Standard for safe and sustainable sanitation technologies in developing countries
Singapore - By developing a technical standard for sanitation technologies, TÜV SÜD aims to improve the availability of safe and sustainable sanitation in developing countries. The international solutions provider has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a standard for point of use reuse sanitation technologies. The standard will set forth specifications for sanitation technologies that do not require water, grid or sewage connections.
Over one-third of the world’s population do not have access to functioning sanitation – a lack that impacts drastically on the overall social and economic development of the countries involved, while also presenting a significant environmental challenge. In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the global Reinvent the Toilet Challenge (RTTC) to bring sustainable sanitation solutions to the people who do not have access to safe affordable sanitation that remove pathogens, recover resources, operate off the grid without connections to water, sewer or electrical lines, sustain services and businesses operating in poor densely populated areas, and are truly aspirational products that everyone will want to use.
“In order to achieve long-term, widespread improvement in the situation, we need to design sanitation technologies that work without the need for connection to traditional electrical grid, water and sewage systems”, says Dr Andreas Hauser, Director of Water Services at TÜV SÜD AG. “Previous decentralized solutions have often proved to be unsafe, unsustainable or too expensive.” According to Dr Hauser one cause of this failure is the lack of recognised standards or best practices that ensure that products are technically mature, safe for users and compliant with environmental regulations. Recognised standards would serve different stakeholder groups by providing a common, transparent basis that promotes both technology development by manufacturers and commercial adoption by governments, development agencies and operators.
TÜV SÜD has received a grant from the Gates Foundation to develop a standard for point of use reuse sanitation technologies. The standard development work is complementary and based on the foundation´s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge initiative. The project is planned for a three-year period. Dr Hauser notes that technologies of this kind should primarily be deployed in developing countries with an initial focus on India, Senegal and South Africa. But it is expected that developed countries as well could be interested in sustainable sanitation technologies that operate independently of traditional infrastructure, while still ensuring user, environmental safety and regulatory compliance.
By bringing interdisciplinary expertise and international experience to the table, the experts from TÜV SÜD are making a major contribution towards introducing safe, reliable new technologies and innovative solutions in the sanitation sector. The services provided by TÜV SÜD Water Services in the area of sanitation span support for governments, non-governmental organizations, investors in sanitation projects, and manufacturers and operators of sanitation.