by ASN/ ANSIBoth standards not only reflect the state-of-the-art in non-sewered sanitation, but also set a clear goal for the development of new concepts. The process of creating this technical guidance at such an early phase of innovation was unprecedented, as standardisation does not normally occur until after technology has achieved maturity.

The development of these standards and innovation of these and future concepts support the "Reinvent the Toilet" initiative launched by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to bring sustainable solutions to the 3.5 billion people who lack safe sanitation, especially those living in crowded urban areas, in regions that are flood-prone, or where land, water and resources for infrastructure are scarce. 

 

SETTING THE STANDARD

Before new toilet technologies and non-sewered sanitation solutions can be widely manufactured, marketed and deployed, commonly accepted standards to measure their performance are needed to enable large-scale incentives for adoption. 

ISO 30500 specifies general safety and performance requirements for design and testing, as well as sustainability considerations, for non-sewered sanitation systems.

ISO 31800 specifies requirements and test methods to ensure performance, safety, operability and maintainability of community-scale resource recovery faecal sludge treatment units. These systems are intended to offer a community-scale solution to address the situation of poor faecal sludge management practice and sustainable treatment solutions that would generate valuable resources such as drinking water or water for irrigation, fertiliser and biomass for energy production.

Not only will ISO 30500 and ISO 31800 provide a clear set of criteria to help address the health needs of billions of people, the standards will also help to remove costly, labour-intensive management issues commonly associated with sewage treatment. Technology and commercial entities will use the standards as the cornerstone to develop products that bring safe and sustainable sanitation to some of the world’s most vulnerable citizens, as well as helping communities move away from sanitation systems that consume vast quantities of water. 

 

accelerating product innovation

Once the two standards had been established, TÜV SÜD was the leading laboratory in the world that had the technical knowledge required for testing and certification. TÜV SÜD was therefore awarded a grant to establish a network of qualified local testing laboratories and certification facilities in China, India, Senegal and South Africa.

 

The aim of this process is to lower barriers to market entry and accelerate the development of non-sewered resource recovery technologies by giving manufacturers easier access to suitable test and certification services. Giving access to appropriate testing capabilities to companies developing new technologies will help ehance their product development programmes and optimise protype testing. A network of local qualified laboratories will also provide regulators access to qualified, competent and independent analytical capabilities to support monitoring and regulatory compliance work for non-sewered sanitation systems.

 

EXTENSIVE EVALUATION 

To develop a realistic, risk-managed recommendation TÜV SÜD’s first had to gain an overall picture of the sanitation environment in each country. TÜV SÜD experts therefore undertook an extensive evaluation programme to assess the necessary skills, equipment and infrastructure required in each country to execute the field validation part of the two standards. This included gaining an understanding of the existing testing, inspection and certification network, as well as establishing contacts with potential partners to create laboratory testing and certification capabilities in each country. TÜV SÜD worked with local laboratories when available to ensure that full testing services could be offered. For example, in China, a local lab was appointed to undertake microbial testing.

 

Mei Yee, Senior Programme Manager at TÜV SÜD says: “While the new standards and other guidelines were an important step in the right direction for product innovators of new toilet technologies, it was vital that qualified laboratories and testing facilities were available to accelerate product development and implementation. This next stage of our programme fully supports this goal by building an effective test and certification network that will drive the commercialisation of research and development ideas. This will help to make access to safe and sustainable sanitisation a reality for people in developing countries.”

 

 

Next Steps

Site Selector