A Simple Yet Brilliant $1.50 Sanitation Idea

A Simple Yet Brilliant $1.50 Sanitation Idea – Made by the toilet manufacturer American Standard, this “trap door” seals off open pit latrines that are a major source of disease in the developing world.

This article discusses a sanitation solution by bathroom and kitchen fixture company American Standard. Funded by the  Gates Foundation, American Standard has developed a $1.50 latrine pan that cuts down on sanitation-related disease transmission by sealing off pit toilets. american_standard-sanitation

The $1.50 pan has been a hit in field trials in Bangladesh; in addition to being more sanitary, the pan also blocks off nasty smells from the latrine. While American Standard hoped to get the price down to a $1, McHale still believes the product is affordable.

So far, American Standard has sold close to 70,000 units in Bangladesh, and in 2013, the company donated 533,352 of the pans for distribution this year. The company is now thinking about how to launch the product in India. It’s also working on a design for Africa that uses less water.

4 responses to “A Simple Yet Brilliant $1.50 Sanitation Idea

  1. Shrikant Navrekar

    What is new in this ?
    It is surprising that a toilet pan with water seal trap which is a very old & very common tool used in many types of toilet is shown here as a new invention. In India much R&D has already been done over this. It has also been tried with success to reduce the water requirement by altering the design of pan & trap & many manufacturers are producing such pans at present. The waterseal trap shown in the photograph above looks like having a larger waterseal depth & will necessarily consume more water. I suggest a critical review of the product before launching it blindly in other countries. The material used to manufacture this also matters much (whether it is ceramic / plastic / glass fiber etc)

  2. I feel that ECO-SAN toilet with separation of urine, excreta and wash water is much better solution where we get Urine to be used as good fertilizer and excreta after completely becoming pathogen free can be composted and used as fertilizer. If we can use solar energy to sanitize the excreta then retention time of excreta can be reduced, and also the size of chamber can also be reduced.

    What is basically required is to have a Central Collection and Processing Agency in every village who will build and maintain all the toilets, collect all the urine and compost and sell it to the farmers and the farmers in turn will have increased agri produce and by having agri producing and marketing company this loop will be closed and all the benefits will reach the users and we will see real impact on lives of the people, in terms of Improved Health, more income,more productivity etc.

    We encourage Moringa (Drum stick tree) cultivation and purchase dried leaves and sell this nutritious powder, so by helping farmers getting more income they can be persuaded to construct toilets, use fertilizer for growing Moringa or any other agri produce, purchase it and then sell it in urban markets.

    The tin sheet roof is used to keep filled plastic water bottles and the solar heat reasonably makes the water bacteria free. Also we propose a small solar PV unit on the roof to provide basic electricity to the house. Along with a water filter such as SWACHA introduced by TATA we can guarantee supply of pure water.

    So the economic and health benefits of this scheme will be quite substantial.

    We can achieve any success only by helping farmers getting more income in their hands and by making toilets as income generating assets.

    Prof.Shrikant Bhate.
    Architect and Social Entrepreneur.
    Health and Sanitation Service Provider.
    Pune. India. bhate48@gmail.com

  3. The most advanced sanitation solutions for the developing world aren’t always cheap. For a proof, this self-contained, waste-treating toilet that won the Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. Anyone would be lucky to have it.

  4. Hi I just read this article and this is indeed very good. However, I agree with Shrikant that this would require more water as the trap is big and the curves are way too high/big that would definitely require more water. There are 2 main reasons why developing countries are still low in terms of sanitation access: cost and access to water. Although low-cost, the challenge would still remain for the water-less communities, this will not be very helpful for them.

    Gates Foundation just launched the SaTo (Safe Toilet) Pan with a “flapper pan” for water-sealing, however, our organization is looking for a way/design for an off-set and not the direct-pit (as Sato Pan is originally designed). SaTo pan offers low-cost and the requirement for water is very minimal (1 dipper of water is enough to flash out waste). But i hope there could be more designs especially for offset toilets that would offer very low cost material and very minimal water requirement for flushing.

    If you have more designs to offer for offset toilets, please let me know as this will be very helpful for the communities that need these innovations.


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