Project History

In 2011, the need to develop “next-generation” toilets to deliver sanitation to the 2.5 billion people worldwide without access to safe, affordable sanitation and the need for standards in support of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6 (SDG 6) was recognized.

In response to the global sanitation crisis, the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge was initiated. The challenge aims to provide access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, while also paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.

Based on the fact that no ISO Technical Committee existed to address sustainable non-sewered sanitation systems, ANSI together with the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge took the first step by developing an international workshop agreement (IWA). Since there were no reference documents for the new technologies, an IWA was proposed as the most efficient starting point for the development of non-sewered sanitation system standards. The IWA served as the basis for the development of a new international standard through an ISO project committee. The goal of the IWA was to achieve an international standard, which contains commonly accepted criteria by which to measure the performance of reinvented toilets.

In 2016, ANSI submitted proposals to ISO focused on sustainable non-sewered sanitation systems, also known as "next-generation toilets," a practical solution for the sanitation-related death and disease that is rampant among developing nation populations. The proposals were part of a multi-phased initiative to facilitate the development of a globally recognized consensus standard for safer, cleaner reinvented toilets. In October 2018, ISO 30500, Non-sewered sanitation systems – Prefabricated integrated treatment units – General safety and performance requirements for design and testing was published. ANSI is actively involved in promoting the national adoption and use of ISO 30500 and other ISO non-sewered sanitation standards in South Asia, Africa, and China.

Timeline for the development and promotion of ISO 30500


  • Reinvent the Toilet Challenge initiated and grants issued to 16 researchers around the world using innovative approaches for safe & sustainable management of human waste


  • ANSI approached the International Organization for Standards (ISO) about beginning the process to create an international standard for sustainable non-sewered sanitation systems-ISO 30500
  • Project committee (PC) 305 was formed with input from experts across the globe
  • PC 305 met regularly to draft the international standard using a formalized, consensus-based process
  • Testing of prototypes began in South Africa with the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Sept. 2017


  • ISO Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) 30500 was finalized, with participation & input from 48 countries
  • All ISO member countries were given the opportunity to vote on the final draft
  • ISO 30500 was published in October 2018
  • ANSI began advocacy work to promote national recognition of the reinvented toilet standard
  • ANSI and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) host a South African stakeholder workshop on ISO 30500 in Pretoria, South Africa
  • ANSI, African Standardisation Organization (ARSO), & African Water Association (AfWA) host regional African workshop in Senegal on ISO 30500, non-sewered sanitation systems with participants from 23 African countries
  • ANSI and the Standardization Administration of the People's Republic of China (SAC) host a Chinese stakeholder workshop on non-sewered sanitation system standards in Beijing, China
  • ANSI and The Shanghai Environmental Sanitation Engineering Design Institute host technical workshops for Chinese stakeholders in Shanghai and Beijing


  • ANSI continues promotion of ISO non-sewered sanitation standards with national and regional engagement in Africa, South Asia and China. For more information about how you can be involved, please Contact us.
  • Partners for 2019-2021 included:
    African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), L'Association Sénégalaise de Normalisation (ASN Senegal), Bangladesh Standards & Testing Institution (BSTI), Bhutan Standards Bureau, BRAC, CAP-Net UNDP, Department of Public Health Engineering (Bangladesh), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Environment & Public Health Organization (Nepal), Nepal Bureau of Standards & Metrology (NBSM), South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO), Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI), Standardization Administration of the P.R.C. (China),  Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), The Shanghai Environmental Sanitation Engineering Design Institute (China), TUV SUD (Singapore), University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN), Water Research Commission (South Africa).
    * Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.