Sanitary Evolution – Launch of Waterless Urinal System at Osizweni Primary School

MegChem not only strives for engineering excellence, but also to uplift and empower the local community. Such upliftment can only bear fruit if coupled with projects that can lead to sustainability.

Understanding our country’s resource limitations and the people’s need, in conjunction with identifying the opportunities created by new innovative technology, led us to invest in ground breaking pilot facilities.

South Africa is a water scarce country, and there are numerous rural schools that do not have access to running water and sanitation facilities. Pit latrines used in rural areas pose a safety risk to children.

In response to this, MegChem in partnership with Liquid Gold, has installed the first gender neutral waterless urinal container system at the Osizweni Primary School in Embalenhle. A study done by the WRC indicates that 79% of girls that tried the urinals had a good experience.

The benefits of this system include:

  • No water required
  • 4 – 9 litres of water saved per flush when substituting normal toilets with this facility.
  • No water loss through leaking toilets.
  • Very little maintenance required compared to a normal toilet bowl.
  • Less chemical use for cleaning.
  • No existing infrastructure required.
  • Instant infrastructure capacity via the placement of the container.
  • Drastic reduction in infrastructure cost.
  • Reduction of load to waste water treatment facilities.

The collected urine is used to produce slow Nitrogen releasing fertilizer, which can then either be used by the school in their vegetable gardens, or can be used for local farming.

This pilot facility will enable data gathering to determine a funding model for other applications.  Not only will these facilities reduce the demand for clean flushing water, but the urine that is collected will be processed and converted into fertilizer, meaning that the nutrient value will be recovered from the waste.  The fertilizer can then be applied to school vegetable gardens or local farming ensure sustainable farming.

The opening ceremony of the project was attended by Ms Thandi Ngxonono, executive mayor of Govan Mbeki Municipality, and the principals of various eMbalenhle primary schools.  After the ribbon cutting, attendees were given the opportunity to have a look at the urinal system.