Using waste to move waste (using urine to flush waste)

2011 - 2012 • Nature Healing Nature (NHN)


Designing a device that would utilize urine to flush waste through a pour-flush (PF) toilet thus reducing or eliminating the need for scarce flush water during the dry season in developing countries


The project involved designing a device that would utilize urine to flush waste through a pour-flush (PF) toilet thus reducing or eliminating the need for scarce flush water during the dry season in developing countries. The project team hypothesized such a device would reduce the burden of fetching water from long distances during the dry-season and thus reduce the tendency for rural villagers to return to open defecation when water is scarce. They posit that the urine-flush device would encourage the use of latrines and help reduce incidents of diarrhea and other water related illness by 35%.

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Although the Flush-Pump offers an affordable, attractive option that promotes the use of PF-toilets in the dry seasons, the team discovered that the existing PF-toilet designs being installed and widely promulgated are problematic for the following reasons: they do not offer a closed-loop sanitation system; they do not offer any means of safely removing or disposing of sludge that eventually accumulates in the septic tank rings; none of the fecal/urine nutrients are available for use as an agricultural fertilizer; although there are several NGOs promoting the sale of thousands of PF-toilets in Cambodia via sanitation marketing, none of the sanitation marketing programs are currently addressing the inability of the poorest of the poor to afford the $50 to $70 PF-toilet kits. In addition, the wet-season rains interrupted sanitation behavior change activities.

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Asia & Pacific Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Local NGO Product design and engineering Toilets or urinals (user interface)


Nature Healing Nature
United States

Nature Healing Nature is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization bringing three profoundly important programs to the world. As they take their work into the world, this organization offers an avenue for their donors, benefactors, and partners to help others help themselves.

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Elisabeth von Muench (Elisabeth)

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