I have already procured a pair of ecopans of different design from Biome Solutions in Bangalore. This design has influenced my current thinking which I will implement in the second toilet that is being planned. What difference does this design make? It is similar to the earlier one except that it has only one drop hole, a urine pan and a wash-up pan inline with the other two.
I plan to dig a hole in the ground and place a used chemical barrel of about 60 litres in the hole. These barrels are readily available, once used. Pick ones that have carrying handles and a tight lid. Around the barrel with a low wall of about a foot in height built forming a square of about 4’x4′. Resting on this wall is a hinged waterproof ply board. In it the shape of the ecopan is cut out and fastened. When the ply floor is down the drop hole is positioned exactly over the barrel opening. Urine and wash water lead-away pipelines are fitted and an odour vent installed if found necessary. Once the barrel is full, the ply-floor is lifted, and the barrel’s handles are used to hoist it out of the hole and an empty barrel is inserted. Necessary canopy is built over the system to keep away rain water.
The advantages of this arrangement over the previous are many:
- Lower first cost
- No raised platform, steps or grips required
- User is less daunted since no climbing is necessary
- Aged and disabled friendly
- Wash-up pan is inline and requires a mere shuffle back to reach
- Capacity is not determined by vault size but by frequency of barrel replacement
- Composting is off-site
- No manual scooping out
Work on this version will begin in a few weeks.