U.S. and Canadian military forces may follow the Australian and United Nations´ lead by using a Tasmanian firm´s in-field, portable PVC toilets.
George Town, Australia-based Tasmanian Environmental Solutions Pty. Ltd. created the PVC toilets, named BIPUs, and already have supplied 150 to Australian and U.N. troops in Dili, East Timor.
Mike Turner, TES international director, said the BIPUs, or bioremediation in-field personnel units, already have been exported to New Zealand, South Africa and Uganda. North American forces still were inquiring, he said.
BIPUs are similar to septic tanks in that they naturally decompose sewerage. BIPUs pass the sewerage through a series of trenches and lined PVC chambers installed underground.
Using PVC means the chambers can be folded and transported flat, Turner said. The units took almost a year to create, from design to approval. The Tasmanian government approved BIPUs for use last September. They can be used for field hospitals and farm, residential, community, remote forestry, sporting, humanitarian and tourism facilities.
Each BIPU costs A$3,000 (US$1,721), including installation.
The units helped stop the spread of a cholera epidemic in Uganda in 1998 which killed 127 children. BIPUs replaced defective pit toilets which flooded after heavy rainfall, causing the disease outbreak.
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