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Field testing of a prototype mechanical dry toilet flush
- Hennigs, Jan, Ravndal, Kristin T., Blose, Thubelihle, Toolaram, Anju, Sindall, Rebecca C., Barrington, Dani, Collins, Matt, Engineer, Bhavin, Kolios, Athanasios J., McAdam, Ewan, Parker, Alison, Williams, Leon, Tyrrel, Sean
- The Science of the total environment 2019 v.668 pp. 419-431
- blood, field experimentation, fouling, households, laboratory experimentation, lubrication, prototypes, rubber, sanitation, silicone, urine, South Africa
- A prototype of a non-fluid based mechanical toilet flush was tested in a semi-public, institutional setting and in selected peri-urban households in eThekwini municipality, Republic of South Africa. The mechanism's functionality and users' perception of the flush were assessed. User perception varied depending on background: Users accustomed to porcelain water flush toilets were open to, yet reserved about the idea of using a waterless flush in their homes. Those who commonly use Urine Diversion Dehydration Toilets were far more receptive. The user-centred field trials were complemented by a controlled laboratory experiment, using synthetic urine, -faeces, and -menstrual blood, to systematically assess the efficiency of three swipe materials to clean the rotating bowl of the flush. A silicone rubber with oil-bleed-effect was found to be the best performing material for the swipe. Lubrication of the bowl prior to use further reduced fouling. A mechanical waterless flush that does not require consumables, like plastic wrappers, is a novelty and could – implemented in existing dry toilet systems – improve acceptance and thus the success of waterless sanitation.