Environment

EVOLUTE - the near-waterless toilet

3D rendering of the EVOLUTE
3D rendering of the EVOLUTE
View 4 Images
EVOLUTE inventors Tom Trainor and Mark Hutton with a prototype, on the Australian Broadcasting Corporations' "The New Inventors"
1/4
EVOLUTE inventors Tom Trainor and Mark Hutton with a prototype, on the Australian Broadcasting Corporations' "The New Inventors"
3D rendering of the EVOLUTE
2/4
3D rendering of the EVOLUTE
3D rendering of the EVOLUTE
3/4
3D rendering of the EVOLUTE
4/4

Toilets use a lot of water. And once they’re done with that water, well, it’s very... used. So, any time anyone can suggest a way of limiting water usage in toilets, Mother Nature wants to hear about it. Recently, Australian inventors Tom Trainor and Mark Hutton came up with a product that they claim uses up to 90% less water than a regular toilet. The EVOLUTE’s patented new technology offers a greener, drier alternative to our current “swimming pool for your doo-doo” model.

The heart of this new toilet is a rotating metal sphere, that seals off the opening to the sewer line at the bottom of the bowl. The top of this sphere has a hollow bored into it, creating a cup-shaped depression. Your waste runs into this cup, then when you flush the EVOLUTE, the metal sphere is rotated upside down, releasing the waste into the drainage pipe. One jet of water rinses out the cup before the sphere rotates back up, while another rinses the sides of the bowl. And yes, there is a small pool of water that sits in the cup when you’re using it.

Both the rotation and the water jets are powered by the hydraulic pressure of your water mains, so no electricity is required. Because sewer gases are blocked off by the sphere, and not by water, no S-bend or cistern is necessary - the EVOLUTE simply dumps (sorry) straight into the sewer line, eliminating the larger volume of water required for a conventional flush. According to its website, it uses less than one liter of water per flush, as opposed to the usual 6 to 12. It also take up 30% less floor space than a regular toilet.

The EVOLUTE is still in the development phase, and is not expected to be available to the public until 2012.

Via: The New Inventors.

22 comments
Todd Dunning
Yet more eco-kook snake oil combining feelgood self-deprivation with very bad science. Now that global warming bit the dust, we fall back on the familiar \"Water Conservation\" standby; the idea that when water is used, it goes flying off into outer space, lost forever. And that we have to \"Save Water\". Water, no matter how poopy, happily cleanses itself due to something we learned in 4th grade called the Water Cycle. It involves strange new concepts like \'evaporation\' and \'rain\'. Please - Google it. We\'ve been told all our lives that we are running out of water which miraculously always seems to reappear. It\'s happening right now in California for the ten-thousandth time. Water conservation is a budgetary issue, not an environmental one. Local governments like to save some money on pumping or purchasing water. But some interpret this issue as yet another eco-crisis to use for their own ends - whether political, or commercial in this case.
Drew__1
The volume of water used by a standard toilet is to make sure that the stool is flushed an appropriate distance down the sewage pipe to prevent blockage, otherwise you could use significatly less than the 9-12L of water required to achieve this task. I\'d suggest giving caroma or a similar toilet manufacturer a call and asking them as I know they\'ve been researching how little water you can get away with for a while.
Todd Shaffer
@Todd Dunning This is so contradictory it\'s not even funny. Usually this type of speak would infer that you\'re a hardline republican, which I can respect as a fiscally conservative individual myself. It\'s the end of your comment that really shows your ignorance here. \"Local governments like to save some money on pumping or purchasing water.\" So you mean... Less taxes on the local people to provide said purchasing power to the government? I fail to see where there is a win-win on this.
Todd Shaffer
@Todd Dunning And yeah, in California, it really is happening for the ten thousandth time because it never rains in Southern California. It\'s a desert. Always has been. So they actually do run out. Take a geography class.
froginapot
Current sewage systems require large volumes of water. They are dinosaurs.
Facebook User
Todd, that was very insightful, but I think you miss one of the major positive points to water limiting devices. You see in many places around the world we rely on that water cycle to provide water into our aquifers. Now the amount of water that our aquifer is collecting is always about the same, but the demand on that source is increasing almost to the point that there will not be enough water to serve everyone. So here comes this water saving toilet, it allows us to cut back on demand by almost 60%... that is a huge savings on the amount of water taken from the aquifer each year, now we have room for more growth, people can water their yards again and you can take a longer shower. So it's not always as narrow minded as you would like to think.. Try thinking a little more progressively next time.
D123451
well i\'m worry wht if ppl have a great big dump all the big tissue etc.... it\'ll jam the machenism right enough... and u can\'t even flush it like normal loo does... the only way is to pick them and wait till the 1st lot goes down first.....
jerryd
Todd, your political bias is so bad it makes you look like a nut case. Many places this kind of toilet makes a lot of sense, especially on homes that do their own septic like I do. It\'s not unlike, except for the bowl indentation, than RV toilets. But Drew has an excellent point. Our public sewage systems need a certain amount of water to make things flow. My solution is a mascerator? pump in the trap that grinds it up and pumps it using very little water and keeps things flowing with much less water. One can power the blending pump either by electric or foot. Hopefully not enough water will be needed that it can be used as power though for about .75gal/flush that could be done too. A better way is one of the composting toilets which for a very, very little work, saves a lot of money. But I\'m not about it being eco, but it costs a lot of money/month/yr to hook up to a sewage system so I avoid it whenever possible. Using less water also saves me money but base rates are so high I\'m thinking of going to catching water and a cistern.
Ike Rai
I agree with Todd. How will the reduced quantity of water per flush affect the ability of the waste to flow freely through sewage pipes, all the way to the local water treatment plants? There may be risk of blockage (especially in areas where people don\'t eat enough fiber). It would be interesting to hear the company\'s response to this...
curmudgin
Turn it around. Consider the enormous amount of good organic fertilizer wasted down the drain. Study traditional Chinese agriculture. Our soils are rapidly becoming sterile and unproductive.