We had a nice half day visit with Marc and Siddharth from Duke University at the RTI-Duke site at CEPT in Ahmedabad on February 25th.
Marc and Siddharth did some initial measurements on key-point sources of odor in our prototype. As we’ve written in the past, odor is a key contributor to the adoption rate of our sanitation system: now, and in the future. Study after study has shown that people are drastically less likely use a toilet if it smells unclean. So the resulting data from this visit will be quite important for us moving forward.
We also enlisted the full Ahmedabad team in the inaugural run of the odor measurement procedure that is drafted in the IWA standards document. We hoped to glean new insight by performing a trial run of this process and we weren’t let let down. We learned a quite a bit.
Our RTT prototype site at CEPT University incorporates and promotes hand hygiene. With an interior wash basin in the alpha prototype cabin, and a sink available beside the exterior urinals, we are promoting best practices. Facilities, soap, and water are a must in any new toilet installations. It is a crime to not plan them in. These are life-saving features and key parts of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs.
The use of soap is necessary to more effectively prevent disease. Millions of children under the age of five years old die from diarrheal diseases around the world. Hand washing with soap could prevent about 1 out of every 3 episodes of diarrheal illnesses.
In 2011, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) launched the bold Reinvent the Toilet (RTT) program to promote the development of radically new innovations to address the sanitation challenge on a large-scale. RTI International is an RTT grantee working to address on-site sanitation solutions through the development of a better toilet. RTI is working in partnership with Duke University and Colorado State University, to develop an integrated waste treatment and toilet system. RTI’s technology approach combines electrochemical disinfection for liquid waste processing and recovery, and biomass energy conversion to process solid waste. The system’s goal is to be energy neutral, requiring no external sources of power or linkage to piped sewerage systems. CEPT University is a partner in this current phase of the project where the prototype toilet will be performance tested and design feedback gathered from user groups while being hosted at CEPT campus. Additional India partners include L&T Engineering, SEWA, NEERMAN, and Perryware/ ROCA India.