The toilet is not a popular conversational topic. This sanitation device used to vacate bodily excrements is widely taken for granted. However, even as useful and necessary as the toilet is, many people do not have access to one. Currently, there are two types of toilets - the flush toilet and the composting toilet. The flush toilet is operated with water to flush the waste into a sewer system and the composting toilet is used with very little to no water at all. Western nations are more accustomed to the flushing toilets as opposed to the composting toilets.
The History of Toilets
The invention of the toilet is not a recent one and can be traced back as far as 2800 BC to 1886. There is evidence that communal and domestic flushing toilets existed from ruins found in ancient civilizations . Holes were dug in the ground and were connected to an advanced waste removal system used to remove the excrements. Throughout the ancient world, squatting toilets were used from Rome to China. The standard toilet designed to be sat on did not come around until the early 19th century. It quickly became the toilet of choice in major cities. However, the majority of the world still uses squatting toilets.
Types of Toilets
The two most common types of toilets are wet and dry. The wet toilet is a flushing toilet reliant on a constant water source in order to function properly. The toilet is connected to a network of pipes that lead to either a sewage system or septic tank where the waste is treated and disposed of. The wet toilet is the most familiar type of toilet in western civilizations.
A dry toilet, also known as a composting toilet, is used around the world. In many third world countries, composting toilets are predominately used due to the lack of access to a water source that is needed to operate a flushing toilet effectively. Composting toilets uses an aerobic processing system to treat the waste with little to no water needed and relies on managed aerobic decomposition.
The Operating Process of Toilets
With the composting toilet, the breakdown of the excrement is achieved by a process known as thermophilic decomposition. This process breaks down bacteria that thrive at high temperatures (40 to 60 degrees Celsius to 104-140 degrees Fahrenheit) and oxidizes or breaks down the waste into its components. Some of the components are consumed in the process, reducing volume, and eliminating potential pathogens.
When flushing the toilet, the excrement is flushed through a basin of water attached to the toilet itself. Once flushed, the basin empties into the bowl of the toilet and the rapid influx of water triggers the suction or siphoning action, pulling all the water and waste down thru the toilet into the connecting sewage system and disposing of it into the system or attached septic system.
The development of the toilet in a better effort to remove human waste has vastly improved the health and safety of millions of people. Human waste causes diseases such as cholera which affects over three million people each year can largely be prevented with effective sanitation removal. Even today 40% of the global population do not have access to toilets, mainly in Asia and Africa where diseases from human waste still run typically high.
Even though the toilet is an effective method of removing and disposing of human waste, many people believe they can flush just about anything down the toilet. One of the main reasons toilets get clogged is due to female products. Many of these and other paper products are not manufactured to breakdown in waste water, clogging the system.