Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible? (Non-flush-resource-recovery)

  • Kevinkuhn
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Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

Hi,

my organization Non-Water Sanitation e.V. is working in Pune/India and got queries from the city administration to build public toilets. Although we are happy to help in this regard, because public toilets are usually in bad conditions in Indian cities, we struggle a bit to come up with an ecological concept. I hope I can get some referals or advice from this forum:

1) We would like to build water-less toilets, which don´t use water for flushing and can recover the nutrients (EcoSan toilets). In the rural areas we build toilets with 3 holes in the squatting pan (urine, solid matter, anal-cleansing water) within a UDDT. This concept however doesn´t work in a public context in my opinion, because it is too complicated without any training and misuse can be expected.

2) I know that there are a few technologies that can separate water from nutrients on site. However these rely on electricity, which is in some places not guaranteed because of blackouts, are hi-tech, and expensive in investment and maintenance. I would prefer a low-tech, reliable process.

3) I would also like to think about alternatives to biogas plants or "bio-digesters". These still rely on water and are not reliable because parts tend to wear out quickly or break.

Currently I am not aware of any solution/project that can cover these criteria in areas where people use water for anal cleansing. I hope you can help me in this regard.

Best
Kevin

Non-Water Sanitation e.V.
www.nonwatersanitation.de
www.nonwatersanitation.org (english)

EcoToiletten - Rental for public composting toilets for cities and music festivals in Germany
www.ecotoiletten.de
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  • goeco
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

Hi Kevin, I'm surprised that nobody has responded to your post, this sounds very interesting. I don't know much about waterless toilets, but perhaps you could consider using handwash water for low flush toilets, vermifiltration to remove solids and then re-using nutrients on-site by irrigating trees with the primary-treated effluent. This system has been used for some time in Africa...
cheers
Dean

Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Go-Eco Sustainable Solutions
www.go-eco.co.nz
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  • Kevinkuhn
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

Hi Dean,

thanks for your response. I thought the last days about a similar system, using the effluent to irrigate trees or kitchen plants. If there is enough space I could also think about having an evaporation bed made out of stainless steel in between with an overflow at the end. Through this, some of the volume could be reduced. If the volume of liquids is too high maybe even a sand filter could be used to enhance the quality of the water before discharging it. Inside the toilet there should be a removable box with a mechanical filtration to collect the feces + cover material. Maybe by adding the cover material and having a proper ventilation, it´ll be dry enough to keep flies away and compost the solid matter afterwards.

I didn´t thought of the vermicomposting part, thanks for adding this idea.

Do you have a case study for one of the African projects you mentioned?

Best
Kevin

Non-Water Sanitation e.V.
www.nonwatersanitation.de
www.nonwatersanitation.org (english)

EcoToiletten - Rental for public composting toilets for cities and music festivals in Germany
www.ecotoiletten.de
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  • ecoloo
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

Hello Kevin,

We'd be happy to help you with your project.

We installed our sustainable toilets at UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely Dibbeen Forest Reserve, Wadi Rum Reserve and Petra Archaeological Park (PAP) in Jordan purchased by UNDP. Some are at very high altitude (600 and 1200 steps above the ground). ECOLOO is a dry toilet technology but water can still be used for hygiene and cleaning purposes. It has 1 single hole, and the end product is only liquid fertilizer full of nutrients. No removal of solid waste needed.

Our sustainable toilets project in Jordan together with UNDP for the UNESCO World Heritage Site “PETRA” contributed to the success of the project that aimed to promote biodiversity conservation in tourism sector, and that was highlighted in the Jordan Times: www.jordantimes.com/news/local/project-a...ation-tourism-sector

Our toilets serve roughly around 3000 visitors/day (over 1 million per year) producing some 20 litres of concentrated liquid fertiliser/unit/day. It's well known that Jordan is considered No.2 in the world when it comes to water scarcity & the situation is getting worse due to the Syrian crisis.

Should you need any further details please don't hesitate to contact us.

Thank you!

Best Regards,
Imad Agi
Chairman & CEO, ECOLOO Group
Inventor | Ecopreneur | Speaker

W: www.ecoloogroup.com
FB: www.facebook.com/ecoloogroup

Eco Friendly | Odour Free | Water Free | Sewage Free | Energy Free | Chemical Free

: : Top 10 Global Innovators & Solution Providers on Global Challenges at Solutions Summit 2016 - United Nations Foundation, USA
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  • Kevinkuhn
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

Hi Imad,

thanks for your post and presenting your solution.

I don´t really understand how your toilet system works. On your website you state this:

"The solid waste will be treated by our special formulated bacterial culture, which eventually will turn into ashes, killing all the pathogens."

1) What is that bacterial culture? Why do you need more bacteria, since there is already a lot of bacteria inside the feces.
2) How can it turn into ashes? Do you have an incineration process inside the toilet?
3) Do you have some test results and prove that this process is killing all the pathogens? How does this "killing" process work?

Thanks!
Kevin

Non-Water Sanitation e.V.
www.nonwatersanitation.de
www.nonwatersanitation.org (english)

EcoToiletten - Rental for public composting toilets for cities and music festivals in Germany
www.ecotoiletten.de
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  • ecoloo
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

Hi Kevin,

Thank you for your valuable questions.

Please refer to the newer more detailed message below.

Thank you!

