Reinventing the Toilet

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Oliveoilguy's picture
Oliveoilguy
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Reinventing the Toilet

Cal Tech received a grant from Bill Gates and came up with this new toilet model which seems like it could service a community by utilizing a central pooping facility. Cost looks to be 100K minimum per unit. (Just a guess) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXIffQlWDtg&feature=related The rule is to use no water.

Would it not be more feasible to reconfigure existing toilets to use less water. There is a site that calculates world toilet flushes today http://www.worldometers.info/view/toilets/ Looks like 14,000,000,000 and counting at 4:00 pm central time.

There is nothing worse than a 1.6 gallon low volumn flush system that leaves poo behind. With the 2nd flush the purpose has been defeated.

Why not let gravity work and go back to the old "high tank system" There is minimal energy required to pump the water 5' higher to fill the tank, and with gravity on your side it would seem like 1 gallon could do better than 1.6 gallons in the standard commode. My wife might have a fit, but I've got to try this idea out unless someone has done an efficiency comparision between low tank and high tank models. 

Check out this elegant retrofit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdxUYM2xqi4

If we can save .6 gallons per flush x 20,000,000,000 that would be 12,000,000,000 gallons per day. To me that is something worth pursuing.

 

 

polly28's picture
polly28
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reinventing the toilet

The only type of toilet any of us should be using is a waterless, composting toilet. It is so wasteful

not only to waste clean water for flushing, but also wrong to waste a nutrient rich material that can

be composted and used to enrich the soil.

This is especially true in areas where water is scarce. The days of the flush toilets are numbered.

 

Oliveoilguy's picture
Oliveoilguy
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Reinventing the toilet
polly28 wrote:

The only type of toilet any of us should be using is a waterless, composting toilet. It is so wasteful

not only to waste clean water for flushing, but also wrong to waste a nutrient rich material that can

be composted and used to enrich the soil.

This is especially true in areas where water is scarce. The days of the flush toilets are numbered.

 

Polly28

Agreed that in Farm, Rural and maybe suburban situations composting is smart. But in cities the toilet will be with us for many years or decades. Why not reduce water consumption?

macro2682's picture
macro2682
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12 billion gallons?

12 billion sounds like a lot of savings.  But remember that Chicago alone pumps 1 billion gallons out of Lake Michigan each day (I went to the chicago history museum yesterday... I highly recommend it!).

 

nancy_lnl's picture
nancy_lnl
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Not sure if it's relevant to the US...

During the multi-year long drought in Australia last decade a lot of people moved to half-flushing toilets, and what happened was that, because the plumbing systems were not designed to work with that little water, cities and towns all over the country ended up adding in water from the water supply to stop the sewerage getting blocked up...  Individuals thought they were doing the right thing but it actually had no saving effect and could have had extremely undesirable consequences......

Towards the end of the drought there were discussions about regulating to make all new houses use either rainwater (rainwater tanks were made mandatory for new houses etc in a lot of places) or grey water for flushing but pressure went off after the drought broke (and in Australia it's agriculture and industry that uses the bulk off the potable water made available - so the costs were seen to be too high vs the water saving). 

So presuming that American sewerage systems are also not made to run properly on less water, Oliveoilguy, maybe you could look to hook up your toilet to a greywater recycling system???

I've also thought that if someone offered a service to collect the waste tanks from dry composting toilets in cities and take it out to rural areas where the soil has been depleted it and sell it as soil replenisher(??) it could be both a profitable and a socially and environmentally responsible business.  Pipe dreams perhaps?? 

jonesb.mta's picture
jonesb.mta
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Posts: 126
Low Flow Dual Flush Toilets

We've tried several low flow toilets and they require more than one flush most of the time. The only one we've used that is consistently one flush is the Toto Drake which is made in China but hopefully some American manufacturers will follow their design. We've tried Eljer, Crane, and Kohler and none of them come close to the Toto Drake. The major difference is the Toto's three inch throat and usually the lowest flow flush is sufficient.

JeromeH's picture
JeromeH
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I am somewhat worried about

I am somewhat worried about the higher risk of contagious diseases with composting toilets. Especially if you take the waiste and use it a menure. The flushing toilet was the main reason why diseases like cholera disappeared from western societies. Any ideas on this?

Denny Johnson's picture
Denny Johnson
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Posts: 348
JeromeH wrote: I am somewhat
JeromeH wrote:

I am somewhat worried about the higher risk of contagious diseases with composting toilets. Especially if you take the waiste and use it a menure. The flushing toilet was the main reason why diseases like cholera disappeared from western societies. Any ideas on this?

I also had those concerns, but they were put to rest after reading the Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins:

http://www.humanurehandbook.com/

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