Evaluation of a smart toilet in an emergency camp

Fiona Zakaria*, Josip Ćurko, Ahmed Muratbegovic, Hector A. Garcia, Christine Maria Hooijmans, Damir Brdjanovic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


An experimental prototype of the eSOS (emergency Sanitation Operation System) Smart Toilet® was evaluated in an emergency settlement in the Philippines. The toilet was equipped with sensors and information communication technologies (ICT) for an efficient operation in an emergency setting. The field testing aimed at evaluating the toilet's service capacity related to the user frequency/intensity obtaining insight on the usage patterns in an actual post emergency situation. In addition, the novel features and functionality of the toilet were assessed. Operational performance of the toilet was assessed based on data collected from nearly 700 users within a 7-weeks period. The eSOS Smart Toilet has been properly operating during the evaluation period. A methodology to distinguish defecation and urination activities was developed based on determining discharges to faeces and urine tank. The toilet achieved up to 97% savings on water consumption compared to conventional toilets. The application of sensors and ICT features, combined with manually obtained data informed comprehensive usages data e.g. 62% of identified users were female users, 40% children, and 60% of the visits were for urination and 40% and for defecation. The accumulation of urine, faeces and grey water was measured to allow for a responsive maintenance resulting in optimized operation and increased interest to use the toilet. The field evaluation generated ideas for further improvements in terms of cost savings, services, and an overall vision for sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-523
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Emergency
  • eSOS Smart Toilet
  • Field-test
  • Operation
  • Usage


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