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Toilet talk

mheredgemheredge TeacherHere and therePosts: 36,662 mod
A rare 12th-century toilet seat built to accommodate three users at once has been found in London and is to go on display at the Museum of London Docklands. This nine hundred year old seat belonged to the family Helle: a capmaker called John de Flete and his wife, Cassandra. “So what I love about this is that we know the names of the people whose bottoms probably sat on it,” said Kate Sumnall, the curator of archaeology for the exhibition. Read about it here



What is the most unusual toilet you have seen? I remember the toilet at my French grandfather's smallholding that was in the middle of a field. It looked like this:



Then of course these kinds of toilets are most common in Asia, even if they seem to have disappeared in Europe. They are much easier to keep clean and healthier to use too.


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Comments

  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    A probably most ancient toilet found (late Bronze age, excavation in Chebarkul-3, South Urals):

  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    And what age do you think this one is?

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,662 mod
    What a beautiful throne @Practical_Severard. At a guess, 18th century?

    Looking at the bronze age loo, it is surprising how little has changed in many rural areas.

    Of course it is a far cry from the sophistication of the toilets that I guess @Yellowtail and @Shiny03 are used to.

  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 14
    mheredge said:

    What a beautiful throne @Practical_Severard. At a guess, 18th century?

    Nope. it's modern, a Herbeau's "Dagobert Toilet Throne" is yours for just $10000.
    Or less, since the manufacturer is based in Lille, France. I think they can easily ship to Nice. When the lid is open a music box is playing the song "Le bon roi Dagobert" which tells the story of the king arriving late for an important council with his trousers on inside out. More here http://www.herbeau.com/5501.html
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 15
    This is the International Space Station's toilet for no gravity conditions:

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,662 mod
    Good grief @Practical_Severard. Is there much of a market for these? Or is it mainly a Russian clientele?

    The space station bog certainly makes Japanese ones look crude in comparison.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 15
    mheredge said:

    Good grief @Practical_Severard. Is there much of a market for these? Or is it mainly a Russian clientele?

    I have no idea. It's available here indeed, but they charge the double price. I think we do have too many people ready to splash out the price of a decent car on a toilet, though I'm not acquainted to them. The manufacturer says Tina Turner and Boris Becker have purchased it "among others".
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,662 mod
    I guess that there are Russians with money to burn @Practical_Severard. Only today I saw that after Thailand, Russia seems to have one of the greatest disparities in wealth (the article was about Medellin and Colombia).

    I guess it's the sort of thing that 'nouveau riche' go for, to impress their friends.




    A far cry from the toilets I was photographing a few weeks ago on my travels in Nepal!




    Typical toilet in Nepal
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 8,929 mod

    This is the International Space Station's toilet for no gravity conditions:


    That looks very complicated, and I don't think I would like to use a toilet if it was that difficult!
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 822 ✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge
    The most ridiculous part of the Japanese high-tech toilet is the "flushing sound" button. Why do you think it embarrassing that you make the sound when you pee?

    @Practical_Severard
    Urinating in no gravity conditions must be nightmare!
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:


    I guess it's the sort of thing that 'nouveau riche' go for, to impress their friends.

    Yep. We have a lot of bent officials who've made fortunes without hard work or talent, especially in the first decades after the USSR's breakup.
    mheredge said:


    A far cry from the toilets I was photographing a few weeks ago on my travels in Nepal!

    Interesting. A squat toilet useable with regular plumbing, but no overhead cystern and that vessel for, obviously, flushing. There must be a cesspit below.


    That looks very complicated, and I don't think I would like to use a toilet if it was that difficult!

    Well, you'd need to have made it to the ISS to face this problem.

    @mheredge
    The most ridiculous part of the Japanese high-tech toilet is the "flushing sound" button. Why do you think it embarrassing that you make the sound when you pee?

    I've read that Japanese girls are brought up to feel embarrassed of the sound. It's probably the local variant of the "girls poop butterflies" thing.

    @mheredge
    Urinating in no gravity conditions must be nightmare!

    Yes, liquids in no gravity are floating bubbles as they said in school. Therefore there's the sucking system. And, if I'm not mistaken, the ship processes the waste maintaining a close system in this way.

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,662 mod
    Cesspits seem to be the norm @Practical_Severard. I find most toilets with cisterns invariable leak and so far plumbing is not the most common skill-set in Nepal yet.

