In many places around the world, rural and urban populations have to use toilets that aren’t connected to mains sewers. For millions of people, non-sewered systems are the only option and with waterborne diseases posing major risks to human health, it’s important to get it right. That’s where an upcoming Draft International Standard comes in.

Experts from 31 countries worldwide representing a broad range of stakeholder categories, such as industry, government, academia and non-governmental organizations, have come together to form consensus on the standard. ISO 30500, Non-sewered sanitation systems –seeks to provide general safety and performance requirements for the product design and performance testing of non-sewered sanitation systems. It will apply to any integrated sanitation system that is not attached to a sewer. In an integrated system like the ones covered by ISO 30500, the frontend collects, conveys and fully treats the specific input within the non-sewered sanitation system, to allow for safe reuse or disposal of the generated solid, liquid and gaseous output. The crucial distinction of this International Standard is that the backend is not connected to a networked sewer system.

The requirements of the standard will drive innovation, meaning better toilets will be available in areas where infrastructure such as plumbing and electricity are not feasible. In homes and communities, users of toilets that conform to the standard can be sure their non-sewered sanitation systems will be reliable, safe, hygienic, odour-free, and may even produce by-products that can be reused by the community.


Read more about ISO 30500 here.