Toilet design for a unique situation
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TOPIC: Toilet design for a unique situation

Toilet design for a unique situation 05 Dec 2013 04:16 #6616

  • bsams
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You will probably all realize that I am new to this forum and even to the topic in general. I have been working with a boarding school/orphanage in a remote area of Mexico that serves the local natives by providing food, shelter and education to children from age 3-16. Many of the kids have families, but due to the extreme distances they live from the school, boarding at the school is the only option.

Without giving too much detail, as this area is potentially dangerous due to cartel activity, this school has a working "fosa" or basic seepage type septic system and plenty of fresh water. So much fresh water that they have no qualms about leaving taps running for hours and don't fix leaks if they occur.

The main problem that they face is that the natives traditionally clean themselves or "wipe" using a rock. That sounds pretty crazy to me, but you folks have probably heard this before. Someone previously installed 6 flush toilets. Only 4 are still working and none have intact tanks and are flushed by pouring water from a bucket, which is effective enough. The main problem as you may have guessed is that the toilets are constantly clogged with rocks. For many reasons, such as language issues,transience, etc., it continues to be an issue and the bathrooms rapidly become unsanitary...to say the least. The children routinely suffer from conjunctivitis and other diseases that would be reduced by a better system.

I have been trying to conceive of a system that will increase sanitation, be sufficiently robust to withstand use by the kids, not be impaired by the occasional rock and will require minimal maintenance and supervision (both of which are lacking...)

I have considered a trough type system with a combination of a constant low flow and metered flushing system, but I am not convinced it will control odors. Any ideas will be appreciated, and please ask questions if I have left anything out that you need to know. I'm a licensed master plumber, and thoroughly understand modern plumbing, but this is a puzzler.

Re: Toilet design for a unique situation 05 Dec 2013 22:26 #6622

  • fabiola
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Hola!

It would be great if you could contact us at Sarar Transformación, we would be happy to collaborate with your project. We are based in Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico, and have more than a decade of experience in sustainable water and sanitation projects. For the last 5 years, we have gained a lot of experience with several school projects, both in rural and urban settings. All of our work considers both social -participatory- and technological aspects.
Posted by Sarar Transformacion, based in Tepoztlan, Mexico
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Visit our website: www.sarar-t.org

Re: Toilet design for a unique situation 06 Dec 2013 06:13 #6626

  • JKMakowka
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There is not always a purely technological solution (that is affordable the same time). A dry toilet (UDDT) or pit latrine will obviously have little issues with the rocks, but then you don't have a seemingly "hassle free" solution.
Krischan Makowka
Technical Adviser at the Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET)
www.uwasnet.org

Re: Toilet design for a unique situation 06 Dec 2013 20:33 #6632

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I agree that a dry latrine system would work, but the space available for use requires that the toilet facilities be inside the building so that the kids are not outside at night and the building can be secured against intrusion. Water seems to be the only way to carry waste out of the building efficiently.

Does anyone have a similar experience of people putting solid objects like rocks into the systems you've designed? Has anyone discovered a "foolproof" method of separating the these foreign objects from regular waste? I've considered grates, large P or S traps with removable U-Bends, and a trough with a reasonable run to carry waste but not rocks...

If anyone has tried or seen any of these methods tried, please let me know. The nature of this location is such that trial and error testing is almost impossible as I am only able to be on site 3-4 times a year. I'm strictly a volunteer and will likely be spending my own money on this design and implementation.

Re: Toilet design for a unique situation 07 Dec 2013 14:29 #6639

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How about a dry toilet design like this:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/106-us...on-in-terris-ecuador
Krischan Makowka
Technical Adviser at the Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET)
www.uwasnet.org

Re: Toilet design for a unique situation 08 Dec 2013 06:31 #6640

  • F H Mughal
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The recent 3 floods in Pakistan wiped out the water and sanitation systems in the rural and peri-urban areas. This climate change scenario is like to increase the flooding feature in the upcoming years. I'm looking for toilet designs that can adapt to flooding, and withstand the impact of earthquakes.

Thanks,

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan

Re: Toilet design for a unique situation 08 Dec 2013 19:51 #6643

  • canaday
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Hi Bsams,

A nice Urine-diverting Dry Toilet (UDDT) with an ample vent pipe, maybe 11 or 16 cm diameter, should be fine and odor-free inside the building, especially if a permanent staff member is interested and willing to check on it daily ... and education and consciousness-raising among the children should be constant, with an emphasis at the beginning of each school year. Older children could be required to clean up if they leave the toilet messy.

A single-chambered toilet with a plastic bin lined with woven sacks, which get changed as they fill, would be convenient, since there would be no fixed carrying capacity and the sack can be changed whenever there starts to be a problem with smell or flies.

A version for squatting could have a drop hole only 12 cm wide for the smallest children, so they do not feel like they will fall in. Similarly, a bench design could be made just the right height for each age group, as opposed to the flush toilet that comes in one single size generally ... and the urine diverter could also be accordingly smaller.

