Home » Urine Diverting Toilets – A New Age System To Produce Less Virus Than Traditional Ones.

Urine Diverting Toilets – A New Age System To Produce Less Virus Than Traditional Ones.

by Coffee Table Science




Researchers of the American Chemical Society found that each flush in the toilet can lead to the spread of many diseases from the infected waste. However, the spread of  viruses like norovirus, adenovirus and polyomaviruses  can be reduced by new technology toilets that are urine-diverting in comparison to the traditional systems.



Image Wikimedia Commons 


How do different types of toilets work?


Traditional toilets used in most homes are tunneled and the feces contaminate the water. When a toilet is flushed it sprays tiny droplets in homes or public places that mix with the air and land on the surfaces.  Hence when the waste of an infected person is flushed it mixes with the air and spreads many contagious pathogens. These can be viruses -bacteria that can spread from one person to another person easily through water-land and mostly air. The normal commodes are of the mixed flushed type with one big water-filled section whereas the urine-diverting toilet systems contain two sections, one to collect urine and another to remove excretion from the back.



How do urine-diverting toilets work?



Urine diversion is the practice which separates human urine from the wastewater stream through a urinal connected to the urine storage tank. The urine diversion toilets have a special basin to collect urine in front of the toilet bowl. The collected urine then can be used as fertilizer in farms. As a human waste, urine contains many nutrients of plants thus when it is separated from its origin, these nutrients, which are highly concentrated do not cause pollution and can be used as an agrarian resource by allowing the feces to dry and killing toxic germs.



Image Pixabay 


Results In the study


To find the outcomes of an average excretion by a sick person the researchers in the university restroom mixed a solution with 10 billion surrogate viruses into both types of toilets by using two bacteriophages, MS2, which is almost a nonvirus, and T3 which has virus components in it. These bacteriophages, also known as phages, are the kind of viruses that infect and recount themselves only in bacterial cells. The team then simply covered them with plastic wraps and flushed them. Material from the films then was recovered to see how much of MS2 and T3 had sprayed onto them.


The results were amazing as less than 1 percent of the virus substitutes added to the urine diverting toilets were sprayed out. Also, the traditional toilets discharged ten times more MS2 and T3 when protein is added to them in the water, in comparison to the urine-diverting toilets. 


The researchers also found that 390 million compositions of nonviruses are emitted from traditional toilets whereas 67 million were emitted from urine-diverting toilets. However, all of these viruses are not important to infect a person as most of the particles vanish by getting evaporated.


The study was published by the American Chemical Society ( ACS) 


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