Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India)
(2 viewing) Bincy, (1) Guest

TOPIC: Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India)

Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India) 28 Feb 2013 14:21 #3663

  • Bincy
  • CONTACT
  • Head Convergence Business Group and PoC RTTC projects of ESS
  • Posts: 31
  • Likes received: 4
  • Karma: 5
Hello,
I would like to introduce to you a research grant with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which I am leading here in India:

Title of grant: Research on Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation

Subtitle (more descriptive title): Globally acceptable, water-conserving, hygienic and self-sustaining public toilets

Name of lead organization: Eram Scientific Solutions
Primary contact at lead organization: Bincy Baby and Ria John
Grantee location: Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Developing country where the research is being or will be tested: India

Short description of the project: Eram developed India's first electronic public toilet, the 'eToilet', with unique automated features to maximize user experience (e.g. payment mechanism, doors, washing mechanisms). In this project, Eram proposes to refine the eToilet by minimizing water requirements, improving sterilization mechanisms, and reducing necessary power consumption. The final eToilet will be a completely standalone system, integrated with high-end technologies, that is sustainable in terms of cost and efficiency.

Goal(s): Our design of the research is to develop sustainable solutions for the above cited areas, so that it can be used effectively in households, slums or in urban/semi urban locations and cities to benefit the city dwellers and the large floating populations. Hence the universality of our solutions is what we propose to highlight as an important outcome of our research. We also propose a modular and highly decoupled solution as outputs of our research so as to make them logical, easily adaptable and customizable to the demands of the respective regions while focusing on a cost-effective as well as sustainable, affordable solution. Our research direction closely aligns with the Foundation’s goal to provide affordable sanitation that ensures clean and hygienic environment while recovering recyclable components.

Objectives: Our idea is to invent universally viable self-sustained, water conserving toilet enabled by appropriate technology and embedded with self washing and sterilization mechanism to ensure complete cleanliness. We propose to focus on improvising toilets on two areas viz. (a) clean and hygienic toilet through inbuilt sterilization mechanism (b) enclosure to make it extremely resource conserving and thus making the toilet more scalable and accessible to masses. The enclosure focuses on integrating low cost sterilization unit for public usage and reducing water usage through efficient washing-sucking mechanism. We plan to integrate high-end technologies to manufacture a completely standalone system; sustainable in terms of cost and efficiency.

Start and end date: September 2012 to December 2013
Grant type: RTTC (Reinvent the Toilet Challange) Round 2
Funding for this research currently ongoing?: Yes
Research or implementation partners: None
Links, further readings – results to date:

See entry in SuSanA library for more documents:
susana.org/lang-en/library/library?view=...p;type=2&id=1713

Social Media:
www.facebook.com/delightbharath?ref=stream
twitter.com/Eramscientific
www.youtube.com/user/eramscientific?feature=watch

Videos available:



Profile of me, the project leader:
www.pid.co.za/index.php/fsm2-conference/...utions-pvt-ltd-india

++++++++++++++++++

Now I am curious to hear from you: what do you think about our project? Constructive criticism and comments? Questions?

Regards,
Bincy
Last Edit: 20 Mar 2013 09:30 by muench.
The following user(s) like this post: Moritz

Re: Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India) 05 Mar 2013 11:22 #3741

  • Bincy
  • CONTACT
  • Head Convergence Business Group and PoC RTTC projects of ESS
  • Posts: 31
  • Likes received: 4
  • Karma: 5
An important feature of e-toilets is that we have ensured that they are maintained clean and hygienic all the time. From our experience of installing over 350 etoilets and being in operations for more than one year, we have identified that the maintenace and management of toilets are at no cost be compromised with its technology, ambience and aesthetics. Hence, e-toilets have ensured that the "e" in it will not fend of a normal user and he is not interfacing with Technology at any stages of his usage from entry to exit. At the same time, etoilets have judiciously woven technology including that of electronics, web and mobile to remotely manage and act based on the health status being captured and updated to a web or mobile interface. We have made extensive studies on why public toilets fail after a few months of its lauch especially in India and have identified that there are no sustainable mechanisms to address cleaning and maintenance. So that is the differentiator for etoilets- which ensures that common man/ urban poor has equal access to a highly world class public sanitation facility viz. a viz his elite urban counterpart. Through our RTTC programme we aim to reinforce this commitment to the public.
Last Edit: 05 Mar 2013 11:24 by Bincy.

