Vault toilets are among the best waterless sanitation structures that you probably have seen in public areas. The best thing about this toilet structure is it uses no water and has minute effects on environmental pollution. Plus, you would be amazed to know that it uses far less energy compared to standard toilets.
Once appropriately built, these toilets can be convenient sanitation structures with properly vented facilities. That means you won’t sense the odor and use these facilities properly.
Even though these sanitation facilities are easy to build, they are more challenging to manage the collected waste unless they have access to a proper waste removal company. So, let us focus on the details of this unique sanitation facility.
What Is A Vault Toilet?
Vault toilets are among the most economical sanitation facilities that don’t use flushing or water for controlling waste. A vault toilet features a well-structured and airtight underground tank for collecting waste. The waste removal duty is assigned to the company to regulate the sanitation facility properly.
Vault refers to underground tanks used to collect waste material where they don’t have access to water like recreational areas, parks, campgrounds, and public spots. The ADA approved these structures and was designed by the U.S. Forest service to decrease the need for standard toilets in public areas.
The best thing about Vault toilets is that they are pretty easy to build and can be made from various sturdy materials like wooden frames, reinforced concrete, plastic and polyethene. Plus, they are less prone to produce pollution considering the material used for constructing these spaces for sanitation.
Even though these sanitation structures are durable, you can easily transport them from one place to another. You might also find other waterless sanitation structures like bag toilets, pit toilets, and composting toilets.
What Is The Difference Between Vault Toilets And Pit Latrines?
Even though both pit latrines and vault toilets use similar terminology, which makes them confusing for people to understand. So, you will find these sanitation structures near remote residential and campgrounds as they don’t require water for cleaning or pushing the flush button.
Pit latrines come with different workings where you have to squat over the pit hole to use it properly. The soil beneath the pit latrine will absorb every waste material, which makes it convenient for people to use it. However, there are other models too where it comes integrated with roofs and benches.
That means the modern designs are convenient as compared to other sanitation structures. Unlike underground vault toilets, a pit latrine mainly focuses on accumulating the waste, which the soil can naturally absorb. A pit latrine is more economical and convenient compared to Vault toilets as it requires less maintenance, is easy to use, and is cheaper to build.
However, there is one downside of this sanitation system that it will attract flies, which will make it more prone to diseases and germs. That’s why people often Vault toilets with a comfortable and durable design to ensure utmost functionality. So, to help you understand, we have curated a list of advantages and disadvantages of using a Vault toilet.
Advantages Of Vault Toilets
Despite their easy to construct and sleek design, Vault toilets are also known for their following advantages.
✔ Affordable And Easy To Maintain
One of the best things about Vault toilets is that they are easy to construct and affordable compared to other waterless sanitation facilities. That means you can use these structures to provide a better place for managing nature’s call. However, you do have to care about one thing: you must keep them clean regularly.
Even though Vault toilets are designed for unisex, it features a single unit as they are self-contained. That means one person at a time can use this facility, which will provide you utmost privacy.
As mentioned above, you can construct them whenever and wherever you want, especially in places like recreational centres and parks. That means you won’t have to run back and use the toilet.
You all know that scarcity of water has led to the generation of this idea of vault toilets. These waterless facilities don’t require water or flush as they have access to a water removal company for cleaning the tanks.
With no water connections, it becomes even more convenient and easy for builders to construct these Vault toilets, which further reduces the cost of running water. Even though these toilets are made of durable material, you can still install them anywhere at a minimal cost compared to standard toilets.
✔ Additional Features
Modern Vault toilets are even integrated with battery-powered lights that you can use during the dark. Plus, you will also have access to disinfectants for sanitizing the toilet after every use.
These durable and lasting Vault toilets are made of thick plastic, which makes it convenient for you to move them from one place to another. It means you can use them in multiple locations regardless of their shape and size. Not to mention, this type of toilet is also recommended while organising events in a remote place.
Disadvantages Of Vault Toilets
You all know that everything comes with a fair share of pros and cons, and Vault toilets are not an exception.
⛌ Challenging To Handle Waste
People often ignore the importance of keeping these facilities upto the mark and throw garbage inside these vaults. Not only will it block the vault, but it will also cause problems for waste removal companies as getting rid of garbage is quite a challenging task. So, it is better to provide stern warning signs to prevent this from happening.
These Vault toilets are especially assumed to work under proper sunlight conditions as they need heat to get rid of unpleasant odor and make them readily available for other people.
That means vaults installed in crowded places won’t have access to sunlight or a place filled with tall trees, which causes the odor to spread and make you feel uncomfortable while using it.
⛌ False Ventilation System
If the ventilation system is not working up to the mark, it will spread the odor and cause inconvenience to all users.
How Does A Vault Toilet Work?
If you look at the design of Vault toilets, it mainly contains a typical structure with two parts. The upper part features a booth design where you can comfortably sit, while the lower design features a vault dug inside the ground. Not to mention, these toilets are specially designed for unisex and can be constructed in a small period.
Usually, each vault will have a minimum capacity of 1000-13000 gallons depending upon the population in a particular area. For constructing a Vault toilet, the company will measure the vault shape and size before digging the ground and ensure that it can easily accommodate the size of a vault.
To ensure better waste flow, these toilets are specially designed on a slope to provide a better flow. When integrated with the slab, it will be connected to the vent pipe. Remember, the slabs are the top part of Vault toilets, which is then covered by another slab at the top.
Once these facilities are full, the services issued by a municipal council or other services will clean and manage the collected waste. Depending upon the usage and size of the tank, each vault is emptied or managed by the authorised parties. That means you will notice that these vault toilets are emptied after every week or two.
However, sometimes you may experience a bad odor, which is caused due to various factors. So, it is essential to consider preventative measures to make it convenient for you to live in a healthy environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are Vault Toilets Smelly?
You may not experience or sense any bad odor when vault toilets are properly vented as the wind can carry away the smell. However, if these toilets are not vented properly, then you might smell a bad odor.
- What Is The Difference Between A Porta-Potty And A Vault Toilet?
You all know that vault toilets are waterless and require no flushing, while porta-potties are categorized under flush toilets similar to American standards.
- Can You Flush In Vault Toilets?
No, you cannot flush in vault toilets as these are specially designed to work without water. The underground tank will hold the water until the waste removal company empties the vault.
- What Is The Difference Between A Vault Toilet And A Pit Toilet?
Vault toilets use a tank to collect the waste while the pit latrine will collect and the soil will absorb the waste. A pit latrine is quite hard to fill as the soil naturally absorbs it.
Vault toilets are the best-suited sanitation structures for conserving water and saving money, especially in areas where there is no access to sewer lines and piped water. The legislation has also ensured that the design and use are controlled to prevent any environmental abuse. That means vault toilets are likely to stay for longer durations.