Unlike the conventional toilets, the eco toilet is a dry toilet and, hence, has no flush system. Water is used only when the user washes, said Prof K S Lokesh of the College.
He explained that two concertised pits need to be created above ground level, each with two compartments. While one is for faeces, the other one to collect urine. There is also a separate arrangement to collect the used water, which would be let out in the ground and allowed to soak in the soil. The toilet can be used by a family of five for a period of six to eight months, Prof Lokesh said.
However, care had to be taken to ensure that the faecal waste was not mixed with water or urine, as that would cause it to stink. Also, you have to ensure to put a bowl of soil and sawdust or husk or green leaves on it every time the toilet is used.
“Once the faecal pit is full, you close the pit and use the alternate pit. This first pit will remain closed for two-three months by which time it will degrade and become humanure (biofertiliser)," he said.
The pit containing urine can be directly used on plants as they have a high level of nitrogen content. In total, Prof Lokesh assures us that the eco toilet can reduce the water usage in toilets by 80-90 per cent. However, the cost of building such a toilet at present is Rs 10,000.
The National Council of Rural Institutes (NCRI), Hyderabad, which is trying to promote this concept has provided Rs 25 lakh for four districts in the State - Mysore, Coorg, Chamarajanagar and Mandya. Over 400 such toilets have been set up in Mysore, with 1,000 more to be set up in Hunsur region.