The sanitation concept ‘Blue Diversion’ (www.bluediversiontoilet.com) was developed as a possible answer to the sanitation crisis in urban slums. It is based on two main elements: (1) diversion of urine, feces, and water at the source as the basis for efficient resource recovery, and (2) linking different scales (family toilets and semi-centralized resource recovery). Our objective was to develop an attractive ‘grid-free’ (i.e. functioning without piped water, sewer, and electrical grid) dry urine-diverting toilet, which provides water (through recycling on-site) for flushing, personal hygiene (anal cleansing and menstrual hygiene), and hand washing. This service, including the entire sanitation value chain, should eventually be made available as a profitable business with total user fees of 5 ¢/p/d. The results presented in this paper are (1) a toilet design model, (2) the development of a new type of membrane bioreactor for treating flush and wash water, (3) main results of a geographic information system-based stochastic service model to link the family-scale toilet to a community-scale Resource Recovery Plant, and (4) a business model that yields maximum profit for the local community. We conclude that the approach is feasible, but challenging from a technical as well as an organizational point of view.
Blue Diversion: a new approach to sanitation in informal settlements
Tove A. Larsen, Heiko Gebauer, Harald Gründl, Rahel Künzle, Christoph Lüthi, Ulrike Messmer, Eberhard Morgenroth, Charles B. Niwagaba, Bernhard Ranner; Blue Diversion: a new approach to sanitation in informal settlements. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 1 March 2015; 5 (1): 64–71. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/washdev.2014.115
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