Operation and maintenance of sustainable sanitation systems
Factsheet of Working Group 10
The aims of this factsheet are to introduce concepts of operation and maintenance (O&M) for sustainable sanitation systems and to give examples of O&M with their strengths and weaknesses.
Effective and efficient O&M is crucial for the sustainable implementation and long-term functioning of sanitation systems. However, issues related to O&M services are often neglected in the design and set-up of sanitation
systems, and thus non-functioning O&M services are a widespread challenge in particular in developing countries and countries in transition.
The guiding principles for the design of sustainable O&M services are:
· The level of O&M is closely linked to ownership of a facility and the basic understanding of the technology and its functions.
· Every technology that is implemented in a sanitation system chain requires proper O&M to function.
· Different technologies at different steps in the sanitation chain need different people and different responsibilities for O&M.
· Clearly defined roles and accountabilities as well as appropriate support and training are essential for the management of O&M services.
· Institutional responsibilities as well as effective mechanisms for cost recovery are needed to ensure sustainable O&M.
To further explain the need for sustainable O&M this factsheet reviews examples of sanitation systems in various settings such as schools, in households, at public toilets, at institutional level in management of sewers etc. In case of decentralised solutions, O&M is the most crucial criterion for selection of a sanitation system during the technology
The factsheet is targeted at practitioners, researchers and policy makers as well as development practitioners who are less familiar with the topic of O&M of sanitation systems.
Müllegger, E., Freiberger, E., McConville, J., Samwel, M., Rieck, C., Scott, P., Langergraber, G.
Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)
Operation and maintenance; O&M; Muellegger
Müllegger, E., Freiberger, E., McConville, J., Samwel, M., Rieck, C., Scott, P., Langergraber, G. (2012). Operation and maintenance of sustainable sanitation systems - Factsheet of Working Group 10. Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA).