After a childcare-related break, we're back with another toilet from the future.
Loowatt has one of the coolest sanitation business tagline – Flush with Happiness – and, fittingly, they have one of the coolest toilets I have tried so far.
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Loowatt is, to my knowledge, the only toilet with a "waterless flush" – and I would love to be corrected in the comments if you know of others.
The phrase "waterless toilet" usually evokes the fresh aroma of unflushed poop composting quietly, with undertones of sawdust or ash. If designed well, apparently you shouldn't smell anything. One day I will believe that.
The waterless flush is something I believe: after depositing your offering, you activate the flush, by pressing a button or using a crank. Everything is then enveloped in a lovely polymer film and disappears into a tank underneath.
Loowatt does Container-Based Sanitation, a wonky name for toilets that include a small container underneath to store your excreta. A bit like portable toilets, but usually without the chemicals, and designed to be installed in homes. The idea is that it's easy to remove and replace such containers, especially compared to the messy business of pit emptying. If you believe their marketing, the liner is the compostable kind, that disaggregates into smaller pieces and... composts?
The waterless flush means the container itself is lighter than it would be even with a low-water flush, and you don't have to think too hard about what you put inside. Which means that YES you can put your tampon inside!
Slight caveat: it depends on the treatment method, and there's a variety of these, like biogas, composting and so on. Please check with Loowatt before putting your tampon inside and don't rely on advice from random blogs.
Wow, I want to use one!
Great. You have a few choices. If you are in Antananarivo, Loowatt has created a nice little business of servicing such toilets (with a "Swap & Go" app) in various areas around the city. Hey, look at their sales pitch:
If you are in the UK, you can find their builder-friendly pod at many festivals. Ah, festivals... remember those? Mud, she-pees, compost toilets... a sanitation lover's dream. And music. Ah...
Anyway. The "home" and "pro" Loowatt toilets are a bit different, but the underlying technology is the same.
Last option: if you are in Manila, you may see some of those soon. Laguna Water has compared two portable sanitation systems, one by Loowatt and one by Lixil, and crowned Loowatt the winner. Look at that report if you are into user experience and number-crunching.
And, update: Loowatt says there's a new toilet coming... compare the image below with the cover picture!
You had me at "waterless flush": finally, a festival toilet that I could actually see working elsewhere.
Oh, and if you like what Loowatt does, they're launching a crowdfunding campaign!
CreditsCover image credits: Loowatt's website
Suggestions welcome! Which tech should I review?