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Case Studies

Case Study: ESPOIR School of Life

The ESPOIR School of Life needed a toilet solution that didn’t need running water & wasn’t going to contaminate groundwater.

The ESPOIR School of Life started in summer 2016 in Siargao, south of the Philippines. This important school will give children a set of core skills & values that will be useful in everyday life and help them to secure employment once their studies are completed. The school teaches children life skills such as respect, team-work, family, pride, love, tolerance & compassion.
The initial site where the school was built wasn’t really adequate for a proper learning environment as the facilities were too small and in a bad location. Nicolas Gontard & his wife (the founders of the school) approached the local mayor with the concept to build a new and better school.

The mayor was supportive and donated a parcel of land for the project. Nicolas & other private donors provided the funding whilst ESPOIR members sourced the materials and the labour to make it happen. The arrangement with locals was that the ESPOIR team would supply materials and expertise whilst the local families contributed sweat equity and elbow grease.

Here’s a few fast facts about the school:-

  • A new school for the poorest of the poor.
  • Stage 1 will have one classroom and a Clivus Multrum (CM40) composting toilet. When complete the school will have 12-13 classrooms with 260 children at full capacity.
  • It is a free school that provides food and uniforms & well as a high standard of education.
  • It is in a central location so kids can easily & safely walk to school.
  • Funded through private donations.
Why ESPOIR chose a composting toilet?

When the project team looked at all the different toilet options they knew there were some challenges they had to overcome. There was no sewage system operating in the area, the predominant toilet systems that were in use were septic tanks & pit toilets. The problem with these solutions was that in combination with high rainfall and water table close to the ground surface, contamination of groundwater was a major problem.
The project team did not want to contribute to this ongoing problem, so a composting toilet system provided a logical alternative. It was inexpensive to buy and install and low tech it was easy to use and crossed language barriers. In addition, a composting toilet system is a great way to demonstrate better and more sustainable approaches to managing human waste.

Case Study: Charles Sturt University

Charles Sturt University is well known for reducing it’s carbon and environmental footprint.


Challenge
When we found out that the Charles Sturt University, Albury Wodonga campus was looking at reducing their environmental impact we knew that our range of composting toilets would easily meet their standards, be large enough to handle the capacity of the university and reduce the maintenance needed when compared to their current systems. Below is a run-down of how the system was implemented.
Number of units installed and size:
  • 2 x CM14 with one pedestal
  • 4 x CM14 with two pedestals
  • 1 x CM8 with one pedestal
  • 3 x CM14 with two pedestals
  • 2 x CM40 with four pedestals
  • 2 x CM8 with one pedestal
  • 1 x CM14 with two pedestals
  • 2 x CM20 with two pedestals
Facilities in which units are installed:
There are a total of 12 buildings with various combinations of toilets installed in each. Some bathrooms that were more frequently patronised needed larger storage units and needed to be able to handle shock loadings (large groups of visitors).

Was there any user resistance?
Overall the feedback has been very positive to the change of composting toilets. There was some initial apprehension to install these types of toilets in the cafeteria area & function centre but other than that the feedback has been very positive.
What are the maintenance requirements?
- Addition of bulking agent (Daily/Weekly)
- Raking & turning over of the humus as required.

What is your disposal method of Humus?
At this point we’re looking at putting it into an open trench on the property, treating it with UV & then we will spread it over the property.
What are your disposal method of excess fluids?
Excess liquids go into a greywater/blackwater wetland area. We use a pond stage water system & recycle on campus for irrigation.

What do you do with the grey water?
We use reed beds with three ponds to filter our grey water. Water flows into the first pond for UV treatment, we then filter it through the second & third ponds by which time it is perfectly OK to use on the property.
The last word:
Overall the experience is very positive, the toilets are working well & there are no problems or dramas.

Website:
http://www.csu.edu.au/about/locations/albury-wodonga

The Environmental Management Plan for the campus which covers composting toilets
https://www.csu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/704346/report159.pdf

Most of us, when we think about the ocean, palm trees and sandy beaches, we think of an idyllic holiday spot. Swimming into crystal clear water and diving under the waves can bring a relaxing sense of calm and quietness to the mind.

Whilst the inhabitants of the tiny island of Rambutyo in Papua New Guinea certainly look like they live in an island paradise, the fact they didn’t have a working toilet on the island meant their bathrooms were simply rooms built over the shore. This meant all the inhabitants went to the toilet directly into the ocean which was having health implications and causing obvious issues with the sanitation of the water they lived so closely to. Women and children had to walk a quite a distance to go to the toilet and privacy was also an issue, so you can imagine the relief when a solution was found.

Working with Friends of Rambutso, Clivus Multrum have helped the villages of Rambutyo to install their first community composting toilets. This means that men, women and children will have a healthier standard of sanitation and also a usable compost after a few months of use.

Challenge: Incurring no electricity, sewage or water bills seems like an unattainable dream, but that was the brief to Strine Design for Krawarree House.

A World Heritage Area recognised for both its natural values and cultural values.

When the Ikurangi Eco Retreat were looking for a composting toilet system for their eco-friendly cabins they wanted something that looked and felt as close to a ‘normal’ toilet as possible. This would allow their guests to have a great experience at the resort without freaking out a little about the bathroom situation!