Subscribe to RSS - Sanitation


A lack of sanitation services can quickly spread disease in refugee camps and under-developed communities. Alternatively, with proper sanitation technology, residents have more healthful living standards, increasing well-being, quality of life and the community’s social and economic development.


In the pursuit of sanitation and other survival necessities for stressed populations, STAR-TIDES is working to provide a useful database of information on inexpensive, sustainable infrastructure that can be supplied to development areas/emergency situations with minimal transportation costs.

A Dutch non-profit organization named AKVO has created a website ( that is a great resource for individuals, government officials, and NGOs seeking information on sustainable solutions to typical sanitation (and water) problems.

AKVO also catalogues numerous sustainable solutions to typical development scenarios/emergency situations in its online encyclopedia named akvopedia. In the section for sanitation, they categorize available sanitation methods by:

  • Toilet Facilities
  • Collection & Storage
  • Conveyance
  • Centralized Treatment
  • Use of Products/Disposal

All sanitation devices listed have a description, picture, and information on various pros and cons. AKVO has a comparable detailed portal of sanitation and water resources.

In addition, the akvopedia site has a section labeled, Organizations Portal that divides organizations interested in water/sanitation into: NGOs, government organizations, knowledge and research organizations, funding organizations and commercial companies. Each listing has a URL to follow.

Also on akvopedia is an Approach Portal that helps walk through:

  • Product/service development (how to decide if a technology or business plan is appropriate, sustainable, etc
  • Service delivery approaches (community controlled vs. private enterprise, etc.)
  • Financing
  • Promotion/Demand stimulation (use of media and market development), and
  • Support systems/Enabling environment (legislation, public-private partnerships, etc.)

In sum, by going to the Akvopedia page, any individual or organization requiring sanitation resources can:

  • customize a program by choosing from the various options under the sanitation portal categories to suit their individual needs.
  • Identify other organizations that could might have mutual interests, and
  • Get ideas about business models, financing, technical assistance, etc.

The Sphere Project is a good resource that offers common standards used by the international community when providing support to disaster victims, refugees, and other displaced populations. Sanitation is considered to be a “basic requirement” for sustaining the lives and dignity of stressed populations. Sphere provides detailed standards for proper sanitation within the humanitarian relief and assistance arena. TIDES highly recommends that those involved in such operations become familiar with the Sphere Standards available at the above link.


Other helpful organizations are:


Equipment Providers

Each link will lead you to a new page that lists lighting solutions under these broad categories. (Note: TIDES does not endorse any specific products or stores, nor are we responsible for the content on the links.)

  • Individual/Household Use
  • Larger Technologies
  • Consulting Services


Quake Kare, Inc.
Pee Poople


Dri-Let Waste Processor


Sulabh International
Bush Proof
Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor

AdvanTex AX-Mobile Wastewater Treatment System

Since 1981, Orenco Systems® has been designing and manufacturing reliable, sustainable, low-maintenance products for the collection, treatment, disinfection, monitoring, and re-use of wastewater. The AdvanTex® AX-Mobile is a completely pre-packaged, portable, “plug & play” wastewater collection and treatment system for remote locations, disaster relief situations, and the gas, oil, and mining industry. AX-Mobile systems have been shipped to sites all around the world. Standard services include design assistance, installer/operator training, and post-sales support.


Electrochemical Water/Wastewater Treatment System

"The Electrochemical Water/Wastewater Treatment System efficiently and effectively removes a broad range of contaminants from water and wastewater including surface water, groundwater, industrial process water, sanitary sewage, industrial wastewater, water containing hazardous or toxic materials, stormwater runoff containing a variety of organic and inorganic pollutants and contaminants and liquid streams containing byproducts of conventional water treatment and waste activated sludge treatment from domestic wastewater treatment plants.



This is an evaporative, solar toilet requiring NO INFRASTRUCTURE. The liquid and solid waste is totally contained within the tank portion of the unit. The liquid and solid waste is separated and totally dried out. In addition to providing a safe, decent way to handle human waste, the Enviro Loo aids in cleaning existing waste resources by keeping human waste out of the soil and ground water. This is a very cost effective way to manage human waste and assist in cleaning local water - low life cycle costs with a 50+ year life span.


Solar water disinfection

ByMichael Seaman: My idea is simple: Pick up a 2L plastic bottle. Its full of rice. Unscrew the cap and you'll notice the top of the bottle is stuffed with plastic. Pull the plastic out and it turns out to be a plastic bag. Pour the rice from the plastic bottle into the plastic bag, and now you have an empty plastic bottle to transport water. Inside the plastic bag, amidst the rice, are some waterproof matches, a small bag of powdered soap and a rolled up piece of paper.


Drop: Disaster Ready Onsite Purifier (Water purifier backpack)

A backpackable solar powered water purification unit

Business markets: Disaster relief organizations, military, outdoor enthusiasts.

Features: •Utilizes novel water filters to purify and remove bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, bad taste and smell •High flow rate delivers 1000 gal/day •Environmentally friendly solar powered device Current goal: To increase TRL, advance to production, and pursue



First Water Inc.

First Water offers complete water purification solutions deigned specifically for emergency response and disaster operations. All water purification systems utilize advanced technologies and are independently certified to both civilian and military standards set for by the NSF and EPA.


Toilets for People- CRAPPER, Water Engineering & Sanitation Services.

Toilets for people builds clean and affordable sanitation solutions for use in emerging markets, specializing in flood-prone areas and refugee camps.
Mission: To eliminate contamination of water supply from human waste
Description: For emerging markets in flood-prone areas, pit latrines and open defecation contaminate the water supply with lethal pathogens. We build clean, affordable, and sustainable sanitation solutions, keeping water safe and saving lives. Our toilets are also portable, making them ideal for temporary relocation situations like refugee camps.


WorldWater & Solar Technologies, Inc.- PEAK: Prepositioned Expeditionary Assistance Kit

PEAK™ (Prepositioned Expeditionary Assistance Kit) is an Aberdeen Proving Grounds tested, self-contained kit with onsite power, water purification and satellite communications capabilities built in to an easy to transport ISU-60 container.

Key features include:

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) purification and desalination to create 1,500 gallons/day of drinking water from virtually any source