Scientist, water, team in the field

Duke University Center for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Infectious Disease

The Duke University Center for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Infectious Disease (WaSH-AID) is a collaborative translational research team working closely with academic, non-profit and private industry partners around the world to facilitate the development and sustainable deployment of novel technology-based solutions for critical health and environmental challenges.

Our research ranges from the design, engineering, and field testing of onsite waste treatment technologies to the exploration of sensors, diagnostics, and machine learning to detect pre-symptomatic disease at the individual and community level. 

To achieve our mission, we

  • Emphasize cross-disciplinary expertise and partnerships.
  • Work along a continuum from basic and translational science to prototyping, field testing, and commercialization.
  • Embrace a user-centered philosophy in all stages of research and development.
  • Seek to promote equity and justice with inclusive and transformative solutions.
Urban Renewal Project in South Korea


Urban Stormwater: Exploring New Ways to Remove Nutrient Pollution

We are excited to share that researchers at the Center have secured sponsorship from Oldcastle Infrastructure, a CRH Company, to explore technologies to remove nitrogen from urban stormwater. Nutrient pollution is a widespread and challenging problem in urban stormwater management. Stormwater [...]

Recent News

Sonia Grego and Brian Stoner with toilets

September 12, 2023 | Duke Magazine

Changing the World, One Flush at a Time

In a small, cream-colored building on the site of a cotton mill in Coimbatore, India, sits a toilet with a lot riding on it. No ordinary commode, its life-changing mission is to stop the spread of deadly diseases, conserve dwindling fresh water, and even keep girls in school. Can a toilet change [...]

Sonia Grego in Smart Toilet Lab

June 28, 2023 | News & Observer

Duke smart toilet flushes away poop but leaves valuable health information behind

Sonia Grego works in a world of poop. Scatological-themed artwork hangs outside her office alongside peer-reviewed papers on human waste. “We have poop emojis everywhere,” she said, pointing to a smiling tie-dye stuffed clump perched by her window.

March 22, 2023 | Duke Daily

Sanitation Lab Cleaning World's Water

Brian Hawkins, an associate professor at Duke University, and his team are designing a self-contained toilet that requires no infrastructure, can reclaim water for flushing, washing, and irrigation, and can reuse nutrients removed from the water. Their work has taken on added urgency as the climate [...]