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Alternative Toilets

Alternative Toilets

Low-flow toilets use 1.6 gallon or less of water per flush. New construction requires the installation of low-flow toilets. Cost savings are recognized through lower water bills.

Low flow toilet

Example of a typical low-flow toilet

Composting toilets are waterless and designed to compost wastes deposited into the receptacle. The principle operation is the digestion of human wastes by microorganisms. A bulking agent, such as sawdust, must be added to absorb liquids and help control odors. Compost generated during the treatment process must periodically be removed. Low maintenance and water conservation are two main advantages to the use of a composting toilet. Disadvantages include the need for a larger space allocation to place the unit and a higher initial investment.

composting toilet

Example of a composting toilet

Composting Toilet Systems - General Overview Detailed description of a composting toilet system along with a comprehensive list of technology advantages and disadvantages.

Composting Toilet Systems - Technical Overview - 

Incinerating toilets - waste is deposited directly into the toilet receptacle with a combustion chamber for incineration. Incineration of the waste takes place on a grid within the combustion chamber fueled by electricity, gas, or oil. Heat-insulating materials surround the grid. An exhaust flue vents vapors. A small amount of ash is generated from the incineration sanitary wastes and must be periodically removed. Liquids evaporate during the incineration process. Costs depend on the energy sources used to operate the incinerating toilet.

Incinerating toilet

Example of a typical incinerating toilet

In Chemical toilets, wastes drop directly into a receptacle containing a deodorizing chemical. Wastes are discharged into a holding tank contained within the unit and must be pumped out on a regular basis. Recharging of the receptacle is also required. A good example is the portable toilets you will see at construction sites and large, outdoor gatherings. These portable units contain safe chemicals such as dyes (to mask the waste being held), biocides (to prevent bacterial growth), fragrances (to mask unpleasant odors) and surfactants (another name for detergents).

Alternative Toilets – Options for Conservation and Specific Site Conditions - Low-flow, composting, and incinerating toilets are three common options of toilets that use very little if any water. 

Alternative Toilets - Technical overview of low -flow, composting, and incinerating toilets is provided highlighting design considerations and operation and maintenance requirements.