The STeP Global Testing Protocols and Parameters

One of the primary goals of STeP is to support field testing of advanced sanitation technologies. To support testing of technologies by STeP, as well as by the broader sanitation community, we have created a global testing and protocols guide. The guide, developed in collaboration with partners, offers standards, test measures, and recommendations for assessing a full spectrum of operational and performance measures.
January 2016
Sonia Grego
Testing Protocols
One of the primary goals of STeP is to support field testing of advanced sanitation technologies. Field testing helps create demand for new technologies and supports standards, both those that currently exist but not always enforced, as well as new standards that may result from systems that can achieve new outcomes (e.g., helminth inactivation). It also serves as a key component of technology development and design, supports business planning and drives technology push by offering proof of concept to a range of stakeholders.

To support testing, STeP, in collaboration with technology partners (TPs), has developed a spectrum of standardized test measurements to assess the safety and performance of the sanitation technologies. Safety tests are principally focused on health effects via use of and/or exposure to byproducts of the technologies. Performance measurements include the tracking of operational parameters such as material throughput and external energy utilization.

This document is intended to serve as a resource and living document for all parties who wish to test technologies.

The STeP program has selected a general set of measurements applicable to all technologies. Some technology specific tests and measures are needed based on individual systems, as well. For partners of STeP, we will work with each to define a limited set of specialized measurements as needed. Recommended tests fall into six categories: liquid, solids, emissions, sound, energy and operations. To date, the selection criteria for the parameters to be monitored include those parameters that are:

  1. Regulated by local standards or international guidelines.
  2. Associated with user adoption or relevant for intended use.
  3. Relevant for monitoring of the technology operation.

Specifically, testing parameters are based on local regulations, or, if local regulations are not suitable or weak, by international guidelines. Additionally, we suggest including parameters such as wastewater color or system sound emission because they may significantly impact user adoption of the technology.

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