    @Yellowtail a friend told me about a woman who gets so embarrassed when anyone even hears her flush the toilet, making her a total nightmare to stay with. How anal can you get?

    @GemmaRowlands I played around with the buttons one time, but you don't have to use them if you don't want to. You play music on some of them I think.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 8,929 mod
    Well, you'd need to have made it to the ISS to face this problem

    That's very true, and considering how unlikely that is, I suppose that I won't ever have to worry about it.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,662 mod
    Did you know that 19 November is World Toilet Day and was declared an official UN day in 2013?



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Toilet_Day
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 19
    mheredge said:

    Cesspits seem to be the norm @Practical_Severard. I find most toilets with cisterns invariable leak and so far plumbing is not the most common skill-set in Nepal yet.

    Nepal seems to be able to benefit much from the handbook by the Bremen's Oversears Research and Development Association "Decentyralised Wastewater Treatment in Developing coubtries" which provides recipes and simple engineering tools for non-motorised wastewater treatment structures, which open access to municipal sewage system at a relatively low price. They aren't so effective in terms of treatment quality as those used in the richer countries, but they can provide a very significant improvement. No special skills are needed apart from doing the concrete jobs, masonry, digging and farming. Does your charity do anything on the public sanitation in Nepal?

    It's interesting enough that in New Mexico, USA 2-3% of the population use privies like your French grandfather did on the field.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,662 mod
    The closest my charity came was to help arrange for toilets to be built at the school where it pays some teachers' salaries @Practical_Severard.

    This is how they looked in 2008 after they were built. All I did was flag the need for more than one toilet for the 500 students at the school to a Nepali NGO that then managed to get hold of some funding from the UK government of all people! I have to say, I was very impressed. Again, a cesspit, but there's running water in each that comes from a spring further up the hillside.



    As far as I am aware, there is only one sewage treatment plant in the whole country, a very small one in Kathmandu that is next to one of the World Heritage sites, Pashnupatinath where the funeral ghats are found.

    This article is five years old but nothing has changed.

    http://archive.nepalitimes.com/article/nation/The-sewage-canal,1161

    My friend is in this picture. He tries each year to organise a cleanup along the banks of the river but every year it seems to be getting worse.



    http://archive.nepalitimes.com/news.php?id=17329#.XGv1jaJKjIU (2010 article).
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:


    As far as I am aware, there is only one sewage treatment plant in the whole country, a very small one in Kathmandu...

    Do they have septic tanks and soaking fields then?

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,662 mod
    I think so @Practical_Severard. It looks like the sort I'm familiar with in the UK, though I have only looked down at it from a distance and it's not large. I tried to find a photo but couldn't find anything. It is the only one in the country though. Nepal is still struggling to persuade people to no just go anywhere they please and increasingly you can see open defecation free zone signs popping up all over the place.

    This is a recent story about how it isn't working.

    https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/bajuras-open-defecation-free-zone-status-limited-only-to-paper/

    It seems that all this talk is crap, (excuse the pun) as no one is taking it very seriously in the rural areas.


  • Ahmed_haqAhmed_haq Posts: 21 ✭✭
    In the past, there were neither toilets nor sewage systems in rural and deserted areas. A few people in rural areas used to have a private toilet in their houses. However, the majority did not have. They used to go outdoors in order to defecate or urinate. In rural areas, open-air toilets were close to rivers, and people used water to wash their bodies. In desert regions, people used to respond to the call of nature in emptiness or in abandoned houses, and they used stones to disposal remained waste.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 20
    Ahmed_haq said:

    In the past, there were neither toilets nor sewage systems in rural and deserted areas. A few people in rural areas used to have a private toilet in their houses. However, the majority did not have. They used to go outdoors in order to defecate or urinate. In rural areas, open-air toilets were close to rivers, and people used water to wash their bodies. In desert regions, people used to respond to the call of nature in emptiness or in abandoned houses, and they used stones to disposal remained waste.

    Did they use a shovel or a spade in the deserts, @Ahmed_haq? I think the soil there is sandy and easy to be dug.
    Post edited by Practical_Severard on
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:

    I think so @Practical_Severard. It looks like the sort I'm familiar with in the UK, though I have only looked down at it from a distance and it's not large.

