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Waterless Toilet is Helping People in Water Scare Country

by | Apr 8, 2022 | Sustainability, Utopia

Providing safe water for drinking, bathing, and handwashing is one of the most essential things for modern civilization. Yet, water shortages are still widespread and millions of people don’t have access to clean water. The World Economic Forum has listed water scarcity as one of the biggest risks the planet will face in the coming years.

Water stress manifests in a variety of ways, including unequal distribution, economic competition, pollution and unsustainable management. The latest estimates indicate that over 2 billion people will not have access to clean drinking water and sanitation. By the end of this century, as the world population grows, two-thirds of the planet’s population could experience water scarcity.

In Africa, water scarcity is predicted to affect 75-250 million people. UN initiatives are helping to raise awareness of this growing issue, which is vital for preventing conflict and addressing it before it becomes too late. Moreover, waterborne diseases kill thousands of people every day. Waterborne diseases are a leading cause of death for children and infants in water-stress regions.

In 2016, almost half a million children died from diarrhea, which was attributed to insufficient sanitation. The lack of access to clean water is particularly dangerous in conflict zones and regions that have poor sanitation.

A flushing toilet, fresh water supply and a stable sewage line are something many people in the modern world take for granted. The average toilet flush per person uses 30,000 liters per year. According to the World Health Organization, billion people don’t have access to basic sanitation plumbing, toilet and sewage.

But all those people still turn food into waste and that waste still has to go somewhere. Unfortunately, without a proper sewage system, it ends up going everywhere. And this ends up in the soil or in bodies of water which sometimes causes the rapid spread and potentially fatal diseases.

It is argued that water, sewage and electricity are things that most people take for granted. The lack of reliable access to electricity and running water is more than a mere inconvenience. Kids get sick and die when there’s not enough of this precious liquid and there’s no safe disposal of sewage.

And without lights to study in the evening or no way to connect to the outside world the opportunities for education and success are limited. Some regions are already chronic shortages. To make matters worse, climate change is likely to exacerbate the problem of scarcity around the world. But fortunately, there are ways to address this problem.

This problem weighs on the minds of plenty of people, including some charitable foundations and some of the world’s most inventive scientists, who have been trying to solve the problem of poop and make widespread sanitation possible. Hence, in times of extreme drought, the waterless toilet is a godsend for communities.

A startup in the UK is creating a toilet called Loowatt that eliminates the need for sanitary facilities. This toilet releases biodegradable films that encapsulate human waste and store it in a large cartridge. The toilet also reduces the smells associated with the sanitary system. Additionally, Loowatt allows owners to arrange for their cartridges to be emptied every week by sending a text message.

Virginia Gardiner, who founded the company in 2010 obtained a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation a year later for her invention. A battery-powered mechanism lifts the solid waste out of the toilet and deposits it in a separate holding chamber. This waste is then coated with a scent-suppressing wax and left to dry. The system is also very quiet, requires no venting and is made from marine-grade stainless steel.

The waterless technology of human waste disposal works by drying out poop into small solids without any pathogens. The end products of this process can be used as crop-growing fertilizers or fuel. And the waterless toilet uses less water, helps prevent overflows of waterways and there is no need for a sewage system.

image of how the waterless toilet work
Image courtesy by Sia Magazin

You might only use some water to wash and clean yourself and the end product is high-quality soil. As waterless toilet faeces can be converted to dry composting which can use to grow forestry trees. It also doesn’t smell, is clean and looks exactly like a normal toilet. This could have a significant impact on the lives of 2.4 billion people in developing countries.

Eleonore Rartjarasoaniony, a woman living in Antananarivo, has no connection to the sewer, making a flush toilet useless.  She installs a brand-new waterless toilet, which uses a white biodegradable film to seal the waste and store it underneath the toilet. The manufacturer of the toilet collects the waste once a week.

Moreover, a Canadian living in Madagascar got wind of the waterless toilet venture and launched a pilot program to build a small processing facility, which turned the waste into biogas to generate electricity to charge cellphones. Hence the waterless toilet can power up a mobile phone by generating electricity from the waste it collects.

It uses nano-coated hydrophilic beads to convert waste into electricity. The resulting energy is enough to power a mobile phone for around three hours. The system will be tested in real homes and it should be safe to use. In the meantime, the waterless toilet will change people’s lives and save the environment.

One benefit of installing a waterless toilet is its ease of installation. These toilets are easy to install and can be installed just about anywhere, making them perfect for rural or remote sites without access to sewerage or water supply. Installation is quick and easy, so they are particularly useful in areas that lack running water or sewerage services.

Another advantage is the environmental benefits. A waterless toilet doesn’t use but saves water. A typical toilet uses about 27 percent of a home’s water supply. Hence, this water can be saved. This water-saving model can cut water bills by as much as 30%. It also makes use of waste generated in the toilet to create rich fertilizer and reduce household environmental impacts.

Madagascar waterless toilet
Image courtesy by Triplepundit

In addition to saving precious resources, waterless toilets also require less maintenance. There is also less plumbing connection. As shortages continue to worsen around the world, waterless toilet technology could be a vital part of a solution. It will help to curb waterborne diseases and protect water resources.

Waterless toilets are great for communities with limited resources since they don’t require additional materials to operate. Those who live in remote locations could benefit from installing a waterless toilet in their homes. In the end, a waterless toilet is a godsend for regions that do not have access to water and a proper sewerage system. It can solve water shortages in regions that lack adequate infrastructure.