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In light of South Africa’s recent water shortages, it is no surprise that a local civil engineer has developed a revolutionary new toilet that uses less than two litres of water for a full flush. This amounts to a saving of around 700 litres of water per person per month, as normal lavatories use between six and 12 litres for each flush and account for 30% to 40% of a household's water use.

SA engineer designs revolutionary new toiletCalled the Arumloo, after the Arum Lily-inspired vortex shape of the toilet, a plastic version of the new toilet is already being manufactured in Cape Town and will be available early next year. In an interview, creator Jonny Harris said that the toilet mimicked nature, drawing inspiration from “the function and beauty” of the Arum Lily.

“We've taken that vortex shape for the bowl of the toilet. The vortex shape is found repeatedly in nature and represents the easiest flow path for a fluid. By mimicking this vortex shape, and a circular flush motion, the toilet is able to use less water to clean the bowl and clear waste past the water seal,” he said.

Launched at the World Toilet Day Dialogue, held at UCT recently, the Arumloo was funded by a number of parties, including the Water Research Commission (WRC). World Toilet Day was established by the United Nations (UN) a few years ago in order to highlight the worldwide “sanitation crisis”. According to the UN, 4.5-billion live without a safe toilet and 892-million people still practice open defecation.

Harris used “faeces” made out of soya paste to test the efficacy of the new toilet. Six of these samples, each weighing 50g, together with four “scrunches” of toilet paper, can be flushed away with 1.75 litres of water. The Arumloo also has a small flush button for liquids only.

The Arumloo can be used in towns and cities, where it can be connected to the urban sewerage system, as well as in areas where it needs to be connected to a septic tank or on-site treatment system.

Image credit: https://www.isidima.net/arumloo

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