Sustainable Development Goals - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Proportion of wastewater safely treated

This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from US statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from US statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other US-specific metadata information.

Actual indicator available
Actual indicator available - description
Date of national source publication
Method of computation The wastewater safely treated is calculated by combining the percentage of household (sewage and faecal sludge) wastewater and the percentage of wastewater from hazardous industries treated. Household surveys and censuses provide information on use of types of basic sanitation facilities. These estimates are combined with safety factors for on-site disposal and for transportation to designated places for safe disposal or treatment, as described in indicator 6.2.1. The information generated for indicator 6.2.1 will be combined with safety factors describing the proportion of wastewater from hazardous industries which is safely treated before disposal or reuse to produce indicator 6.3.1. Calculation of safety factors for household wastewater (sewage and faecal sludge) treatment will be coordinated with estimation of similar safety factors for safe management of sanitation required for indicator 6.2.1. The accompanying Statistical Note describes in more detail how 'safety factors' for wastewater treatment, disposal and reuse will be generated through a national assessment process, and combined with data on use of different types of sanitation facilities, as recorded in the current JMP database. Statistical methods for measurement of the wastewater treatment (called "wastewater to sewerage"by SEEA-Water) align with the SEEA definitions and treatment categories (primary, secondary, tertiary). Statistical methods for the treatment of industrial wastewater align with the SEEA definitions and treatment categories using ISIC classifications and treated volumes from permits data.
Scheduled update by national source
U.S. method of computation
Comments and limitations
Date metadata updated
Disaggregation geography
Unit of measurement
Disaggregation categories
International and national references
Time period
Scheduled update by SDG team

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Indicator name Proportion of wastewater safely treated
Target name By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.
Global indicator description Proportion of wastewater generated both by households (sewage and faecal sludge), as well as economic activities (based on ISIC categories) safely treated compared to total wastewater generated both through households and economic activities. While the definition conceptually includes wastewater generated from all economic activities, monitoring will focus on wastewater generated from hazardous industries (as defined by relevant ISIC categories).
UN designated tier 2
UN custodial agency WHO, UN HABITAT, UNSD (Partnering Agencies: UNEP, OECD, Eurostat)
Link to UN metadata Link opens in a new window
Agency Staff Name
Agency Survey Dataset
Link to data source