#ToiletTalk! WSSCC’s World Toilet Day Tweet Chat Promotes Discussion of Wastewater Solutions

Date: 22nd November 2017

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  • As part of this years’ WTD celebrations, WSSCC hosted a Tweet chat, or virtual seminar, on the WTD2017 theme of Wastewater. This offered a platform for people’s views on the challenges for wastewater, and a place to highlight good practice and innovative solutions.
  • Important messages coming from the chat include:
  1.  Wastewater presents a strong economic opportunity with cross-sectoral impact
  2. Efficient handling of wastewater now will contribute towards future water security
  3. Solutions exist: the challenge is to bring these to scale with innovative resourcing  

What is a Tweet chat?  A Tweet chat is a live Twitter event, usually moderated and focused around a general topic. To filter all the chatter on Twitter into a single conversation, a hashtag is used, in this case, #ToiletTalk. A set time is also established so that the moderator and panelists  are available to engage in the conversation. A Tweet chat usually lasts an hour and plays out as a question and answer session.

Today, a staggering 4.5 billion people live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste. World Toilet Day (WTD) on November 19 presents an opportunity to inspire action to tackle this aspect of the global sanitation crisis. As part of this years’ WTD celebrations, WSSCC hosted a Tweet chat, or virtual seminar, on the WTD2017 theme of Wastewater. This offered a platform for people’s views on the challenges for wastewater, and a place to highlight good practice and innovative solutions.

WSSCC invited a panel of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) experts to provide their responses and insights to a set of six wastewater questions, which were open to comment from the general public.

In an hour’s lively and positive discussion, participants made it clear that wastewater isn’t just a WASH and health issue, but business development opportunity for better environmental management.  Discussion explored the real and potential impacts for improved wastewater management on gender, on youth and partnerships, involving local actors and the private sector.

Peppering their responses with references to research tools, facts and statistics and photos from projects, some participants pointed out that the change in mindset needed to safely manage wastewater can be achieved with tailored messaging and a better definition of roles.

Over the course of the event, Twitter gained nearly 15,000 new impressions from 239 tweets as the panellists interacted with the audience, who were members of the WASH community and the general public. The Tweet chat reached over 320,000 accounts.

You can follow the Tweet chat in this Storify account.

Selected resources highlighted during the event:

World Water Development Report- UN Water 2017

Water and Sanitation Interlinkages Across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – UN Water 2016

ISO/TC 224  Service activities relating to drinking water supply systems and wastewater systems – quality criteria of the service and performance indicators – website

Water, Wastewater – Centre pieces of the Circular Economy  – presentation


Video on container based sanitation – World Bank Water 


  • Alexandra Knezovich, Toilet Board Coalition, @Alex_Knezovich (@TheToiletBoard)
  • Ceridwen Johnson, Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), @CeridwenJ
  • Carolyn Moore, Global Handwashing Partnership, @handwashingsoap
  • Kory Russel,Container Based Sanitation Alliance (CBSA)  @korycrussel
  • Comfort Kanshio, WASH advocate and WSSCC member, Nigeria,  @commy_ag
  • Sasha Kramer, Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL),  @SOILHaiti

Participants from many countries joined the conversation, including the International Rescue Committee @ircwash,  the International Standards Organization @isostandards, and WASH specialists @rushva and @B58Husker.


  1. Why is wastewater management crucial for sanitation?
  2. How can wastewater management contribute to a sustainable future for all?
  3. Share some innovative wastewater solutions/successes?
  4. How can we foster innovative wastewater solutions? (community led, small-scale private sector or otherwise)
  5. What is the place of wastewater in the circular economy?
  6. How can we mobilize resources for wastewater solutions?

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