This blog has originally been posted on The tools mentioned in the blog are accessible from the original post. 

Using real data, we look at how the WASHCost calculator can be used in practice in India.

This is a depiction of how someone can use the advanced tool of the WASHCost Calculator. The example input data come from the real dataset collected by the WASHCost project in India (see link below).


Ravi Kumar, Junior Engineer working at the Block level is concerned about maintaining the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status awarded to Venkatapuram. He wants to know if households and government are spending enough on sanitation services to maintain this status and to have a sanitation service report on finance that he can share with stakeholders.

Adding data to the Venkatapuram report

Ravi starts by providing some contextual information about the village, its location, the population density and who is responsible for the various aspects of sanitation services. Households take care of most aspects of their facilities and the maintenance of the sanitation service. Adding this information to the WASHCost Calculator report page will help Ravi communicate the financial sustainability of sanitation services. The data also includes some information about household income and size.

What is the average annual household income in the service area? ₹ 60,256
Average household size 4

Several technologies can be defined in a service area in the tool. Venkatapuram has only one type of latrine. The junior engineer uses the technology screen to start to define the technologies used. First, by selecting the Pour Flush Latrine.

WASHCOST Calculations

Some additional details can be filled in to differentiate between pour flush latrines. In this example, the latrines share the same characteristics. For example, there were no double pit latrines.

Type of slab Cement
Ventilation pipe Yes
Pit lining Concrete rings
Water seal Yes
Number of pits 1
Superstructure Corrugated metal sheet
Septic tank No
Connected to sewerage system No
Urine diversion system No
Sludge treatment No

Life-cycle costs

Initial costs (capital expenditure on hardware and software)

The junior engineer knows that in total, ₹ 3,015,342 was spent on constructing latrines in Venkatapuram. Unfortunately, he does not know what was spent on software costs.