Ecosan toilets

Did Indians’ squeamishness with sanitary issues lead to the stratification of our society into castes? Even today nightsoil workers are said to exist, and indignity is heaped upon them. Given this common mindset to feces and urine, perhaps India would find it hard to realise how it is wasting valuable resources. If you belong to the weak-stomach school, a good way to graduate from it is by reading the Humanure Book. Cheer yourself up by saying India at least understood the virtues of squatting right. To inspire yourself further read about the virtues of urine!

I was revved up by now. The next generation of toilets at pointReturn will be the ecosan type. Sriram had helpfully sent the address of Eco-solutions in Kerala. Run by a young Englishman Paul Calvert, the organisation has been evolving ecosan designs since 1994 and installing them all over India. They make two types of pans, Western and Asian ones. I ordered one each to experiment with.

Sadly the well-made pans, arrived without any instruction whatsoever, not even a sketch. In this, it is one with many Indian products that neglect user information. The website is also difficult to navigate. I spent many hours cruising the pages to understand how the pan is installed. I spoke to Paul a few times.He made some useful points which made me wonder why these were not up at the site, accessible to everyone.

6 thoughts on “Ecosan toilets

  1. If any of you are interested the ecopans and ecowashes seated and squatting that DV used here are from us at EcoSolutions. Have a look at the website to see various installations and ideas. well done DV, hope you are happily accumulating compost and merrily diverting urine. Best to you all, Paul Building ecological toilet systems in India since 1994

  2. I would love to see a diagram of your invented system DV. Although I can imagine the general design, it seems so much more efficient that I would like to completely understand. Perhaps if you were to draw it up, and submit it for production, you might have many people wanting one. Maybe the ecosan man would appreciate a better system and make one better. I am completely amazed that you had to search for the instructions. When you put your knowledge of this and your better system together, it seems he could use your advise considerably! Or, perhaps another manufacturer.
    Another thought: if a platform was positioned over the system of pans, with a wash sink next to a squatting seat, wouldn’t the whole experience be more beautiful?

  3. I had read about ecosan at different sites but nobody gets into the details of actually deploying one as you do. Keep up the good work! I look forward to these valuable insights as you progress…


  4. Hello Mr. Sridharan,

    You didn’t give any details about the Western-style pan. Did you try installing that too?


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