Best Regards,
Imad Agi
Chairman & CEO, ECOLOO Group
Inventor | Ecopreneur | Speaker

W: www.ecoloogroup.com
FB: www.facebook.com/ecoloogroup

Eco Friendly | Odour Free | Water Free | Sewage Free | Energy Free | Chemical Free

: : Top 10 Global Innovators & Solution Providers on Global Challenges at Solutions Summit 2016 - United Nations Foundation, USA
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  • Orchha
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  • We have a home-stay in Orchha, Central India, where we have built Ecosan toilets. I now live in Almora on the Nepal border where Green Hills is promoting environment-friendly solid waste management.
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

We installed Ecosan toilets at our homestay in Orchha. They work well but are not accepted by the locals because of the need to aim well and the fact that the recipient for excreta is visible. I found an interesting alternative through Susana called the Earth Augur - it requires no electricity, allows separation of urine and has a screw that carries the excreta down a tube in which it mixes with sawdust or ash and produces compost automatically. It was invented in Ecuador and is now being produced in China and imported into India. You may contact these two persons for more details: Chuck Henry <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> and Mo hit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>. Do let me know if it succeeds (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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  • Akshay14
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

hello Kevin,

the idea of water-less toilet might create problems specially when you are planning it for India. and to keep toilets sustain and clean you will have to use water and no other options. here you can build regular toilets and then you can separate solids and liquid coming out through the toilet water can be use for re-flushing purpose and solid as fertilizer. specially in rural areas where drainage's and water supply is the biggest issue.

go through this link to know more about the technology www.aquatron.se/start/
or you can write me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for any further info.

also adding PDF file to attachments.

hope this will helps you to solve plenty of your problems and above questions.

thanks,
Akshay from pune.
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  • ecoloo
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

Hi Kevin,

Thank you for your message.

Please find below answers to your questions:

1) What is that bacterial culture? Why do you need more bacteria, since there is already a lot of bacteria inside the feces.
Our special bacterial culture blend formula treats the waste very fast within 3-4 days only while the bacteria inside the feces might take few months. That means the upper chamber will never be full and no solid waste needs to be removed. The end product is ONLY liquid fertilizer full of nutrients.

2) How can it turn into ashes? Do you have an incineration process inside the toilet?
Our special formula breaks down the waste and eats it up. No incineration process inside the toilet.

3) Do you have some test results and prove that this process is killing all the pathogens? How does this "killing" process work?
Please follow the following link to better understand our system:
www.ecoloogroup.com/impact.html

Please note that ECOLOO is a waterless toilet which means your don't use water for flushing but water can still be used for washing and hygiene purposes using handbidet for example.

Should you have any questions or require further clarifications, kindly revert to us.

Thank you again and all the best!

Best Regards,
Imad Agi
Chairman & CEO, ECOLOO Group
Inventor | Ecopreneur | Speaker

W: www.ecoloogroup.com
FB: www.facebook.com/ecoloogroup

Eco Friendly | Odour Free | Water Free | Sewage Free | Energy Free | Chemical Free

: : Top 10 Global Innovators & Solution Providers on Global Challenges at Solutions Summit 2016 - United Nations Foundation, USA
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  • ChrisBuckley
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

Regarding the use of biological additives

The issue reduces to the relative time scales being considered (system cycle time of a batch system).
The rapidly biodegradable material is not the issue, it does not matter if the material biodegrades within the initial 5 % or 50% of the cycle time of the system; it will degrade. The system accumulates the (relatively) non-biodegradable material. So a meaningful test for any additive is its effectiveness in degrading the oldest material in the system.

Chris Buckley
Pollution Research Group
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Durban
South Africa
prg.ukzn.ac.za/
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  • arno
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

Kevin (and others)
Do take contact with the people at SCOPE in Trichy in Tamil Nadu.
www.scopetrichy.com/

Some ten years ago they built a successful block of public toilets in Musiri.
musiri.wordpress.com/category/ecosan-toilets/page/2/

These were UDDT squatters with an additional drain for anal washing. They had full-time maintenance. To my knowledge this facility remains in operation. pibindia.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/musiri...sible-public-toilet/

SCOPE also implemented large scale reuse of urine in the nearby banana plantations.

Musiri was rather special. A town of 30.000 with no planned sanitation system. Would be interesting if we can get an update.

www.thebetterindia.com/78604/ecosan-wate...itation-rural-india/

Regards

Arno Rosemarin PhD
Stockholm Environment Institute
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www.ecosanres.org
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  • muench
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

Hi Kevin and all,

I am curious to hear from you how you have progressed with your deliberations? Did you dig deeper into any of the companies, products and projects that were pointed out to you?
And you work with a small German NGO, right? How is it funded and how would you fund the project in Pune, including ongoing support (if any)? What kind of relationship would you envision with the city council and why would they require assistance from an NGO in Germany; are funds that tight or are there personal ties somehow? Just curious.

I see that you had some questions to David which he hasn't answered yet. Perhaps he has answered you by e-mail in the meantime? David's work with Sanitation First in India is very interesting. Maybe it would be useful to have a dedicated thread for it where he could reply to questions in one place and not in various topic threads (I haven't checked his website recently - perhaps it gives a lot of answers; I also had some further questions to him about the urinals for girls at schools in India).

Arno you had mentioned an old project by SCOPE in Trichy in Tamil Nadu. You said "Would be interesting if we can get an update.". How would you suggest we could get an update? One option could be to add their project into the SuSanA project database and then contact them and ask for an update. This information could then be added to the project description and therefore be available to others in a central place.

I see so much potential for the SuSanA project database which now has over 450 projects ( www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/projects/database ). But the maintenance work there is not a "popular" activity... Sharing is caring!

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. Kevin: I am finding the thread title "ecological public toilets in India" a bit vague. Could we perhaps make it more clear? Are you specifically talking about urine-diversion toilets here? With reuse activities or without?

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