The amazing electric toilet. March 15, 2012Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, wit and wisdom.
Tags: camp toilets, composting toilets, electric toilets, Envirolet, incinerating toilets, waterless toilets
Silence Dogood here. Our friend Ben and I were taking a lovely drive through the scenic Oley Valley yesterday and stopped at one of my favorite shops to see what they’d gotten in for spring. Having just downed a SoBe coconut water concoction (which felt pretty slimy, but certainly relieved a dry throat), and knowing we’d be driving through the remote countryside for at least another hour, I asked the proprietor if she had a bathroom. “It’s right in here,” she said.
What a shock! The “bathroom” turned out to be a small closet equipped with an Envirolet electronic toilet, some antibacterial hand wipes, and a trash can for same. Wow!
Needless to say, I forgot all about actually using the facilities in my eagerness to learn more about them. “Is this some kind of composting toilet?”
“No,” the owner replied, “it dries and incinerates the waste. You put one of these paper liners in the bowl like this, turn it on, flush by stepping on this pedal, and that’s it! It makes it possible to have a working toilet anywhere where there’s electricity.”
There was absolutely no odor and, unlike some composting toilets, the bowl was pristine (doubtless thanks to the paper liner). And, also unlike some composting toilets, the shape of the electronic toilet was exactly like a conventional model. I couldn’t wait to get home and check out Envirolet’s website. The way I dragged the startled OFB out of there, you’d have thought I’d suffered an attack of appendicitis.
You see, I’d always wanted to put composting toilets in here at Hawks’ Haven, our cottage home in the precise middle of nowhere, PA. I think of them as the modern equivalent of outhouses. But, lacking a basement, we would be restricted to electric composting toilets rather than those that operated on their own, like compost piles 9or outhouses). And since the whole point is to have a toilet that works even if the power goes out, this would be counterproductive. (Our toilet operates with an electric-powered well, so if the power goes off, we have no running water in the house at all, and have to flush by pouring saved gallon jugs of water into the toilet. It’s surprising how quickly you use those up!)
So, you might ask, if I’m not interested in an electric composting toilet, why was I so interested in this electric toilet? Simple: Our friend Ben and I have a lovely two-storey studio here at Hawk’s Haven. The studio has heat, a/c, and light, but it has no plumbing, a seemingly insurmountable problem. But what if it had an electric toilet? Hmmm.
Alas, maybe I’m just a techno-moron, but I couldn’t find the toilet I’d just seen anywhere on the Envirolet website (www.envirolet.com), though they did show four models of composting toilets. It’s hard to believe that the shop owner mistook the brand of her own toilet, so I must be doing something stupid (shock surprise). No matter, though—the $2,000-plus price range of the Envirolet models I did find makes them all a pipe dream for me and OFB, anyway. Too bad they’ve outlawed outhouses!
‘Til next time,