A Better ToiletFor A Cleaner World
Next Stop? Durban, South Africa.
Our project reached a milestone recently, adding a new testing site for our sanitation system in Durban, South Africa!
RTI International recently published a news release announcing it. Like our ongoing work in Ahmnebad, India, we will be working in a smaller controlled environment.
The prototype waste processing system will be set up in an informal settlement community in Durban, South Africa. The unit will process waste from a community ablution block that includes shared toilet, shower and washing stations. The field testing program will be working in partnership with the eThekwini Municipal Water Services and with the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban to test the system in a community of about 1,000 residents.
This multi-year field testing partnership will help the team to optimize system performance, gather user insights, and advance potential commercial partnerships.
Once setup is established, we aim to gain new insights on location and use cases for our prototype in this new environment. One of the big changes we’ve made from a user interface standpoint is retrofitting our prototype to accommodate a user group that is accustomed to a “throne” style, sit down toilet (as opposed to the squat plate setup we continue to use in India).
“Field testing in India has given us insights on operations and user practices and perceptions, and prepared us for new testing with different use cases,” said Brian Stoner, Ph.D., project director at RTI. “ It is exciting for us to start a new partnership in Durban.”
Use patterns and climate conditions will be different in Durban. RTI also adjusted the India prototype to meet cultural practices in South Africa that use seated toilets and toilet paper.
With this new South African testing site, we are looking forward to new the new challenges we’ll need to solve, as well as the gathering of fresh insights and data to make our system more robust and adaptable to any environment on the planet.
“Our mission is to support significant improvements in public health, the environment, and quality of life, and to do so we have to get closer to our clientele to better understand their needs and aspirations,” said Myles Elledge, RTI international partnership lead for the project.