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Thread: Low Cost Sanitary outhouse toilet

  1. #1
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    Default Low Cost Sanitary outhouse toilet

    Had a brainstorm yesterday on an outhouse toilet to reduce the smell. Maybe good for schools and rural households. Works kind of like a boat/trailer toilet except the ball valve is replaced with a 4" PVC pipe. Ideally the seat would be specially made like this:



    Seats like this are $13 from Cabela's hunting supply in the US

    Materials needed:

    2~ 5 gallon buckets
    Toilet seat- bucket type if available
    Concrete ~40 pounds
    24" 4"-6" PVC Pipe
    Handle
    Form oil or grease
    Bolts, screws

    Construction:

    Mark a 11"-12" section of the pipe into lengthwise quarters about 3" from one end of the pipe. Cut off opposite panels to make a cylindrical ball valve Fit a greased block of wood into the hole. Install handle/lever on one end. Pour concrete to fill the pipe. When set, remove the block. Clean outside of pipe of any concrete.

    Make a concrete plug with the valve mechanism. Cut the bottom out of a 5 gallon bucket. Cut two round 4" holes at least 1 1/5" from the bottom edge. Put the PVC pipe with release oil or grease through the holes and replace the block(greased) so that it creates a vertical chute. Tape around openings to help with release and to prevent leaks. Fill to at least 1 1/2" above the PVC pipe. Remove blocks when partially set and make sure PVC will release.



    Cut a 2" slot through the bottom of another five gallon bucket. Block the bucket on its side and pour about a gallon of concrete flush with the slot to make one half of the chute. Some screws in the sides will help prevent it from moving when it is set. Repeat to make the other side of the chute.

    Set chute on top of the first bucket to line up the chute with the ball valve.



    Set over a cess pit in an outhouse with a poured concrete or other form of airtight floor. When pouring the top, make a hole slightly smaller than the base of a five gallon bucket to set the device onto. A step flush with the bottom of the upper bucket will make it more comfortable to use.

    When the toilet is in place, put the pipe through the bottom bucket and secure on either side to prevent lateral slippage. One option would be to make the handle weighted so the ball valve is kept closed unless operated.

    When the lever is down it creates a vapor barrier between the cess pit and the outhouse. When lifted up it opens the chute and works like flushing a standard toilet. Odors can be futher reduced by using an Ammonia based disinfectant spray between uses. The cess pit must be vented to prevent gas build up.

    You need to build a urinal for men since both seats do not flip up as in a standard toilet seat.

  2. #2
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    Dry wells for Haiti...

    Getting back to the availability of shipping containers in Haiti, you could stack three of them with the bottom one buried in the ground. The bottom would be a dry well/septic tank, the middle would have flush toilets and showers, and the top would be a resevoir for potable water. With 40' containers you could have 2 20' containers on top, one with potable water for drinking and the other for grey water for showers, toilet flushing. The thermal mass of the water tank should keep the middle section cool enough. For about $5000 you would have a hygene station for maybe 100 people that would last five years or more. A 20 ft container would hold about 9500 gallons.
    Last edited by PeterInBrat; 02-24-2010 at 08:05 PM.

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    i sent this over to some guys who are doing relief work in haiti.

    can you give more context on this -- why this might be new / not already figured out by NGOs, etc?

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    Thanks Adrian,

    You never know what has or hasn't been thought of before. I've been trying to contact ppl in the recovery effort too so I appreciate your forwarding my ideas. You may want to read my posts on low-cost housing as well:

    http://www.dr1.com/forums/real-estat...minican-3.html

    Not sure which ideal you are talking about but either way they have to look at what materials are at hand and what is the ability of the locals there. The toilet is a pretty tricky form to pour with the voids and I think in most areas there won't be such a surplus of containers coming in that could be converted.

    It took me a couple hours to come up with the toilet design and several revisions so far. I now would want a slight void under the pipe inside the bucket to avoid seepage. It would likely need a few prototypes built to work out the kinks. The top section seems pretty straight-forward though and even that would be better than the standard hole in a piece of plywood. It's based on a boat or trailer toilet that uses a 4" ball valve. My first designs had a pipe void going through the bottom section and then a cylindrical plunger "pig" would push wastes out of the outhouse altogether into the cess pit. If the ball valve is too tricky to pour that may be the fall back design.

    My latest idea for the toilet is to forgo the fancy seat and to modify a regular seat with cleats on the underside to retain it. The seat would then be removable so the toilet could also be used as a male urinal and the seat cleaned more easily. This could convert any 5 gallon bucket into chamber pot. I lived for about six months with an outhouse in the tropics so this is a topic near and dear to me. In Australia, they were using outhouses in Brisbane into the 70s. The outhouses had removable buckets and someone went around to change them regularly and used the waste for ag purposes. I believe they were called "honey buckets."

    I really like the container stack idea. It really is almost too simple. It may be they'll need a food grade tank container for the water resevoir, but it still seems like a good alternative to a water tower that would have to be imported. Grey water is a lot easier. There are techs out there though I'm sure who can forsee any kinks and hopefully work them out.

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    http://www.oursoil.org/

    here is the link to the best NGO working on sanitation in Haiti...with the help of OXFAM

    Peter.. as with the container ideas

    if you can get this into a pdf file

    preferrably with VERY simple English language and diagrams

    we can get this to ALL the people who are working on Haiti housing etc

    which. I am pleased to report

    now is certainly up in the hundreds of thousands!

  6. #6
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    SOIL | sustaining the environment by supporting the grassroots

    here is the link to the best NGO working on sanitation in Haiti...with the help of OXFAM

    Peter.. as with the container ideas

    if you can get this into a pdf file

    preferrably with VERY simple English language and diagrams

    we can get this to ALL the people who are working on Haiti housing etc

    which. I am pleased to report

    now is certainly up in the hundreds of thousands!

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    Thanks for the webpage link. I couldn't find a forum or contact info on it though. Nice to see what other people are doing in Africa. I'd like to see what they do for larger scale systems.

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    Sample layout for container system:



    http://i48.tinypic.com/2lmxy0g.jpg

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