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Bio-toilets: for cooking, irrigation too

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The Hindu        27.08.2014 

Bio-toilets: for cooking, irrigation too

A bio-toilet at a village in Panapuram panchayatin Salem.— PHOTO: P. GOUTHAM
A bio-toilet at a village in Panapuram panchayatin Salem.— PHOTO: P. GOUTHAM

The first bio-toilet in the district was constructed at a house in Panapuram panchayat in Mecheri block.

Under the Construction of Individual Household Latrine scheme of the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, which aims at sanitation in rural areas, the toilet costs Rs. 11,100.

The Centre’s share was Rs. 5,700, assistance from MGNREGS was Rs. 4,500, and the house owner contributed Rs. 900. The toilet consists a bio-digester having a capacity of 750 litre instead of the septic tank. It is filled with bacteria ‘inoculum’ that has a life of about 50 years. The bacteria decomposes the excreta and releases methane gas, and treated water.

The biogas can be used for cooking. The water for irrigation. Chinnathai (45), the house owner, said that no odour emanates from the tank. Officials said that they had simplified a bio toilet developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation to make it efficient, and cost-effective.

The toilet does away with manual disposal of human waste. It prevents the waste from seeping down and contaminating the groundwater.

Many from other States are visiting the place to study the functioning of the toilet. Project Director of District Rural Development Agency V. Ayyappan said after studying the functioning of the toilets for six months, the model would be recommended to the State Rural Development Department for implementing across the State. Currently 30 bio-toilets are being constructed in Edappadi block in the district, he added.