The concept of the filtering squatting toilet incorporates a handrail to support a person (and improve comfort) in the squatting position. The filter array, comprised of charcoal, sand and ceramic filters, supports a range of plants to clean effluent.
The flush mechanism is based on the 1 litre flush toilet technique developed by the Sulabh Foundation in India.
The concept is sustainable and ecological. It uses no energy, is water saving and non-polluting. The system is designed to show the energy value in human waste and raise awareness about wasting water. It provokes discussion and evaluation of toilet taboos and ablution habits. It draws attention to the necessary systemic shift from utility dependent sanitation systems to regenerative localized solutions that see waste as a necessary part of a domestic eco-system.
There are both health and ergonomic benefits to using the squatting toilet. Evidence shows that there are significantly fewer cases of colorectal cancers in communities that squat as opposed to those using sitting toilets. Squatting ensures a natural position for the human bowel movement and minimizes the need for toilet tissue which has a detrimental health effect.
Far-future design concepts
The filtering squatting toilet is part of the Microbial Home Probe, a far-future design concept. It is not intended as a production prototype nor will it be sold as a Philips product. Like past Probe Design Concepts that have stimulated discussion around a range of issues, this concept is testing a possible future – not prescribing one.
19 October 2011