    I'm not sure we're speaking about the same thing. I mean the system which diagram is below:

    This is a one house scale system and it's used mainly in rural areas, including in the UK, where there's no a sewage pipeline network. But it can service several houses as well.
    The septic tanks need to be regularly emptied of the solids and grease and lorried to special facilities typically maintained by councils.
  • TeachTeach Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,845 mod
    Have you heard of grey water? I would love to install a grey water system, but we are not allowed to (health and safety). I would have to move to a remote community to be able to do it.

    Friends of ours have this system in place. In the past they also used a natural spring for their drinking water, but their spring was tested and found to be contaminated. Now they are on the grid.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,662 mod
    In Kathmandu I know quite a few places where simple grey water systems are used, from collecting rain water to use in the garden to collecting water from the sink that can be used in a similar way. I very much doubt that there any health and safety regulations over there though, given that there is no potable water supply anywhere yet.

    @Practical_Severard I don't know how often or how they clear the septic tanks only they certainly don't have any lorries come to cart it away. I know that smaller one-toilet systems have a double tank so that after a year this can be cleared and changed, as it takes this long for human excrement to become safe for use as fertilliser in the fields.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 20
    Teach said:

    Have you heard of grey water? I would love to install a grey water system, but we are not allowed to (health and safety). I would have to move to a remote community to be able to do it.

    Friends of ours have this system in place. In the past they also used a natural spring for their drinking water, but their spring was tested and found to be contaminated. Now they are on the grid.

    Yes, I have. Grey water is typically used for watering a garden and it's a really great benefit in arid areas. Another popular use is flushing toilets. It makes sense because as much as 30% of a household's water intake goes for this purpose. But in the both cases you would have to invest in second piping, which isn't cheap and it's best done during a renovation, because your interior gets spoilt in the process.
    Post edited by Practical_Severard on
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:


    This is how they looked in 2008 after they were built. All I did was flag the need for more than one toilet for the 500 students at the school to a Nepali NGO that then managed to get hold of some funding from the UK government of all people! I have to say, I was very impressed. Again, a cesspit, but there's running water in each that comes from a spring further up the hillside.

    A school of this amount of pupils would require two lavatories for the both sexes. The female one would need 13 toilets, the male - 9 and 4 urinals. There are also separate requirements for the gym, the lecture room, if there is any, and the medical facility. The staff would be entitled for several one-place toilets. Though, I can't assure that all the schools here have all of these, though the ones in the cities usually approach this standard.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 8,929 mod
    mheredge said:

    Did you know that 19 November is World Toilet Day and was declared an official UN day in 2013?



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Toilet_Day

    It seems like an unusual thing to celebrate at first glance, but then when you think about how much it has improved hygiene it becomes much more understandable.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,662 mod
    @Practical_Severard we are talking about Nepal village schools here! They were one up on the neighbouring school having one toilet for 500 students. (The teachers also had one which they kept locked up so students could not use it). The neighbouring school had no toilets at this time, claiming that a shortage of water made it difficult. I kicked up a fuss and a way was found to pipe some water to the school and some toilets were eventually built there. My only role was to be the shocked foreigner trying to raise awareness of a problem, as there was very little else I could do, not having enough funds to build the toilets myself.

    The secondary school where those nice toilets were built is lucky to have five toilets for the students, as most schools are lucky if they have two: one for girls and one for boys.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 1,538 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 20
    mheredge said:

    @Practical_Severard we are talking about Nepal village schools here!

    Well, ok then.
    mheredge said:


    The neighbouring school had no toilets at this time, claiming that a shortage of water made it difficult.

    Could they use a dry technology? Lots of solutions are catalogued on this site especially the fossa-alterna
    . It can be done with local labour while the water could be taken with buckets as they do it now, I think.



  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,662 mod
    The only dry technology they seemed to use @Practical_Severard, was to use stones to wipe their bottom, which of course blocked up the toilet immediately! Worse still, I was told that the teachers were as bad as the children doing this. I must say I was very surprised anyone could be so dumb, but I suppose if you never use a toilet at home...
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 36,662 mod
    Shitting bricks is vulgar slang for being extremely nervous or frightened.

    This article is about bricks from shit.

    https://truththeory.com/2019/02/03/scientists-discover-how-to-make-bricks-out-of-human-waste/


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