Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

  • Florian
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Re: Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

Hi,
I would like to share photos of a ping pong ball valve that my colleagues in Moldova now are testing in the school toilets supported by our project. So far we used condoms, the hope is that the ping pong balls work longer before they need to be replaced. It's done with ping pong balls and simple PVC pipes and rubber sealings.
It has been tested on pilot scale (cherry can urinal in our offices) for a few months and is now tested in real scale in some new school toilets.
Best regards, Florian


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  • Ecowaters
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Re: Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

Thanks for these photos.

The ping pong ball "lifting trap" approach has not worked for us. The ball does not lift.

However, one person tells me it works for his urinal.

These are interesting urinals. I would install the connecting urine line with more slope to it--angled at least 20 degrees.
Urine will pool in a horizontal pipe and sludge will accumulate. This will create odor. We had this experience with poorly installed Wost-Man Eco-Dry urine-diverting toilet stools. We had to re-install the piping.

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  • Florian
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Re: Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

Hi,

thanks for the reply and your comments.

The smell trap works perfectly, I've tested it myself in the pilot device, which is installed in our office in Molodva and used by all male staff since 4 months. The ball lifts without problems, smell is well contained.
The questions is how long does it work well before ball and/or rubber seal needs to be changed.

If it has not worked for you, perhaps it has to do with the ratio of diameters of the ball and the sealing?

As for the urine piping, I agree it looks like the slope is not much. It's not horizontal though, I think it has about 2-3% slope. Our installations are relatively large at times, with several toilets cabins in a row, and slope needs to be optimised. I think our engineers just apply the same slope in all pipings, even though in the urinals shown in the picture, there would be enough room for a stronger slope. In our experience, 2-3% works quite well. Important is that slope is constant and that there are no horizontal bits. Of course strong slopes like 20 degrees would be on the safe side but this is not feasabile in buildings with 10 to 15 m of lenght.

Best regards, Florian


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  • noe-hays
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Re: Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

I would second what Florian said: if the ball is not lifting it is likely because the opening it sits in is too large. The Rich Earth Institute has developed a portable waterless urinals using the ping-pong ball trap, and distributed many of them to our participating urine donors. The ball covers an opening slightly less than 2 cm in diameter, and it lifts very well. Previously we had trouble because the opening was too large and the ball did not lift.

--Abe
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  • KaiMikkel
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Re: Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

Ecowaters - for the purposes of this thread are you able to post a photo or a link showing what you refer to as a "Tyvek strip trap" and/or provide some info on how to go about DIY'ing such a device?

Thanks! :)

Kai Mikkel Førlie

Founding Member of Water-Wise Vermont (formerly Vermonters Against Toxic Sludge)
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  • Florian
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Re: Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

Hi,
I add two more photos of the mentionned test urinal in our office. I also checked for the slope of urine pipes, we use 2.5 %. Urine pipes are also ventilated (connected to the vent pipes ventilating fecal collection chambers), this hasn't been done previously.
Best regards,
Florian


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  • klamichhane
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Re: Reply: Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

Hi Florian,

I always observe some posts or comments/activities from you on SUSANA forum and am always curious to talk to you but did not succeed to acquire your personal e-mail address.

I am Krishna from Nepal currently living in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA). If you still remember, we got a lot of help from GTZ (ecosan team) and personally from you for the ecosan conferences that I organized in Kathmandu, Nepal, back in 2005. We also met in GTZ Eschborn headquarters during a workshop and I still remember you taking me to the festival in Frankfurt (I guess) in the evening.

Could you please forward me your e-mail address? Thank you

-- Krishna Lamichhane Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

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  • sjoerdnienhuys
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Re: Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

The attached paper with photo's is another pingpong valve which was designed to block air. This was developped in 2011 for a project in India. The airlock worked well. To minimise urine residue in the siphon a little water may help.

Sjoerd from The Netherlands.
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  • former member
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Re: Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

As part of the Mbabane Dry Sanitation and Waste Management Project, we are currently undertaking a community driven urine fertilization research. We have designed a simple odor trap using elastic balloons (the good ones!) that are connected to elastic bands which are in turn tied to the urine directing funnel. The elastic strings are stretched a little bit so that the balloon is press put on the funnel. The buoyancy of the urine water lifts the balloons and the buoyancy force extends the elastic string. This allows the urine to flow down the gap that is created. After the urine pours down the balloon is pulled back to its position by the elastic string. The strings should not be stretched too much as this will require a higher buoyancy force to lift the balloon and later on some of the urine still remains on the funnel while the balloon shuts. However, this can be arranged by common sense. Moreover, this seemed to be a problem only on the initial plastic funnel we used for conceptual development (photo shown). Later on we went to the local artisans and gave them a cone development drawing (thanks to the second year technical drawing course that i took 30 years ago) on thick paper from which they were able to manufacture the cone funnel of desired size from galvanized sheet (hope this works for some years). The urine goes easily through the funnel and retention is not a problem in the larger funnel. Second photo is also attached.