Re: Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India) 05 Mar 2013 18:18 #3754

  • rahulingle
  • CONTACT
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 103
  • Likes received: 18
  • Karma: 2
Dear Bincy,

Thats a very interesting project taking technology to the the enxt level. Congratulations!

I have a few questions of understanding as well as comments
1. How many of these toilets have already been installed so far in India?
2. From the video it seems like piloting of these toilets has already been done. How many people can use it to its maximum capacity and how many people are actually using it per day?
3. what are the charges proposed to make it a economically viable option?
4. Is this a temporary construction or a permanent construction? To provide them with sewer connection I presume it might be a permanent construction.
5. personally I would be scared to use the toilet without an attendant with the fear of getting locked in by the automatic locking system. But I see there is enough space below and above the gate to climb out. Dont you think the toilet would be prone to misuse beacause of this gap below the gate? what has been your experience so far? how have you dealt with it?

Looking forward to your repply..

best regards

Rahul
Best regards,

Rahul Ingle
Program Advisor "Sustainable sanitation"
GIZ, Eschborn, Germany
and SuSanA secretariat

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
www.giz.de/sanitation
www.susana.org
The following user(s) like this post: muench

Re: Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India) 06 Mar 2013 05:53 #3759

  • Bincy
  • CONTACT
  • Head Convergence Business Group and PoC RTTC projects of ESS
  • Posts: 31
  • Likes received: 4
  • Karma: 5
Hello Rahul,
Thank you for the interest shown in e-toilets. Here are my answers.
1. How many of these toilets have already been installed so far in India?. We have installed 360 etoilets in India and around 50 more are already in the field and will be operational by March 31 2013. Among these 105 are etoilets in schools. These are mostly spread across Kerala State, India and some of them are in Delhi, tamil nadu, Jammu and kashmir and Karnataka.
2. From the video it seems like piloting of these toilets has already been done. How many people can use it to its maximum capacity and how many people are actually using it per day?
Yes. We are in a roll-out mode across India. The maximum capacity is 165-180 users per day. As of now the usage varies from 50- 150 users( the usage in tourist places and during festivals are more than 200 per day. Which means, these etoilets combined can right now provide safe sanitation facilities to over 350,00 users per day.
3. what are the charges proposed to make it a economically viable options?
The etoilets have access control mechanims and user charges can be preset to any denomination viz. INR. 1, 2 or 5 as decided by the buyer(normally the local Government bodies). But it can also be made free access. however, our experience shows that both users and buyers prefer to have a pay and use toilet as long as it is maintained clean and hygienic. Apart from this income source, advertisments can also be displayed on the walls of the etoilets. These income sources are put forword for ensuring sustainability of etoilets
4. Is this a temporary construction or a permanent construction? To provide them with sewer connection I presume it might be a permanent construction.
This is a permanent structure and is made out of steel. But itcan be dismantled easily incase it need to be shifted due to road widening etc. The installation of etoilet takes less than 5 hours, after completing the curing of the platfrom work for 3 days.We prefer not to connect to sewer lines, and it has a modular Sewage treatment plant working on anaerobic digestion. We are also closely working with some of other grantees of RTTC to develop modular STPs for etoilets.
5. Personally I would be scared to use the toilet without an attendant with the fear of getting locked in by the automatic locking system. But I see there is enough space below and above the gate to climb out. Dont you think the toilet would be prone to misuse beacause of this gap below the gate? what has been your experience so far? how have you dealt with it?
Yes. You are right. There were user apprehensions about using an unmanned toilet and women were reluctant to use it initially. But, this is slowly going away and there are no possibilities of people getting trapped in the etoilet. Because, after entering through the half door which is automated, there is a door whcih is completely manual.
Regarding misuse and vandalisms, we did have reports from the field. For any forced entry or tresspass there are alarm systems which will alert the service personnel in the region. And such incidence are now becoming less frequent, but we still feel that such approaches would still have to be dealt with. Now we have got requests from some of our clients to remove the sliding door and automate the maindoor. Which we plan to launch in our new model, Bu the half-door enclosure would still be there for providing privacy to women users. We are also not promoting a completely unmanned etoilet facility, but due to lack of an alternate income model for retaining a person has been the reason to adopt this model. But we are now seriously considering an entrepreneur model as well.
I also happy to update you that this product has won over 15 awards for its innovation in sanitation. We are making a humble effort towards enabling the right to clean and hygienic sanitation for everybody. With swelling urban Indian cities with migration from villages , and more women in the streets for job, it is high time that we take a call on the need for reliable, clean and hygienic public sanitation facilities in India. This is the case with developing countries elsewhere.
I am extremely thankful for the above queries. I would be happy to provide you with more details if you wish so.
Last Edit: 06 Mar 2013 05:55 by Bincy.
The following user(s) like this post: rahulingle, tmsinnovation

