March 10, 2010
NoMix Toilets Get Thumbs-up In 7 European Countries
People in seven European countries have positive attitudes toward a new eco-friendly toilet that could substantially reduce pollution problems and conserve water and nutrients, scientists in Switzerland are reporting. Their article, which calls on authorities to give wider support for the innovative toilet technology, is in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal.
Judit Lienert and Tove Larsen note in the article that the so-called NoMix toilet collects urine separately instead of mixing it together with feces as in conventional toilets. Urine contains 80 percent of the nitrogen and 50 percent of the phosphorus arriving at wastewater treatment plants. Separating it in advance could have a number of advantages. This includes a reduction in the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients that trigger algae blooms and in pharmaceutical residues, which can enter waterways and pose a threat to fish. Separating urine also allows its use as an agricultural fertilizer, the scientists note. However, scientists have not widely explored public attitudes about using this promising technology until now.
Image Caption: 'NoMix' toilets, like the one shown here, collect urine and feces separately. They have gained wide support by consumers in Europe as a way to reduce pollution and conserve water. Credit: Yvonne Lehnhard
On the Net:
- American Chemical Society
- Article: High Acceptance of Urine Source Separation in Seven European Countries: A Review