12 July, 2012
Toilet 2.0 - the next Generation
In recent years we have seen a transition from analogue radio and television to digital services.
Smarter telephone technologies including video and net based applications are complementing the traditional voice down a copper wire.
Automotive companies are starting to roll out electric vehicles to replace internal combustion engine technologies.
These processes are transitional.
Prototypes were developed. They begin as pilot projects, to prove the concept.
This is exactly what is proposed for developing Toilet 2.0 technologies.
The rationale for source segregation is to encourage nutrient recovery and reduce to costs and environmental impacts of the tradition method of aggregating urine and feaces with vast quantities of flush water, grey water and trade waste.
We need to identify pilot projects, to demonstrate the concepts of source separation of urine and feaces.
We need to develop the supporting processes, the institutional arrangements and encourage the social acceptance of the paradigm shift.
We need to develop trade waste policies and charges that incentivate and support source segregation.
Using traditional toilet technologies, there is a peak load of nitrogen, phosphorus that coincides with a hydraulic peak load, every morning and evening.
We need business models and a business case that demonstrates the value of source segregation. There is a potential for delaying large capital investment for infrastructure upgrades by reducing the peak loads. There are opportunities to reduce or avoid the operational costs at sewage treatment plants by reducing the need for energy intensive, biological and chemical processes for removing nitrogen and phosphorus.
The Toilet2.0 technologies provide an opportunity to lower the costs of delivery of sewage treatment services and increase the opportunities for resources recovery, energy efficiency, water efficiency and better environmental outcomes.
If Toilet2.0 technologies can be developed and demonstrated in my community, there is a huge market potential to meet the needs of 2.6 billion people who lack access to any form of toilet.