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  • canaday
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Re: Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

Dear Ababu,

This is an interesting innovation, especially since balloons are so available and inexpensive (and can be replaced whenever needed).

What is happening in Photo 8? It seems the elastic string is too tight... and we would not ever want so much urine to pool up.

What is wrong with using the inexpensive plastic funnels that are shown? I would be worried about the metallic funnels rusting. Even if it is galvanized, rust could occur at edges, welds and rivets, plus the edge could also be a bit sharp and dangerous. If the factory-made plastic funnels shown are more expensive than I imagine, funnels could be carefully cut from existing plastic bottles, such as the 4-liter HDPE bottles that chlorine and disinfectants get sold in, similar to as shown in these simple, portable urinals that I make:
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2013/05/urinarios-ecologicos.html

Does the funnel lead to a hose that goes to the bottom of the storage bottle? This can avoid a lot of the odors that would otherwise come back out the funnel. It also seems important to allow the air displaced from storage bottle to vent to the outside, instead of up the funnel.

How are things going with the fertilization of plants with the urine?
How are you applying it?
Do you have special techniques for educating new users?

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
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Re: Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

Dear Chris:

Thank you for your comments and very interesting suggestion including that of cutting plastic collectors from bigger plastic bottles (i wish i knew this before!)You are right on photo 8, i just used it for demonstration otherwise the elastic string was way too tight and the buoyant force required was so high that the water level has to rise too high after which it suddenly opens and allows a gap for water to gush out of the funnel. However, even after allowing the water to pass the balloon closes before all the water is drained.

However, this problem is avoided with a moderate stretching of the elastic band and that can be set quite comfortably by little trial and error. One thing i noticed is to increase the buoyant force with little amount of urine, the bottom opening area of the funnel should be increased as in the bigger metal funnel we manufactured and unlike the plastic funnel that has narrower area. That will allow the balloon to be easily lifted (according to Archimedes principle )with a small amount of urine.The balloon size is also a factor...larger balloons are easier to lift.

The plastic funnel is very good as you said it is corrosion resistant and smooth for effective closing. However, the size we had and we could manage to get, we thought, was a bit small for men to pass their urine on comfortably without splashing the urine around. We looked the entire town for a bigger plastic funnel but that size you see on the photo was what we could manage to get. But that could also be oK for collection from pipes.

We decided to manufacture a bigger size metal funnel ourselves for direct collection of urine on to storage tanks from men. Otherwise as you said the plastic funnel would be very good and the metals can corrode in the manner that you rightly suggested. However, I have read one research work from an American M.Sc. student in Mali where galvanized metal funnel urine collectors operated for a number of years. The galvanized metal is sharp at the top although that could be bent.

The funnels are for the moment directly mounted on to 25 liter plastic storage tanks tied with rubber bands. However, we are thinking of making special urinal collector shapes that may be connected with pipe to the storage tank in the near future. We have a regular training workshop with the community where we have a discussion on all those aspects of urine collection, storage, dilution, application,etc., and have managed to get a number of volunteers who would try it at their homes. We use the experience of urine fertilization elsewhere including the ROSA project in Arbaminch, Ethiopia for which i was the team leader for the period between 2006 and 2008. We are just starting. We meet every week as a regular follow up. We also go around the home to monitor the storage of urine, planting and application of urine.

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Re: Simple urine valves to control odour on waterless urinals or on urine diversion toilets

We also have two additional successful innovations of the elastic balloon odour trap. The first one uses the balloon at the bottom of the funnel and will not be visible. It has smaller size to enter a pipe or jerrycan and has the advantage (disadvantage) that it will not be visible. The second innovation consists of a double balloon trap that consists of balloons on both the inside and outside of the funnel. The two balloons are set independently from each other as otherwise they will cancel each other out where one will pull the other to close/open position if they are connected with each other. I have attached the photos of these two alternative innovations.








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