Sealed, Waterless Sanitation System Uses Solar Heat to Break Down Waste

Sealed, Waterless Sanitation System Uses Solar Heat to Break Down Waste
The Enviro-Loo waterless sanitation system, made in South Africa and imported to the United States by ESNA (Environmental Service North America)

The Enviro-Loo waterless sanitation system, made in South Africa and imported to the United States by ESNA (Environmental Service North America), uses heat from the sun to create air currents that evaporate liquids and reduce solids to a dry material. The odorless system works without deodorants, additives or infrastructure.

Waste drops onto an inclined, perforated drying plate, while liquids pass through the plate to the tank below. The solids, aided by gravity, move to the collection area, where dehydration and evaporation reduce the waste to a stabilized material, approximately 5 percent of its original volume.

Negative pressure – created by air trapped under the inspection cover and warmed by the sun’s heat – draws in fresh air continuously through the sealed system via the ceramic toilet bowl and side inlet pipes. The air flows over waste on the drying plate. Air from the side vents evaporates the liquid. Odors exit through the vent stack. The combination of heat and water deprivation destroys pathogens and stabilizes remaining solids. An enzyme starter and forced aeration encourages the formation of aerobic bacteria, which aids in breaking down the waste.

Unlike septic systems, the Enviro-Loo has no drainfield and requires minimal maintenance beyond removal of the dry material every three to five years (at full use).

“What makes it unique is it is not a composting toilet,” says Michael Lynn, ESNA managing partner. “With a composting toilet, you rely on moisture and bacteria to decompose the waste. But even when it’s decomposed, it’s not really rid of bacteria and viruses. To get rid of the bacteria and viruses, you have to stabilize it with lime or some other process [while the waterless system does not].”

Made of black polyethylene plastic, the waterless toilet (approximately 6 feet long, 30 inches wide and 42 inches tall) is designed for permanent placement in parks, golf courses, recreation areas, hunting and fishing cabins, camps, along trails, shoreline settings and other areas where traditional waste treatment systems are not practical or desirable.

“We also see it being used as a zero-discharge septic system,” Lynn says. “We’re working on approvals to evaporate graywater as well as waste.”

Available in three sizes, the residential model handles 20 uses a day (a family of four to five); the commercial model handles 60 uses a day, while the largest system, with a concrete storage tank, is rated at 100 uses per day.

Several units can be installed within the same footprint if the setting requires men’s and women’s restrooms. The system can be installed above or below ground level. 571/292-3106; www.enviroloo.biz.



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