“SENSE” (Social Evaluation of New Sanitation Experiments) is a collaborative EU-research project regarding the large-scale introduction of New Sanitary systems and Water Wise Neighbourhoods in Europe. SENSE focuses on the social and societal factors surrounding this subject, the focus being public perception, acceptance and the role of communication and participation interventions. Previous research established these factors as hurdles in implementing environmentally sustainable water technology in property development and therefore important considerations in the success of decentralised water demonstration projects. 


Seven demonstration sites across Europe – in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden – were selected for research inclusion, with variety in socio-economic context, technological configuration and scales. Selected demonstration project adhered to the criteria of large scale residential construction with inclusion of separated waste water streams, the use of vacuum toilets and digestion technologies.


Further information regarding the aforementioned demonstration sites is available under the the Projects section 


Round one of research has been conducted in all projects across Europe. So far the results look promising, showing that end-users are positive towards new sanitation technologies and choose these above standard technologies. So far a literature review is available online as well as site specific information. In 2022 round two of the surveys will be conducted.  Therefore we will share more information about the results during 2022.

Literature review


Report (Eng)

This literature review provides insights into the scientific gaps still prevelant in regards of new sanitation and water wise neighbourhoods. It provides the basis for the SENSE activities.
Click Here

Overview Demo sites


Report (Eng)

This report provides an overview of the differences and similarities of the demonstration projects. It includes inhouse and outdoor technologies, residential population, ownership, and a framework in which the demo sites are compared.
Click Here

SYMPOSIUM SENSE 24 November 2022

During the SENSE Symposium 2022 we will present and discuss the results of the three year long project. The event will be in one of the demonstration projects (Kerkrade, The Netherlands) where you can experience the technologies yourself during a site visit.

Registration coming soon!


In order to provide a basis for replication projects which facilitate data comparison, the SENSE project makes its protocols available to the wider scientific en professional community. This approach provides insights and therefore enables easier setup of follow-up projects, while reducing research costs. 


Three types of protocols have been developed: (1) Explorative interview guides; (2) Large scale surveys and; (3) Follow-up interview guide or workshop. The protocols have been tested and used in several projects. The online surveys are available in English, Dutch, German, and Swedish on request.




Explorative interview Guide


Guide (Eng)

The explorative interview guide can be used by researchers and practitioners. It learns you the basics of interviewing with an open mind. It has been used by engineers, researchers and other practitioners.
Click Here

For the explorative interviews a standard (semi-)structured interview format was developed for usage by multiple interviewers.


For stakeholders in demonstration projects, these interviews provide a basic insight into responses to- and interaction of end-users with various forms of (more) sustainable water technologies.


Furthermore, the more qualitative and open setup of interviewing has positive effects on the validity of the research, as bias is mitigated through an interviewee-centred frame of reference approach.

Survey protocol


Survey (Eng)

This document provides the basis for the survey. When interested to use the survey please contact researchers as they will provide you with the language needed and relevant information.
Click Here

The developed survey protocol can be adjusted based on the explorative interview results. The survey is available in different languages (English, Dutch, German, and Swedish).


The survey can be used online (Survey Monkey) or offline. Filling in the survey takes between 10 an 20 minutes dependent on the total of new sanitation tehcnologies applied. 

Follow-up interview guide


Report (Eng)

The protocol for a follow-up interview is provided in this document. These interviews or workshops have the purpose to better understand the outcomes of the survey. People can better explain certain answers.
Click Here

After analysing the data of surveys it is relevant to follow-up on the responses of end-users. Firstly, to better understand what their answers (for instance from outliers) mean. Secondly, to provide feedback to residents that posed questions.


Based on these three steps a thourough analysis can be drawn.


The SENSE project is an international collaboration between water utilities, housing corporations and research insitutes. It is funded by all partners and by the Water in the Circular Economy (WiCE) programme of the Dutch Drinking Water Sector. 



Do you have specific questions about this collaborative research?


Are you developing a similar neighbourhood and interested in applying the protocols?


Please contact us