The Austrian design studio EOOS, together with Eawag and LAUFEN, have developed a pioneering urine-diverting toilet that revolutionizes the user interface for sustainable urban water management. save! is an evolution of the pioneering Blue Diversion Toilet, which was developed by EOOS and Eawag and supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Human urine contains approximately 95% of water.
Urine has high concentrations of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). These are valuable nutrients used particularly in agriculture, for the production of fertilizers. In times of increasingly scarce resources and dwindling raw materials, it is well worth considering urine as a source of phosphorus.
There are many more possible uses for this often spurned liquid gold. British scientists, for example, were able to generate electricity with the help of the bacteria contained in the urine. Although the amount of electricity generated is low, it is still enough to power a mobile phone, for instance. Urine is traditionally used in crafts to tan leather, sometimes as a household cleaning agent. And, of course, there is – albeit not undisputed – the use in human and veterinary medicine.
Decisive is not to allow the potential use of urine to go wasted in the sewage system. Urine isn’t a problem that ought to be discarded as quickly as possible. Urine is a valuable resource.
Now, Eoos has devised a pioneering urine separation toilet that takes a step towards sustainable wastewater management by preserving the nutrients contained in urine and at the same time protecting the environment from harmful substances.
It is the first gravity flushed urine-diverting toilet to meet the latest industry standards of conventional toilets. It passively separates urine from solids and flush water so it can be treated using systems such as a fast, simple and organic wastewater management process developed by Vuna GmbH.
The product’s key innovation is a “Urine Trap” invented by EOOS Design, which directs urine towards a concealed outlet using only surface tension.
LAUFEN applied this concept to a new toilet design featuring a ceramic bowl that is optimally shaped to guide the water flow. The interface’s easy maintenance, low-tech, hidden innovation ensures it is indistinguishable from any other high-end WC.
Thanks to the perfect, almost imperceptible integration of the technology into the ceramic body, the WC achieves an elegant aesthetic and can therefore be integrated into sophisticated bathroom designs without any compromises.
This first urine separation toilet meets all industry standards. Rimless and wall-mounted, “save!” means having to compromise neither on comfort nor on hygiene. It represents a new format for a familiar product that is business-ready and could play a key role in the future of wastewater management.
“Wastewater management is vital if we are to prevent catastrophic damage to the world’s rivers and oceans. save! represents a breakthrough in the quest for effective, hygienic wastewater separation that is invisible to the end-user. Finally, there is a sanitation solution.”Professor Tove Larsen from Eawag’s Department for Urban Water Management
Designers: EOOS Design GmbH
Collaborators: Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology)
Manufacturer: Keramik Laufen AG