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The Amazing ELOO Toilet

“Eloo” Preserves the Gift of Clean Water

By Byron Belzak


Newly introduced to the United States, the award-winning Enviro Loo (“Eloo”) waterless dehydration/evaporation toilet system may be the best solution to treat human waste in mountain retreats, remote cabins and recreation areas, because it is self-contained, relatively affordable and, most importantly, does not pollute drinking water.




Since its introduction in 1993 in Africa, the Enviro Loo, nicknamed “Eloo” – which is manufactured by Enviro Options (Pty) Ltd., a South African company – has revolutionized human waste sanitation systems in some of the driest and most undeveloped countries in the world. But even industrialized countries are beginning to get their minds around this most unusual solution that is nothing like typical water-based septic systems or chemical portable toilets.


Clean Up America, Inc., based in Tulsa, Okla., is the sole distributor of the Eloo in the United States. Although only a handful of the thousands of Ello toilets in operation are located in the U.S., Clean Up America (CUA) is looking to change all of that. It intends to attract American consumers, as well as sign up new distributors, installers, representatives and investors throughout the country.


You might say Eloo in America is a ground floor opportunity for anyone looking for a greener way to build and live – or maybe even make a living.  




Eloo is like nothing that most people have seen or heard. In fact, building code officials are having difficulty in trying to figure out what to call it or how to fit it into their traditional building codes, explained Clean Up America vice president Ted Knight. He confirmed that the State of Virginia recently issued a green light to Eloo.


The Virginia Division of Onsite Sewage and Water Services has issued a directive to local public officials to allow the Enviro Loo (Eloo) Privy, Model #2040, to be used “in any situation where a vault privy may be permitted.”


Obviously, it will take a while for all of the 3,147 counties in the United States to figure out how they, too, will classify and permit a most remarkable toilet system that does not use water or chemicals; does not require electricity or power of any sort; has no odor and breeds no flies; has zero discharge; typically requires no dumping and no pumping. Even during flooding, the manufacturer claims that no effluent will flow out of the Eloo.




John Voelcker recently included the Eloo in his noteworthy article, entitled "Creating Social Change: 10 Innovative Technologies," which was published in the Summer 2006 issue of the Sanford Graduate School of Business publication “Sanford Social Innovation Review.”


He well explains how the system works: “The sealed dehydration/evaporation system drains liquids into a tap below the solid-waste drying plate. As the liquids evaporate, the solid wastes are subjected to enough radiant heat and ventilation to evaporate their liquid content and dehydrate the rest. Aerobic bacteria then convert the solid waste into a dry, compost-like material that has 10 percent or less of its original mass.”




Ted Knight of CUA said the Enviro Loo (“Eloo”) is a waterless, zero-discharge onsite treatment system for human waste. It is new to the United States but has been in use around the world since 1993 with 25,000 units currently in use in Africa, South America, Australia and Greece. Although it works most efficiently in dry climates, it still can work well with possible modification in more wet environments, including the eastern United States.


It has some features of vault toilets, portable potties and composting toilets and is probably closest to the vault toilet.


“But don’t call it a compost toilet,” said Knight. “It’s not.”


Knight understands the details better than most. He said the Eloo is designed to separate solids from liquids, evaporate the liquids and de-water the solids, shrinking them to about 10 percent or less of original mass.  He said the Eloo is shipped unassembled, but that it can easily be assembled. He said that installation can take as little as a few hours and the system typically requires little maintenance.


Furthermore, Voelcker notes in his article: “Because the (Eloo) toilet uses no water or chemicals, it doesn’t contaminate groundwater. And because it doesn’t require electricity, it can be used anywhere. The Enviro Loo (Eloo) is odorless and does not breed flies – a lifesaving spec in areas suffering from insect-borne disease.”


Added Knight: “The Eloo will work where there is no water, where the ground is rocky, on hills and mountains and with elevated or non-elevated structures and on shorelines. It is ideal for cabins, lodges, recreational and rest areas where there is no water for conventional sanitation. It was designed to mitigate sanitation-borne diseases and due to its aerobic system the pathogen levels are extremely low.”


Knight considers the Eloo to be “the next generation in human sanitation.” He proudly noted that on November 9, 2005, Dr. Brian La Trobe, the Eloo inventor and CUA Vice President of R&D, was awarded the prestigious Intel Environmental Award by the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California (www.techawards.org/laureates). 




U.S. distributors (and that might be you someday!) purchase the Eloos from CUA at wholesale prices and are free to mark them up for resale, said Knight. He said the current suggested retail price is $3895. Shipping and installation are additional costs. To receive more poop about the Eloo, Ted Knight welcomes questions (and corny jokes) at (703) 532-2210 or tnight@erols.com. Or visit the website: www.swsloo.com.


Copyright 2006 Mediabear


This article first appeared in print in "The Greener Home" section of the December 2006 issue of Rapid River Magazine.






HOW IT WORKS ACCORDING TO CLEAN UP AMERICA V.P. TED KNIGHT: The Eloo functions as a vault toilet with evaporative exhaust. It has a drop toilet. Solids land on a flapper that is manually operated to throw solids onto a drying tray running the length and width of the polyethylene vault. Liquids drop through to bottom of the unit. Heat from the sun creates lift even on cloudy and cold days, which turns the exhaust turbine sitting on top of the exhaust pipe above roofline. Liquids evaporate. Solids dehydrate and, once shrunk, are removed in the holding bag that hangs inside of unit and is filled little by little from brushing dried solids into it once solids have migrated to the bottom of the tray approximately every six months. Tray is slanted towards access hatch at back end of unit. Hatch can be secured by padlock. Once holding bag is filled solids are removed and disposed of according to code.

USAGE: Depending on climatic conditions, the Eloo will accommodate 15 to 60 uses per day. The liquids evaporate and the dried solids are brushed into holding bag every six months. The bag needs emptying about every two years– that is all that comes out. The liquids in the Eloo evaporate at an average rate of one gallon per day or about 15-20 uses. If overused on some days, the Eloo will catch up on other days. If severely overused the Eloo can be pumped like a portable potty through the access hatch. The separated solids continue drying. Total capacity of unit is 250 gallons. Evaporation of liquids ceases if liquid level rises to 80 gallons, at which point liquid level would be almost touching bottom of drying tray and would be easily visible through the access hatch.

CLIMATIC CONDITIONS: The Eloo functions down to temperatures of about zero, at which point a light skim of ice forms over liquid and solids freeze – a good time to empty solids. This does not harm the unit. When the temperature rises the unit will resume operating. Evaporation rate slows when temperatures drop below freezing and increases when temperatures go above 60 degrees and with windy dry conditions. The Eloo exhaust stack and black exterior draw heat from sun even on cloudy and cold days. This creates lift in the Eloo that turns turbine on top of exhaust vent. Air is drawn in from two white intake pipes and from around toilet seat.  It circulates below and above drying tray and up the exhaust vent. Toilet is a drop toilet made of ceramics or polyethylene. Flapper is far

enough down from toilet that nothing can be seen on flapper in any event unless access hatch is opened to allow light into the unit. Liquids go through and end up at bottom of unit.


INSTALLATION REQUIREMENTS: The Eloo should be placed in a southerly exposure for maximum results. The top of the ventilation turbine should be above the roofline. 


PRICING AND OTHER INFORMATION: Clean Up America is the authorized distributor of Eloos within the United States and Canada. Orders may be placed by email, traditional mail or by calling toll free at: 866-437-0672. For complete information, visit the CUA website at: www.eloo.us


Copyright 2006 Mediabear, all rights reserved to the authors



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