Thursday, October 06, 2005

Million Dollar Toilet

People blog about books they read or movies they see. Me...I am going to blog about a toilet :)

I had mentioned my trip to Vermont earlier . The highlight of my trip undoubtedly was a visit to this million dollar toilet. It was featured in the NY Times about a month ago.

Million Dollar Toilet

This is not just a toilet. It is a highway rest stop and a Vietnam veteran's memorial. It took about 6 million dollars to build it. Vermont has always been an environment conscious state. The toilet uses a state of the art, living organism based water filtration system. It purifies and recycles all of the waste toilet water.

The purification system is built by the company Living Systems Inc. The system consists of a series of modules. The used water goes through an anaerobic reactor, anoxic Reactor, biosolid holding tank, covered aerobic reactor, clarifier and hydroponic tanks. True to its name, a good amount of the clean up work is done by plants and bacteria.

In addition to the unique filtration system, the entire facility is heated and cooled by geo thermal heat sinks. Wow !

Critics of the project have questioned the high cost and the very need for such a thing. While the cost is high, I feel large scale adoption could make it a very viable and affordable solution. After all, water is a very precious commodity.

It makes me wonder if such a thing would work in India.Water is getting increasingly scarce and water conservation needs to be top priority. Faud Lokhandwala and Dr Bindeshwar Pathak are two innovators trying to revolutionize public toilets. Will try and find out what they have to say about all this.

Anyway, this is one toilet that puts "cool" back into flushing.


Jennifer said...

That is one beautiful toilet. So, the recycled water....tell me it doesn't come back up in the rest stop drinking fountain! I don't care how "purified" it is. Psychologically, I just don't think I could handle that.

One More Reason said...


Let me clarify. The recycled water is NOT used for drinking. Just flushing :)

Jennifer said...

Oh! Well, then that's a very good thing. Carry on.