Wanna save water? Change your toilet!
Published 28th March 2010 -
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A dry or waterless toilet to save water resources!
Much of the world lives without access to clean water. No water = no development. Let's save water! Don't waste it in your toilet!
What is a waterless system?
A waterless or dry toilet is a sanitation system that doesn't need any water to function. In addition, it cannot contaminate underground water resources such as acquifers because this toilet system is entirely isolated from the surrounding environment. This toilet utileses a natural biological process to break down human waste into a dehydrated odourless compost-like material.
How does it work ?
The following is a brief description of the ECOSAN toilet concept as well as it's main features.
The human excrement falls down a vertical chute (2) and into one end of a specially designed helical screw conveyor (3). Every time the toilet lid (1) is lifted, a mechanism rotates the conveyor. With each rotation the human excrement slowly moves along, taking approximately twenty five days before falling into a reusable collection bag (4). It takes six months for the bag to fill with dry and odourless waste.
Through the uniquely designed ventilation pipe (5), adequate airflow is provided for the dehydration / evaporation, deodorising process. Human excrement consists of roughly 95% moisture. As the solids dry in the conveyer the urine and moisture is vented into the atmosphere. The solid waste then dries into a compost-like material, roughly 5 - 10% of it's original mass.
The dry waste is manageable and can be processed in the following ways.
- Use it in the making of compost
- Dispose of it by using municipal waste services
- Use it as a source of fuel
Large objects like beverage cans, disposable nappies or other objects accidentally dropped down the chute will not block the system, It is however not advisable to do this
- No plumbing required
- No drains
- No pipes
- Low odour levels
- Chemical free
- Relatively light and easy to install
For more examples of how to save water, and to know where it has already been applied, please visit the website of the Jordanian-Palestinian-Israeli NGO friends of the Earth Middle East: http://www.foeme.org/index_images/dinamicas/publications/publ106_1.pdf