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Support Safer Sanitation: Call for U.S. Stakeholders Comments on Proposed Revision of ISO 30500, Sustainable Non-Sewered Sanitation Systems


The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), together with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), is requesting U.S.-based stakeholder input on a proposed revision to the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) ISO 30500:2018, Non-sewered sanitation systems – Prefabricated integrated treatment units – General safety and performance requirements for design and testing. ANSI, the U.S. member body to ISO, requests relevant stakeholder comments to the new work item proposal by October 20, 2022.

How Does ISO 30500 Support Safer Sanitation on a Global Scale?

According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, over 1.7 billion people still do not have basic sanitation services, such as private toilets or latrines. Only slightly over half of the global population, 54 percent, used a safely managed sanitation service in 2020. Moreover, just 34 percent have access to private sanitation facilities connected to sewers from which wastewater was treated.

Research points to a global health issue: the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that toxins excreted in areas with poor sanitation can lead to a multitude of health issues and the transmission of potential deadly diseases, including cholera and dysentery, as well as typhoid, intestinal worm infections, and polio. Even more, people without access to private and clean toilets are more susceptible to violent attacks, especially women and children.

ISO 30500, published in 2018, is a voluntary international product standard that helps support cleaner and safer sanitation. The standard addresses basic sanitation needs and promotes economic, social, and environmental sustainability through strategies that may include minimizing resource consumption (e.g. water, energy) and converting human waste to safe output. Ultimately, the standard supports better and safer toilets in areas where infrastructure such as sewers, plumbing, and electricity are not available.

The standard was developed based on expert input from 48 countries, representing industry, government, academia, and non-governmental organizations. ISO/PC 305, the former project committee on non-sewered sanitation systems, prepared the draft in coordination with twinned secretariats from the U.S. and Senegal, and included contributions from the African Water Association (AfWA) and the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC).

ISO 30500: Scope and Revision

The scope statement specifies general safety and performance requirements for design and testing as well as sustainability considerations for non-sewered sanitation systems (NSSS). As the document explains, NSSS is a prefabricated integrated treatment unit, comprising frontend (toilet facility) and backend (treatment facility) components that:

  • collects, conveys, and fully treats the specific input within the system, to allow for safe reuse or disposal of the generated solid, liquid, and gaseous output, and;
  • is not connected to a networked sewer or networked drainage systems.

Some key areas identified for the standard revision include: “definitions needed to determine usage solid and liquid microbial testing methods, discussion on the possibility of alternatives to raw faeces and urine as input material, difficulties faced and updates to testing requirements based on experience from executing the standard and modification to the emissions thresholds.”

ANSI seeks feedback on the work item proposal by October 20, 2022. Submit comments to Steven Cornish, ANSI senior director of international policy and strategy, [email protected].

Access ANSI’s Sanitation more information on the standard.

Related: New Non-Sewered Sanitation Systems Standard ISO 30500 Helps Support Safety and Global Sustainability


Jana Zabinski

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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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