the austrian design firm EOOS together with the swiss eawag aquatic research institute of ETH zurich present a
new sanitation concept: the 'diversion-toilet'. a modern squatting lavatory that can function without a water or sewer connection
and collects the separated urine and feces for eventual treatment. addressing the 2.6 billion people in the world without
access to a decent toilet, this solution is both environmentally friendly and economically feasible, approximately 5 cents per day
and per individual.
eawag discusses the problem the project addresses:
'the way in which urine, faeces and wastewater are currently managed, and the resources required for these procedures,
are mainly regulated by the kind of toilet used. for example, the lavatory now widely established in industrialized countries calls not
only for large quantities of flushing water, but also an elaborate sewer system and centralized wastewater treatment.
these are so significant that solutions based on waterborne sewage systems and centralized treatment plants are not sustainable
for many parts of the world. at the same time, particularly in countries of the south, rudimentary privies – and inappropriate emptying of cesspits –
are frequently associated with poor hygienic conditions. inadequate sanitation also puts pressure on ecosystems and scarce freshwater resources. '
the special features of the 'diversion' model are not only separation of urine and a seal against odours but, more importantly, the use of very little water,
about 1 to 1.5 litre per personal use. the unit's configuration and water usage addresses the hygienic cleansing rituals of muslim and hindu culture.
the new separation toilet needs no connection to a water supply. every time a user operates a foot pedal,
water flows into the small reservoir and already used water is pumped upwards behind the toilet. cleansed by means of a membrane filter,
the used water is germ-free by using electrolysis generated with a solar-powered electrode. a transparency indicator on the
top demonstrates the amount of water remaining.
a two-wheeled tractor, ideal for traversing difficult terrain in developing countries, collects the containers and transports
to a recovery plant with different technologies for treatment. the waste can be converted into fertilizer or biogas.
developed as part of the 're-invent the toilet' competition and recently presented at seattle's sanitation fair, the project will receive
around USD 400,000 in funding from the bill & melinda gates foundation to see the design realized.
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