correction about toilets

I wrote last month about the Gates Foundation’s competition to design a new toilet, and I mentioned that Eawag declined the chance to compete.  That was completely wrong.  Eawag did compete, and their design won the award for best user interface.  Congrats to team leader Tove Larsen.  I have to say, the schematic of their squat toilet looks a lot more likely to be accepted in parts of the world like southern Asia, where I have observed the ubiquity of squat toilets.  Their design also minimizes water throughput.

That said, the winning design from Caltech is impressive in other ways.  It is big and fancy and space-age.  It fits that the design was first produced for NASA.  But astronauts don’t make up the bulk of the population that needs access to toilets.  So it will be interesting to see who “wins” the implementation phase of the competition.

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