In support of United Nations initiative World Water Day on March 22, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has released a new animated video—available in French and Mandarin—that demonstrates how international standards ISO 30500 and ISO 24521 can help improve global sanitation. ANSI proudly highlights how these International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards also support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030—a core focus of World Water Day.
The new video, Sanitation Standards Explained in 2 Minutes, captures how standards can improve the outcomes for more than a billion people around the world who do not have access to toilets. These standards support both societies across the globe that lack access to adequate sanitation and societies that are implementing sustainable alternatives to every-day products.
How ISO 30500 and IS0 24521 Support Safer and Cleaner Sanitation
As the video explains, the ISO standard ISO 30500, Non-sewered sanitation systems — Prefabricated integrated treatment units — General safety and performance requirements for design and testing, is an international standard for new, non-sewered household toilets that conserve water and treat waste entirely by themselves.
Sanitation systems that aim to meet ISO 30500’s requirements eliminate dangerous pathogens found in human waste. Due to its guidelines, the standard helps protect individuals, their communities, resources, and drinking water from pollution and outbreaks of potentially lethal diseases. Experts representing industry, government, academia and non-governmental organizations contributed to the standard, developed by ISO Project Committee (PC) 305 under U.S. leadership with Senegal and the U.S. serving in a twinned secretariat capacity, and ANSI serving as the U.S. TAG Administrator for ISO PC 305.
For the many places in the world that still rely on pit latrines or septic systems, the standard ISO 24521 helps improve efficiency and existing wastewater services. ISO 24521, Activities relating to drinking water and wastewater services – Guidelines for the management of basic on-site domestic wastewater, includes guidelines for the management of basic on-site domestic wastewater services from the operator’s perspective, including maintenance techniques, training of personnel and risk considerations.
The standard was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 224, which focuses on Service activities relating to drinking water supply, wastewater and stormwater systems. AFNOR, ISO’s member for France is the TC 224 secretariat. The ANSI-accredited U.S. TAG administrator to ISO TC 224 is the American Water Works Association.
How Standards Support UN Goals
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), poor sanitation reduces human well-being, and social and economic development due to impacts such as anxiety, risk of sexual assault, and lost educational opportunities. Furthermore, inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 432,000 worldwide diarrheal deaths annually and is a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, and trachoma. Poor sanitation also contributes to malnutrition.
As part of its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN’s Sustainable Developmental Goal 6 is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The goal includes achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations by 2030. ISO 30500 and ISO 24521 help support this and several other UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).