The invention of the toilet revolutionized the medical industry, as human waste was a major source of infectious diseases. Having a toilet meant human waste could now be disposed of safely. Currently, our bathroom suites have all manner of flushing toilets, designed to keep our bathrooms clean and free of waste. With further technological advancements, more advanced human waste disposal systems have been developed, from mobile toilets to those that even contain USB and SD card slots, but one major development has been the invention of the waterless toilet.
The Waterless Toilet Explained:
What is a waterless toilet?
Just as the name predicts, waterless toilets do not require water to flush down human waste. These toilets provide the right environment for human waste, toilet paper as well as other organic materials to break down via a natural process into an inoffensive compost-like material. As a matter of fact, the water in human waste is conserved through recycling and the solid waste can then be used to produce organic fertiliser. Waterless toilets are also referred to as dehydrating toilets because they dry out the faeces of water (known as grey water).
The waterless toilet is relatively new in the field and not many companies have ventured into producing them. Currently, London-based Company Woo Woo installs these types of toilets for places in the UK that do not have access to mains sewerages, such as allotments.
How Do Waterless Toilets Work?
The most important question most people are asking how these toilets work because unlike the toilets on aeroplanes, they do not use chemicals to get rid of the human waste. A waterless toilet uses a straightforward mechanism that involves no extra materials. The design only requires sunlight and wind to turn human waste into a compost like substance.
When you go to the toilet, the waste material collects in a small compost chamber beneath the bowl. The chamber has a chimney, which is always painted black, and the tip of the unit has small air inlets that allow a light breeze to come in. This air is enough to turn on the extractor. Fresh air then enters through the bowl into the compost chamber.
The air is streamlined over the separated waste. This has the effect of dehydrating the solid matter and evaporating the solid. The black painting allows the unit to heat up in the sun. This will cause the air inside the chimney to rise up thus accelerating the airflow. The accelerating air is forced up the chimney to be released into the air and this has the effect of reducing waste volume by as much as 90 per cent. In addition to this, it kills pathogenic bacteria, promotes aerobic bacteria and eliminates odours.
What are the Benefits of Waterless Toilets?
From the above discussion you can already see some of the benefits of this new bathroom technology. However, there are other benefits you may not have considered.
Safer Alternative to Pit Latrines
The previous solutions to sanitation systems in remote places without mains sewerage are pit latrines, which obviously are not safe. Although pit latrines are sunk into the ground, there is a lot of room for pathogenic bacteria to multiply and escape into the environment. Waterless toilets are 100 per cent safe because the forced hair kills all pathogenic bacteria that might be present in the faeces.
In addition to this, these toilets are odourless and therefore much more pleasant to use than the pit latrines. They are also better alternatives to pit latrines because there is zero chance of anybody accidentally falling in.
It is Eco-friendly
This is perhaps the most important benefit of using these sanitary systems. Global warming is a very hot topic now because it threatens the existence of life itself in the world. The waterless toiler is eco friendly because it uses no chemical digesters and does not use water.
There’s no Risk of Contamination
It is not strange to hear that drinking water has been contaminated by sewerage. This water pollution is dangerous not only for humans who depend on it but also the aquatic animals and plants. Since the waterless systems do not flush, no sewerage systems are necessary and therefore no such risks as water pollution.
It is Affordable
Wherever in the world you look, money is becoming even harder to come by. This is why it is important to seize any available opportunity to save some money. Waterless toilets will allow you to do just that. After the installation, no extra materials are required for it to be operational, making it ideal for those communities with little or no resources.
Crop farmers will certainly benefit from the installation of a waterless toiler. This is because the solid waste resulting from the dehydration process is converted into odourless, organic manure, which farmers can use on their farm instead of the chemical based fertilisers. This will not only save farmers money that they would have otherwise used to purchase the chemical based fertiliser, but the compost is also eco-friendly because it contains no chemicals.
Last but not least is their mobility. These toilets can be used as freestanding, public toilets, which can be installed virtually anywhere. This makes them Ideal solution for sites lacking connection to water and sewerage services including campsites, country parks, golf courses, allotments as well as beaches. They are also very easy to assemble, taking very little time to install.
It’s clear to see, even in this country, places where it would be handy to have waterless toilets. Remote locations in the country, such as near beaches, or on camping fields could really benefit from this invention. It’s also clear to see that they could be used all over the world, such as in remote developing villages, to provide communities with a more hygienic way of disposing of waste when they don’t have running water. Whether you choose to use it or not, the waterless toilet is definitely a great invention.