Combining electro-chemical engineering and mobile phone networks, Seva Sustainable Sanitation has created a self-sustaining solar-powered toilet that treats wastewater.

“We wanted to empower local communities in the developing world to be able to repair their own sanitation technologies — to find some way to turn essentially anyone into a maintenance engineer,”

Cody Finke – PhD Student and Co-Founder, SEVA project

The Seva Sustainable Sanitation innovation is a smart, electro-chemical toilet unit, which is suitable for use in off-grid rural areas of developing countries. It can turn toilet wastewater into disinfected water, using the power from its mounted solar panels to sterilize and clarify it. Macronutrients such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus can be nearly fully recovered from the waste, leaving nothing but water that is recycled for flushing or irrigation. The toilet unit is also equipped with sensors, a mobile phone-based maintenance guide, and smart grid technology that empowers anyone in the community to repair the system when necessary. When a toilet is out of order, the technology automatically directs users to other nearby sanitation systems. So far, the solution has been deployed in four countries.

Why you should care

Worldwide, 2.4 billion people lack access to safe and adequate sanitation, resulting in sanitation-related diseases being one of the leading killers of children under the age of five. Additionally, the World Health Organisation estimates that half of the world’s population will be living in water stressed areas by 2025. By delivering an easily repairable sanitation technology that also treats wastewater, Seva Sustainable Sanitation helps solve these problems.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Good health and well-being
By providing toilet facilities that are easily serviceable, the Seva solution could help to reduce water-borne diseases spread by poor sanitation.

Clean water and sanitation
The Seva electrochemical reactor helps produces gray water that can be used for flushing or agriculture, while also combating sanitation issues associated with traditional low-quality toilets.

Seva Sustainable Sanitation

Seva Sustainable Sanitation has engineered an intelligent system that treats black water, providing a sustainable solution for the 4.5 billion people in the world, without access to adequate sanitation.

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Seva Sustainable Sanitation
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Global Goals addressed

Deployed in: South Africa, India, China, USA
Developed in: USA
Stage: Pilot