Eppivent Story

A story of one family who chose the Eppivent toilet

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“Eppivent Saves The Day!” By Jerry Dean Epps, Ph. D.

Eleven year old George was happy to be with his friends.  It was a crisp early Spring morning.  Everyone gave all they had to be the best in the game.  It was a great morning for playing with the ball!  He kept ignoring the body urges he felt.  He was having so much fun.  He would go in a few minutes, but right now he wanted to get in another kick of that ball.  

But of a sudden he knew he couldn’t ignore the urges any longer!  He dashed to the house to use the new Eppivent toilet.  He almost waited too long.  Whew!  Close call.  

At first he was embarrassed, but then, afterwards, Grandma said:  

“It’s natural for a human body to eliminate waste.  It is one of the Creator’s gifts.  Its natural just like the Creator’s other gifts for our bodies.”

“What other gifts?” George asked.

“Well,” said Grandma,  “Other gifts like sweating, sleeping, drinking and eating.  They are all natural body functions, aren’t they?  Well, so is eliminating body waste.  That’s why we call it ‘waste’—because it is left over material the body doesn’t need anymore.”  

Then she added.  “Often we say “to go”, rather than use the bigger phrase “to eliminate body waste.”

“I’m glad we have the new Eppivent toilet in the little room.  When I have to go, I like to do it in private.” George said.

“You are not alone,” Grandpa said.  “Everyone likes privacy when they go.”
“It’s a wonder that it doesn’t smell bad in that little room.   Hard to believe, but it smells ok in there.  My teacher says that in addition to no bad smells, the Eppivent saves fresh water too—lots of water!”  George said.

“That is very important” Grandma said.  “Some people don’t seem to notice that fresh water supplies have really gone down.  Of the fresh water that was available to people, only ½ of 1 % is left!  We could see major water shortages.”  She thought a minute.  

“They probably don’t even think of it, but flush toilet users are doing a crazy thing.  Just think of it!  The flush toilet is like a machine for turning fresh water into sewage!  Crazy!  One person, flushing, can turn 10,000 liters of fresh water into sewage in a year!  Why would a world facing water shortages and water rationing even allow these sewage creating machines called flush toilets?!  It really upsets me—it makes no sense.”

After a moment of quiet, George went on.  “Yes, the Eppivent saves all that fresh water, but there’s the disease part too.  My teacher said when more people have sanitary toilets, like the Eppivent, deaths from Cholera will go way down.”

“That will be great!” Grandpa said.  “When I was young and no one had sanitary toilets, cholera was all over the place.  It’s better now, but there still is a lot of it around.  I wish cholera deaths would go away all together.  I just hate it that we have 5 million deaths, mostly children, each year from contaminated water!”

“It’s because of the pit toilets, and especially the bush squatting.  And it’s dumping sewage into rivers and lakes—that’s why disease still spreads!” said Grandma, “It’s easy for us.  Our Eppivent always smells nice, and except for a little cleaning, it needs no care.  It gets rid of the waste on its own—there’s no work for us to do.  We have it really easy now.  I wish every family would get one.”  

“I know,” said Grandpa, “Maybe that day will come.  The government is educating people a lot more about how diseases spread by using the bush to go.   It’s not just cholera, but dysentery and typhoid too—and a lot of other diseases.  Lucky for us, the Eppivent is a sound sanitation system.  It doesn’t spread any of those diseases.”

George had a question.  “But how about the dark water that comes out at the end—you know, when the Eppivent is finished with it?”  

Grandma was quick to answer.  “Don’t worry George, when the Eppivent is done with it, what little water that comes out the end pipe doesn’t have any of the stuff that makes disease.  We say it is pathogen free.”

Then she went on.  “People use the bush to go, and the pathogens caused by their waste lying around end up in our underground water supply.  The same is true of pit toilets.”

“There are other types of sanitary toilets,” Grandpa said.  “But we don’t have electricity or running water, so the free-standing Eppivent is perfect for us.  The good thing is, unlike ordinary flush toilets, it preserves our fresh water for drinking, cooking and bathing.”  Then he grinned, “You might say, getting it was an Eppivent event for us!”

“The Eppivent flushes,” George threw in.  But he knew it was an internal flush and didn’t use their precious fresh water.  “I’m glad it gets the waste out of sight.  I hate it when I smell or see waste out in the bush.  I wish they had a flush out there!  Pit toilets don’t smell or look so good either!”  

“Right you are, my boy!” Grandpa said, smiling with approval.  “And with the Eppivent, we don’t have to bother with composting our body waste.  I suspect we are all glad we don’t have to carry the bucket outside, dump it, cover everything up with sawdust and store it for a year waiting for it to turn into fertilizer.  Yes, I for one am very glad we choose the Eppivent, which is an anaerobic digester toilet, and not a compost toilet!”  He obviously was proud of their decision.

“I agree with you,” Grandma said to Grandpa.  “I know some folks like their compost toilets.  But I don’t think I would like all the work required to compost it.  I agree, it’s good we chose the Eppivent toilet!”  And now it was her turn to grin, “You are right Grandpa; it was an epic event for us.”

They all laughed.

“OK, I’ve got work to do,” said Grandpa heading toward the door.  He stopped long enough to give his grandson a quick hug.

“And I need to finish my work too,” said Grandma.  

George gave her a hug, and then went out to look for his friends.  He was smiling.  It felt good to know that his neighborhood, even the world, was getting healthier every time someone bought an Eppivent toilet.  

“Offering the Eppivent to the world is indeed an epic event!” he mused to himself.  Then he chuckled again.  He was amused at his own clever play on words.

About the author:
Dr. Jerry Epps lives in Marietta, Georgia, USA and is co-partners with Mr. John Hunter-Hardy, Francistown, Botswana, in the business of selling and promoting the Eppivent toilet. Mr. Hunter-Hardy is the inventor of the Gendarme toilet—a self-flush anaerobic toilet that uses no fresh drinking water, which is the forerunner of the odor free latest model, the Eppivent. Dr. Epps’ website: www.teachdemocracy.org and Mr. Hunter-Hardy’s website: www.gendarme.co.za