Re: Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India) 06 Mar 2013 08:56 #3765

  • joeturner
  • CONTACT
  • I am a shit philosopher, thinking about how we think about sanitation. I think our main paradigms in WASH may be wrong.
  • Posts: 346
  • Likes received: 55
  • Karma: 11
Interesting. How long does it take for the biodigestor to fill up, and what happens to the sludge? How are you assessing when the process is complete?

Also I notice from your presentation that it seems to be marketed at tourists, is it an affordable solution for only the very wealthy?

Quite interested in knowing more about how you run the system - are individual operators working as franchisees, or is there some kind of central organisation? Who ensures that they are being run properly?
I don't work for anyone, I am a philosopher interested to think about how we think about WASH and sanitation. All thoughts are mine alone, I am responsible for any errors.

Previously trained and worked as a Soil Scientist and worked on projects composting sewage sludge.

Re: Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India) 12 Mar 2013 05:37 #3859

  • Bincy
  • CONTACT
  • Head Convergence Business Group and PoC RTTC projects of ESS
  • Posts: 31
  • Likes received: 4
  • Karma: 5
Hi,
Thank you for the encouraging words.
ABout STP etoilets can connect to sewer lines, pits or biodigestor tanks. We prefer to connect to modular self sustaining STPs so that the environment impact is minimal. We are now using a technology (Anaerobic) which can process 2KL per day of waste for the public toilets. The STPs have cleaning contracts once in 6 months. The water effluent is safe for discharge to ground water and the solid residue is safe to be disposed to ground. But however, most of our STPs are reaching the first 9-10 month of operations,whe have not come across a point where we have to empty them. But we conduct regular lab tests for STPs to ensure that the effluents are within the norms.
Affordability Catering to the aesthetic and hygienic appeal of a tourist location is just one of the many uses of etoilet. Our experience shows that etoilets are most used by the common man on the road who otherwise cannot afford a toilet facility. Though the buyers are the local Governments, these toilets are installed in places where there are huge public gathering. People like workers, women workers, girl students, labourers, tourists, domestic travellers, drivers and all actors who completes the public urban profile are users of the etoilets in India. For a common man it is less than INR 2-3 per usage. This is therefore indeded to be for the urban non affluent class who are left with no other options for a clean, safe and hygienic pubic sanitation facility in India.

Operations; The etoilets are bought by the local bodies or Government agencies as they are primarily intended for the citizens. Eram Scientific enters into a maintenance contract with these buyers for 7 years for maintaining the etoilets. Eram Scientific has a dedicated team of customer service engineers, who conducts routine preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance of the units. There are vehicles fitted with steam/pressure washing equipments which do rounds on etoilets and ensures that they are maintained clean and hygienic. The general health of etoilet can be remotely monitored using the web technology. Moreover, users can contact over a a toll free no. which helps us to know if any etoilet is down. As of now the 350 plus etoilets are run and managed by this model.
Last Edit: 12 Mar 2013 11:20 by Bincy.

Re: Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India) 19 Mar 2013 20:29 #3934

  • Moritz
  • CONTACT
  • Posts: 22
  • Likes received: 6
  • Karma: 2
Dear Bincy,

Thank you very much for sharing another inspiring output from the RTTC. I also have a couple of questions/comments regarding the business model.

Even though it looks very posh, a toilet fee around INR 1-3 sounds realistic to me to attract a wide range of the society. But, is the system not really expensive in its investments costs and therefore unattractive for the local governments/municipalities? Moreover, does a use of 120 users per day in average cover the operational (water, wastewater treatment, electricity etc.) and maintenance costs? How much cash has to be generated from advertisements. Maybe it would be better to rent them to the municipalities?

