A urine-diverting toilet is a dry toilet that has bowl at the front for urine and at back bowl for solids. When a person sits on the toilet the urine will flow to the front bowl by default, whilst the solids drop to the back part of the toilet seat.
Thus, the solid toilet waste and liquids are separated from each other already in the seat. This technique helps to keep the toilet odorless and always pleasant to use. Urine-diverting toilets can be used in an outhouse setting or indoors at home. Some models even fit in RVs and boats. There are urine separating toilets with and without electricity. Usually, electricity is used for ventilation. Compared to other electric toilets, the power consumption is low.
Where a urine-diverting toilet fits best?
Most of the human toilet waste is liquid, approximately 80-90%. Consequently, a urine-separating toilet is at its best when there is a good suitable place for all the urine to be used as a fertilizer. Human urine has been proven to be an excellent growth booster for plants, bushes, and trees. In fact, many farmers and gardeners prefer collecting the urine and then using it as fertilizer. This is something you may want to consider, if you have a place where you can reuse all the urine produced daily in your garden.
Thanks to direct separation of feces and urine, urine-diverting toilets do not require any dry material to be added to the toilet, unlike normal compost toilets do. Generally, urine-diverting toilets produce very little solid toilet waste which is particularly good for summer cottages and small holiday homes with limited waste management capacities. Also, should you still have an old-fashioned large bucket in your outhouse, a urine-separating toilet seat can be used to upgrade the system. This would surely make your outhouse less smelly and more pleasant to use.
Are there any limitation for using this kind of a toilet?
Since all urine is being separated directly in the toilet seat, you should prepare to collect about 1-2 liters of urine per adult per day. In case the toilet is used in winter when it is cold, this could cause problems. The urine piping should at least be insulated so that it will not freeze and block the toilet. Also, please consider what to do with all the urine in winter.
Urine-diverting toilets fit well for family use. However, they are not advisable for public or semi-public use, because they may require some instruction and training to be used correctly. Consider for example that men must always sit down to urinate. Therefore, to avoid any misusage of the toilet, we do not recommend urine-separating toilets for example for rented cottages or AirBnBs with changing guests.
For more information about urine-separation and toilet techniques, read our blog post here.