The Costs of Wastewater Monitoring in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
- Wastewater monitoring costs were highly variable across countries, ranging from a low of $34 per sample in India to a high of $517 per sample in Costa Rica.
- On average, recurring costs (19% to 93% of past-year costs) accounted for a greater share of costs than fixed costs (7% to 67% of past-year costs).
- Wastewater monitoring costs are likely to decrease over time as programs expand—due to economies of scale—and may also decrease as government labs ramp up capacity for testing wastewater samples.
To make the case for why countries should continue to fund wastewater monitoring, government officials need reliable estimates of the costs of implementation and the potential savings that could accrue. We surveyed 12 wastewater monitoring programs in low- and middle-income countries to collect information on program costs and how those costs vary by implementation features. Analysis of the survey responses revealed the following: wastewater monitoring costs were highly variable across countries, costs are likely to decrease over time as programs expand—due to economies of scale, and funding for wastewater monitoring came mainly from government sources and philanthropic funds. Sustainable funding is needed.