Today we turn our attention to the chemical toilet, because these are still found very often today in places with no permanent water or wastewater connection. How many of these models are actually still in use can only be guessed.
Chemical toilets come in a wide range of variants and applications.
The all time classic is probably the "porta-potty". Every one of us has at least seen these little plastic houses, if not used them. This toilet is used at festivals, large events, construction sites and rest areas.
The smaller versions - whether fixed or portable - can be found in camping, leisure and garden areas, among others. They are also used as on-board toilets in coaches.
Let's now take a look at how these types of toilets work.
The variety of chemical toilets is very large. That is why we wont be able to go into all types individually here, we´ll only mention the most common ways of functioning.
Whether large or small chemical toilets, whether with a cassette or tank solution - chemicals are used in all of them. Although there are variations that work without water flushing, the fact is that none of the toilet solutions can do it without the chemical cocktail and in all models, faeces and urine are collected in one container.
The large mobile toilet systems are emptied by suction through a hose. Surely you have seen these vehicles in use before.
With small chemical toilets, the tank or cassette is emptied by hand. If you use such a toilet in your caravan or motorhome, you are certainly familiar with the walk to the disposal station at the campsite.
But why are chemical substances used?
Let's take a commercially available chemical toilet with water flush as an example: Here, the additives are already added to the fresh water tank, where they take over the task of killing germs. After using the toilet, the water mixture is also used as a cleaning agent for flushing.
In the wastewater tank, the additive ensures that there is less odour, algae and gas formation. It accelerates the decomposition of faeces and toilet paper, and kills natural putrefactive bacteria.
What is in these sanitary liquids?
The main components are formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde and quaternary ammonium compounds, as well as citric acid, fragrances, dyes and surfactants.
The first three substances are microbicides and are anything but harmless in use: they can trigger allergies and cause skin, eye and respiratory tract irritations or even chemical burns on contact. So be sure to read the safety data sheet and avoid direct contact with the sanitary products. In most cases, it is even recommended to wear gloves.
Quaternary ammonium compounds have the further major disadvantage that they are poorly eliminated in sewage treatment plants, so that considerable amounts end up in surface waters.
And what happens to the faecal chemical mixture?
Emptying the tank or cassette and everything is fine, huh? Well, which way you look at it. It is true that owners of chemical toilets behave correctly when emptying their waste at the designated disposal stations. But very few people know that these are also connected to the normal sewage system.
What does that mean exactly? The faecal chemical sludge ends up in a normal sewage treatment plant. In order for sewage treatment plants to work properly and filter or break down wastewater, a sensitive ecosystem with active microorganisms is required. In order not to overload or even completely kill this ecosystem, it needs an extremely large amount of water, which must dilute the "broth" to be filtered. However, the microbicides contained in the sanitary liquid do not only kill the "bad" microorganisms, but all organisms that are incredibly important for water treatment in a sewage treatment plant. Sewage treatment plants are often overwhelmed by the addition of these chemical cocktails, in some places the system threatens to collapse and the wastewater then ends up unfiltered in our waters.
Beware of the "environmentally compatible" label
This addition often appears on the packaging of sanitary liquids. This gives some consumers the false impression that a tank can also be disposed of directly in the environment -quickly in the gutter or in the landscape. Please don't do that!
Many of our customers have told us that they had a chemical toilet before switching to the dry separation toilet. They usually found the disposal and the use of chemicals unpleasant.
Nevertheless, these types of toilets are very light, often also very small and in most cases inexpensive to purchase. However, the disadvantages of such a toilet solution outweigh the advantages if you compare the chemical toilet with a Kildwick composting toilet including a separating insert.
-Instead of environmentally harmful additives, our models only require natural bedding to remove moisture from the solids and thus prevent odours.
- Most chemical toilets consist of countless individual parts: Seals, rubbers, hoses, electronics in places etc. What do you do if one of these parts breaks during your holiday? That can't happen with our products. Our systems are built to last - simple, but very well produced.
- You love nature, your freedom and like it uncomplicated? So do we! The constant search for waste disposal stations just doesn't fit into the picture. With Kildwick toilets, you'll never have to search again, because the solids can simply be disposed of in the household waste or (with the appropriate degradable bag) even composted. You can empty the urine container in any toilet. Sounds simple? It is!
- "But chemical toilets are so easy ..." - right, and so are the Kildwick composting toilets! Our MiniLoo weighs just 8 kg, the Kildwick EasyLoo is also a lightweight at 12 kg.
- And we even go the extra mile: all the materials we use are biodegradable or 100 percent recyclable. All but a small percentage of the materials we use come from Germany, same for our suppliers. Short transport routes for fewer carbon emissions.
All the pro´s of our dry separation toilets at a glance:
- You don't need any additional water
- You do not need any chemical additives
- The Kildwick separation toilets are light and robust
- Easy to empty and dispose of
If you are now thinking about switching from a chemical toilet to an ecological dry separation toilet and still have some unanswered questions, please send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply us a call. We will be happy to advise you!