Practical performance and user experience of novel DUAL-Flush vacuum toilets

Todt, Daniel; Bisschops, Iemke; Chatzopoulos, Paraschos; Eekert, Miriam H.A. Van


Vacuum toilets have gained increasing attention in circular urban development projects, because of their marked water saving qualities compared to conventional flush toilets and the increased resource recovery potential for energy in the form of biogas and phosphorous as, e.g., struvite from the resulting concentrated wastewater. A further reduction of the flushing volume of vacuum toilets would also bring nitrogen recovery options in reach. In the framework of the EU Horizon 2020 project Run4Life, a novel dual-flush vacuum toilet was developed and tested at two sites and combined with an analysis of the flushing patterns and a qualitative user survey. The results show that a 25–50% lower flushing water consumption and accordingly 1.5–2 times higher nutrient concentrations are achievable with this novel type of vacuum toilet. The usage frequency of the dual flush feature was higher in residential homes than in an office building, which also had urinals installed at the men toilets. A notable fraction of toilet visits in which the toilet was flushed twice as well as user feedback on dissatisfactory cleaning effects suggest that the applied reduction in water use is most likely the upper limit of what can be achieved in this type of toilet.