Assessing Odor Issues and Control Strategies for the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge - Duke/University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

  • Tore
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  • worked in sanitation for most of my life. taught plumbing. have plumbing and builders license, certified inspector in all facets of construction, PhD in public administration & have taught construction management in university, traveled numerous countries, Interest UDDT and sanitation & clean water
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Re: Assessing Odor Issues and Control Strategies for the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge - Duke/University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Odor complaints can be one of the key reasons that toilets are not used. In general urine diverting toilets have lower odor levels than non-diverting toilets. In addiiton if you install a vent pipe that is exposed to the sun and goes at least one foot above the roof levels odors are further reduced due to negative pressure and odors being vented outdoors. If in addition you add a trap which can be a petroleum seal or any method to keep urine odors from the toilet area then complaints are reduced to almost zero.

Tore

Sanitation & water consultant in developing countries
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  • kathyjooss
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  • Project Manager for Duke University / University of Missouri RTTC Project: 'Neighborhood-Scale Treatment of Fecal Sludge by Supercritical Oxidation'
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Re: Assessing Odor Issues and Control Strategies for the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge - Duke/University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Thank you, Tore.

The results of our odor survey support your points. One additional factor in the level of odor is regular maintenance. Dirty latrines can result in less cleaning which creates a vicious circle. In general, no one solution is going to solve the odor problem, or be useful in all scenarios. In some instances, a filtration, or odor adsorption device could be the best option. Similarly, a fan may improve odor in the latrine, but cleaning may do even more if it is dirty inside.

Lastly, odor control mechanisms that remove odor causing chemicals from the air are very important to larger scale operations that are being developed as part of the Reinvent the Toilet initiative. Drying, burning, and other processes cause odors that are off-putting, and venting such things only moves the issue from the source to the surroundings. Eliminating odors could have a big impact on certain projects viability in the long run.

Kathy on behalf of the Duke odor team

Kathy Jooss
Project Manager,Pratt School of Engineering
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
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www.sanitation.pratt.duke.edu
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  • bowenarrow
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Re: Assessing Odor Issues and Control Strategies for the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge - Duke/University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Good morning Kathy.
To me this odour problem is one of design. Whilst there is a cost to having a fan creating negative pressure, I am convinced that this is the best way to handle the problem. I am a great supporter of urine diversion for more than just a pathogen risk reducer. The major proportion of odour is related to urine. It is the positioning of the fan that is the important issue. The principle is that the fan should pull the air from the bath/toilet room down into the latrine or compost bin, then vent to the atmosphere, rather than just venting the latrine. The lineal pull of a fan greatly falls away after a lineal run over 300mm, so the intention should be to design in such a way that this pull length works on the bathroom rather than the latrine/compost bin.
A further impediment to odour control is cultural differences resulting in the use of squat plates against pedestals or benches.
Ross
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  • DaveBates
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Re: Reply: Assessing Odor Issues and Control Strategies for the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge - Duke/University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Interesting.

Please expound on your idea of where the fan should be?
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