What is a pit latrine toilet?
It is a slightly more complex, and a much more sanitary, comfortable version of the pit toilet. Primitive outdoor toilets have been around for years, with most of the older models being only a pit in the ground covered by molding or steel.
What makes the pit latrine toilet better than the slit-trench design pit toilet that is so common in the developing world?
This design more closely resembles an indoor toilet. It is raised off the ground, and it has a hinged, plastic toilet seat. It also has an in-floor extension that vents gasses away from the center of the unit, and consequently away from the person.
Why is this important?
Waste matter buildup creates noxious gases, foul odors, and works like a magnet for flies and other creepy crawlies.
People that say this does not matter have probably never used the most basic type of pit toilet where sanitation, comfort, and basic human dignity are simply not there.
It takes only one camping trip to convince anyone that a few slight modifications featured in pit latrine toilets are not luxuries, but fundamental amenities to human health, comfort, and dignity.
Are pit latrine toilets more expensive than the hole-in-the ground design?
Yes. Almost anything you buy will likely be more expensive than a plated hole in the ground.
Again, we go back to the basics of human dignity, sanitation, and marginal comfort when we talk about paying more for an improved pit toilet design that works more like the toilets we are accustomed to.
How do you vent an outdoor toilet with no plumbing or sewer system?
The extension base does the venting underground. It is as long as the facility desires. Because it attaches at the base of the unit and extends at an angle up and away from the main toilet bowl center, gases travel away from the center and are trapped underground, along with noxious odors.
Does this really eliminate all odors?
No. This is not a luxury plumbing fixture. However, the pit latrine toilet is much, much more sanitary, and far less offensive to one’s sense of smell, than the pit toilets that were historically used in war torn, developing, and wilderness areas.
The greatest advantage that venting odors offers you is the ability to minimize the presence of insects that are attracted to waste matter. This makes the fixtures far more sanitary than their slit-trench predecessors.
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