If there is electricity, there could be a fan connected to the light switch.

Cover material is also key ... and regular forum users know that I promote recycling the cover material, after a prudent detention time of drying and decomposing (and maybe spread in the sun to finish the treatment). This controls smell more than sawdust or ashes, plus it inoculates the new deposit with the microbes that broke down everything in the previous cycle. Sifting can get the rocks out, which can be boiled to also be recycled.

More related info, in Spanish and English, at inodoroseco.blogspot.com.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Re: Toilet design for a unique situation 11 Dec 2013 05:24 #6665

  • F H Mughal
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Thank you, Chris. Interesting and useful reponse.

We are Muslims here in Pakistan. We use water in toilets. Thank you

Regards,

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan

Re: Toilet design for a unique situation 11 Dec 2013 10:13 #6668

  • muench
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Dear Mughal,

You keep pointing out that Muslims use water for washing after toilet use - I think most people are aware of this... I am assuming you are pointing this out here again because you are thinking that muslims can't use UDDTs (dry toilets) for this reason? If that is the case then you are mistaken.

We had a converation about it here on the forum:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/34-uri...re-wipers-or-washers

Also, you find information about it here in the UDDT technology review:
susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktype...mp;type=2&id=874

See on page 8:

3.3.3 Options for anal washing
The integration of anal cleansing with water is achieved through the installation of a separate wash bowl or washing area on the floor adjacent to the toilet seat (see Figure 7). The foremost design objective for UDDTs that accommodate anal washing is to minimise the risk of wash water entering the faeces vault. This is commonly achieved by installing a separate anal washing device. The washing mechanism must be equipped with a drain and discharge piping system.


Figure 7, right:
Prototype of a ceramic urine-diverting pedestal in the Philippines with separate wash bowl for anal washing in a sitting position (photo: D. Lapid, 2007).


Ceramic UDDT and wash bowl in private household by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

Figure 7. Left: Example in Kyrgyzstan with washing area in the centre of the photo (photo: WECF, 2011).


Mundzu ecosan toilet1 by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

Another example from India (the anal washing area is towards the front of the photo):


Demonstration separation toilet in Bangalore by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

And again from India (the anal washing area is towards the back of the photo, that second green pan):


Seperate anal washing pan from eco-solutions in India by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

Here again the photo that was mentioned above from Afghanistan (the anal washing area is towards the back of the photo):


Household UDDT by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

Example from Morocco (the anal washing area is towards the right of the photo):


Salle de bain avec TDSU - Bathroom with UDDT by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

So in summary yes, Muslims use water in toilets. But that doesn't mean they have to use flush toilets. You need water to wash yourself and a place to do so. This can easily be provided, see above.

I am wondering: would you be happy to use such a toilet for example the one from Morocco? Or would there be anything holding you back? Anything specific to your faith maybe? (I know that the toilet mustn't be located so that the user's bottom would point towards Mecca)

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Last Edit: 11 Dec 2013 10:16 by muench.

Re: Toilet design for a unique situation 13 Dec 2013 03:07 #6687

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Please tell me more about your system. I am working with people in Bangladesh who use the side of the river as a toilet. Obviously contamination is a big problem, but also the soft soil of the riverbanks makes it difficult to build permanent structures.
thanks,
Elizabeth
Saving the earth one compost heap at a time.

Re: Toilet design for a unique situation 13 Dec 2013 11:03 #6694

  • muench
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Dear Elizabeth,

Can you please introduce yourself a bit more so that we know who is talking to us? Thanks a lot - and welcome to the forum!
Also, was your question referring to UDDTs or to one of the other toilets mentioned above?
If it was about UDDTs, then I want to point out that there is quite a bit of work with UDDTs in Bangladesh for the very reason that UDDTs can withstand floods better than pit latrines.

See e.g. here on the forum:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/34-uri...nology-in-bangladesh

A famous photo of a UDDT in Bangladesh which is sitting pretty above the flood line:


UDDT withstanding Cyclone Aila 2009 by Sustainable sanitation, on Flickr

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Last Edit: 13 Dec 2013 11:04 by muench.

Re: Toilet design for a unique situation 15 Dec 2013 16:16 #6713

  • F H Mughal
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Dear Elisabeth,

Seems like you have got me wrong. Keep aside the name(s) of the toilets, for a moment.
Any toilet that allows anal cleaning with water is acceptable to Muslims.

You write: "But that doesn't mean they have to use flush toilets." Nearly 90 per cent of the households in the poor, rural areas here, do not have the facility of flush toilets, simply because, either they cannot afford it, or the arrangements for the flush toilets are not available. That doesn't mean that they don't use water for anal cleaning. Even in rural areas, no matter to what extent poor they are, the Muslim population always use water for anal cleaning.

Muslims do position their toilets, such that when are using the WC, they should not face Makkah.

Regards,

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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