New generation solar powered urine diversion toilet | Infrastructure news

African Sanitation Outsourcing, a BBBEE Cape Town-based company, is the principle distributor of the Afrisan Solar Powered Urine Diversion toilet, the S.P.U.D., in South Africa.

The S.P.U.D was developed over a period of six years, during which time, specific attention was paid to various important aspects of its operational functionality in terms of the need to address important challenges such as the scarcity of water resources, the lack of bulk infrastructure in most municipal areas, the cost of establishing WWTW, the existence of more than 2 500 densely populated and inaccessible informal settlements, irrepressible levels of unemployment and poverty, environmental impact, etc., as the technology had to adequately deal with these issues in order to ensure end user acceptance and rapid implementation in order to address municipal backlogs.

Further issues, such as monthly maintenance frequency, monthly operational costs and the safe removal of the end by-product were key drivers insofar as the development of the final product was concerned.

Important technical features:

The Afrisan S.P.U.D. product range:
• is primarily a urine diversion, dehydration and aerobic dry system
• is solar powered
• ventilation is thus free of odours and flies
• is an on-site system, i.e. it collects and processes human faecal matter on –site, with very limited need for off -site removal to official landfill sites
• is designed as a 1:1 system, i.e. 1 toilet for 1 gamily (four to six people), thus contributing to the safety, dignity and healthier living conditions of the family
• is an in-dwelling toilet, designed to be installed within the confinement of the house but can also be installed in a standard concrete panel cast of single cast top structure
• is 100% waterless (requires zero water input for evacuation of faecal matter) and therefore requires no connection to bulk infrastructure, thus contributing to significant savings in terms of the capital expenditure of municipalities as there is no need for bulk water and waste infrastructure, nor the need to establish and maintain a WWTW
• is 100% chemical-free, and is therefore environmentally friendly
• is self-contained, i.e. it prevents and prohibits the spillage of any human excreta and urine into the surrounds and contributes to healthier and more hygienic living conditions
• is simple to install as this aspect was designed on a do-it-yourself basis. However, where the municipality requires installation, the installation process is completed with the involvement of the target community. Community members (men and women) are employed, in terms of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) guidelines, for the duration of the project. Comprehensive training is provided.

Operational features:

1. Under normal use, the cleaning frequency is every four weeks.
2. Monthly maintenance costs are approximately R100 per month, i.e. less than R3 per day.

Afrisan offers a cleaning, maintenance and reporting service contract – the Afrisan CLTS Programme (i.e. Community Led Total Sanitation Programme). The programme addresses the following:
1. community acceptance of the technology
2. community involvement in both the installation and maintenance phases of the toilet, i.e. job creation in terms of EPWP guidelines
3. health and hygiene education of the beneficiaries (the involvement of the EHP is required).

The Afrisan toilet is the most advanced dehydration and composting toilet in the world today insofar as that it is:
• the most simple, effective and trouble-free in its design and in its application
• the most rugged and durable in its composition and will withstand the harsh African climate and conditions
• the most economical, i.e. it is affordable in terms of both maintenance and servicing costs
• the most practical in design and application and can be used anywhere in the world.

Other important facts:

• the patented components are covered by a lifetime warranty
• other parts and components are covered by a 12 month warranty
• the current production capacity is 20 000 units per month.

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