I agree that it is a good idea to take the maintenance out of the hands of the municipalities/local governments and transfer it to private service providers.

Greetings,
Moritz
Moritz Gold, Project Officer at Eawag/Sandec

Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India) 20 Mar 2013 06:40 #3941

  • Bincy
  • CONTACT
  • Head Convergence Business Group and PoC RTTC projects of ESS
  • Posts: 31
  • Likes received: 4
  • Karma: 5


Bincy Baby gives a presentation on "Research on self-sustained e toilet for households /urban-semi urban public / community sanitation" at the Second International Conference on Faecal Sludge Management (FSM2) that took place in Durban, South Africa during 29 to 31 October 2012

+++++++++++++
Note by editor (EvM):
The powerpoint slides to go with the presentation are here:
www.susana.org/docs_ccbk/susana_download...c-solutionsindia.pdf

The sound in the video is a bit low, but after about 1-2 minutes, a friendly helper adjusted the microphone and then it was a bit better.
Last Edit: 20 Mar 2013 09:31 by muench.

Re: Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India) 20 Mar 2013 10:52 #3946

  • Vanden
  • CONTACT
  • Development Officer at Wherever the Need.
  • Posts: 5
  • Likes received: 0
  • Karma: 0
Hello Bincy.

This looks like a great concept.

How much does each unit cost to produce? What do you sell them for?

Re: Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India) 20 Mar 2013 12:46 #3951

  • Bincy
  • CONTACT
  • Head Convergence Business Group and PoC RTTC projects of ESS
  • Posts: 31
  • Likes received: 4
  • Karma: 5
Dear Moritz,

Thank you for your interest in our eToilet. The toilet entry fee is
kept reasonable to ensure accessibility to everyone. Thanks to the strong three tier panchayats raj prevailing in India, local bodies (local Self governing Bodies) apportion a fixed budget for sanitation in their plan budget. So etoilets are a plug and play solution for them to provide a reliable and sustainable public sanitation facility in the region. While most of them have tried with traditional toilets and have ended up with closing them due to lack of maintenance, the e-toilet business model integrating supply, installation and maintenance of etoilets is found to provide them value for the money spend.


Your question regarding maintenance is welcome in the sense that it is a question regarding the basic of sustainability of e-toilets. E-toilets are ideally meant to generate income out of advertisement, which the local bodies can avail. Depending on the visibility of the locations, it can fetch fairly good advertisement revenue for the municipalities to meet its operational expenses. It also has another developmental perspective apart from commercial advertisements, these advertisement spaces can be effectively utilized by Governments for disseminating important messages to public regarding health, precautions against diseases. This is something we plan to work on in the future as it will serve as a good IEC medium in Health and sanitation as well. Unlike other medium, the reader retention is higher in this case!

Re: Self Sustained eToilet for households/ Urban-semi urban Public/ Community Sanitation (Eram Scientific, India) 01 Apr 2013 12:14 #4028

  • Bincy
  • CONTACT
  • Head Convergence Business Group and PoC RTTC projects of ESS
  • Posts: 31
  • Likes received: 4
  • Karma: 5
Hi,
The enclosures are made of Stainless steel or fibre and this determines the cost of production. The price of etoilet ranges from 3000 USD to 10000 USD. This would include earthwork, installation charges and cost of Sewage treatmet plant. As our prime buyers are Government who implement the units for public benefit, we maintain a uniform rate contract with the agencies based on the type of materials being used.

Exploring New Gen Technology for eToilets 10 Apr 2013 13:26 #4108

  • Bincy
  • CONTACT
  • Head Convergence Business Group and PoC RTTC projects of ESS
  • Posts: 31
  • Likes received: 4
  • Karma: 5
In a move to make self sustainable toilets which can generate power and
energy, further R&D explorations are being carried out by Eram
Scientific. Eram Scientific is the manufacturer of India’s First
Electronic Public Toilets ‘eToilets’. The idea behind the new R&D
application in eToilets is to conserve and make provision for reuse of
the depleting precious resources viz; water and power.

The idea is to create an energy hub that reproduces resources for
continuous use in eToilets and ultimately for powering the external
environment. The concept of green living can be brought into the eToilet
for a Sustainable Future
Time to create page: 0.55 seconds