The Enviro Loo, an award-winning waterless toilet system is being viewed as the perfect solution for use in drought-prone areas such as the Little Karoo. Although intended for residential use, it can be used as a veld toilet. The system, popularly known as an e-loo, was created by South African scientist Dr Brian La Trobe and it has been tried and tested in countries around the world. It has received numerous awards culminating in the INTEL
Environmental Award from the University of San Jose in California in 2005. In that year 618 applicant nominations from nine countries were considered for the prestigious prize. D r La Trobe says the e-loo uses bacterial and biological technology to dehydrate human waste odorously and harmlessly. “The waste is treated through a dehydration and evaporation process converting it into an inoffensive, dry and stabilised compost-like material, roughly 5% to 10% of its original mass,” says La Trobe. “This is carried out by bacteria without chemicals or water.” The treated dry waste needs to be removed at intervals of between six months and three years, depending on use. “The dry sanitation facility equals that provided by a water system with most of its characteristics, but without the mindless waste of fragile water,” adds La Trobe.
“Flushing away the equivalent of a cupful of urine with 12â„“ of water purified to drinking standards is extremely wasteful.” The e-loos are increasingly found in national parks, holiday and mountain cottages as well as along walking trails, in caravan parks and at schools and clinics. The system has proved particularly useful on farms where government legislation requires toilet facilities for farm workers.
La Trobe identified the need for a waterless, flush toilet system to prevent further pollution of South Africa’s water resources in the 1980s. To date, some 50 000 units have been distributed in South Africa and exported internationally to 14 countries. The Enviro Loo costs between R4 034 and R5 171 depending on the model. – Roelof Bezuidenhout For information contact Auriel Mitchley on (011) 889 0796 or e-mail [email protected] |fw