- Published: 2/11/2011 at 03:01 PM
- Online news:
Floating toilets with wastewater treatment solve one big flood problem, keeping floodwaters safe and clean. Plastic car wraps & steel boats also, now very useful.
FLOODING: Waterproof winners, Innovators focus on products to help people cope by Nareerat Wiriyapong
"An ancient Chinese proverb says "in every crisis, there is an opportunity." This helps to remind people not to lose hope amid hardships.
One innovation that can help people in trying times is a floating toilet designed by Cotto, part of Siam Cement Group (SCG).
Weighing 800 kilogrammes, the floating toilet comprises two rooms, one with a modern toilet and another room with a Thai toilet that is flushed by pouring water in the basin.
The unit is 2.5 metres wide and 3.5 metres long. It is made of plastic and "smart board", a smooth-surface asbestos-free cement board, to make it durable and lightweight.
Tanasak Sakariganon, in the marketing division at Cotto, says this invention differs from conventional floating toilets because the waste is treated with micro-organisms before discharge.
After filling up, a tank fitted underneath the toilet will need to be disposed of at a proper place.
"We designed it the same as toilets at people's homes that need to have residue cleared from time to time," Mr Tanasak said. "We pump the floodwater to be used in the toilet before treating it and releasing it back to nature. This is hygienic.
The two types of toilets are convenient, especially for the elderly, he added.
SCG staff have teamed up with students from the King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok to produce 10 sets of toilets per day at a cost of 60,000 baht each and distribute them to government offices in provinces and tambon administrations for free
After the floods recede, the toilets can be used by the public.
SCG, Thailand's top industrial conglomerate, has also distributed 50,000 "paper toilets" for one-time use, while development of a floating house is under way using ferrocement.
Another popular product is car wrapping plastic made of polyethylene (PE) with either zippers or ropes that are easy to use. Wandee Panich Industry, which normally uses PE from PTT Plc to produce plastics for agricultural uses, changed course to wrap cars in plastic.At six metres wide and nine metres long, the car wrap is 1.50 microns thick and protects against floods up to 1.5 metres high. It costs 900 baht.
"It started with my friend looking for help to move his piano," said Pichai Chooekawong, executive director of Wandee Panich. "I came up with an idea to use plastic snack bags for ease of use."
Mr Pichai said the plastic wraps do not ensure the safety of the car if the flood is higher than the car's height.
"The car has to stay above water. You should put sandbags in the car so it can withstand the strength of the water," he noted.
Car owners have to unplug the battery before wrapping it, he added.
SET-listed Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI), the country's largest hot-rolled coil maker, has come up with a smart steel boat. Made of hot coil with a thickness of 1.2 millimetres, the boat weighs 65 kilogrammes and is 83cm wide and 2.3 metres long.
The boat can carry up to six people with a combined weight of 400 kg. It has two paddles and can be equipped with an engine, said SSI.
The steel boat is coated to be rust-free and glows red and white in the dark. More durable than plastic boats, the steel boat can be used as a bookshelf or cabinet after the floods recede.
(Source: Bangkok Post, FLOODING, Waterproof winners, Innovators focus on products to help people cope, 2/11/2011, Nareerat Wiriyapong, link)
Toilet and Wastewater Disposal Vocabulary
toilet - ห้องน้ำ, ห้องสุขา, ห้องส้วม (See Wikipedia)
Thai toilet - either squat or sitting toilet flushed by pouring water into the bowl of the toilet, not a "flush toilet" as found in US and Europe
flush toilet - a toilet that disposes of human waste by using a flushing mechanism that moves waste and water through a drainpipe to the sewer or septic tank, "flushing mechanisms are found more often on western toilets (used in the sitting position), but many squat toilets also are made for automated flushing. Modern toilets incorporate an 'S','U', 'J', or 'P' shaped bend that causes the water in the toilet bowl to collect and act as a seal against sewer gases" (See Wikipedia)
flush - in a western toilet pulling the handle that clears the water and waste from the toilet bowl into the drainage pipes
a Thai toilet that is flushed by pouring water in the basin
floating toilet - a toilet on a raft or boat, "this toilet is essentially a floating outhouse with one or two collection barrels or tanks below. Most feature urine diversion, dessication or dehydration (UDD) to permit urine to pass. Applications for this type of toilet tend to be in poorer communities located on lakes or rivers or if an area is flooded. The need for this type of toilet is pressing in areas like Cambodia where the World Bank cited in 2008 that nearly 10,000 people died as a result of poor sanitation" (See Wikipedia)
flying toilet - (See Wikipedia)
outhouse - a very small building with a roof, big enough to sit in and "go to the bathroom", with a hole dug under it to catch waste (See Wikipedia)
conventional - usual, ordinary and normal; commonly used, standard way of doing something ตามแบบแผน ธรรมดา
conventional floating toilets - the usual or ordinary kind of floating toilet (with waste passing directly into water without treatment first)
X comprises Y and Z - X has as its parts Y and Z
the floating toilet comprises two rooms - the floating toilet has two rooms
waste - 1. garbage, something thrown away and discarded; 2. something used and no longer needed or wanted; 3. the contents of a toilet when it is flushed การสูญเสียไปโดยเปล่าประโยชน์, การหมดเปลือง (See Wikipedia)
hygienic - clean and not likely to cause illness or disease ถูกสุขอนามัย
wastewater - dirty water water already used by humans; the water leaving homes and factories, after it has been used (See Wikipedia)
wastewater treatment - the special equipment and tanks that treat wastewater making it safe (cleaner, not causing disease), also called "sewage treatment" (See Wikipedia)
micro - very small (cannot see without a microscope)
organism - living thing (plant animal, bacteria)
micro-organisms - very small living things (bacteria, amoeba, etc)
treat waste with micro-organisms - (See Wikipedia on activated sludge treatment process: #1 and #2 and list of wastewater treatment technologies)
discharge - to send out a substance, especially liquid or gas ปล่อยออก, ขับออก
waste is treated with micro-organisms before discharge
tank - a container that water or other liquid can be kept in ถังบรรจุ (น้ำ, ก๊าซ), แท็งก์น้ำ
fit - install (put a piece of equipment in a place and make it ready to use)
tank fitted underneath the toilet
dispose - throw away, discard, get rid of (when finished using)
proper place - the right place, the correct place (not the wrong place)
disposed of at a proper place - thrown away at the right place (so it does not cause disease)
residue - a small amount that remains after most has disappeared
toilets at people's homes that need to have residue cleared from time to time
nature - all the animals, plants, rivers, seas, moutains, not made by people ธรรมชาติ
release - let something leave (go out from a place); set free ปลดปล่อย, ปล่อยตัว
releasing it back to nature
convenient - easy to use; easy to do
elderly - older people, over 65 สูงวัย, อาวุโส, อายุมาก
convenient for the elderly
waterproof - protected from water, cannot be damaged or destroyed by water (does not let water pass through or enter) (See Wikipedia)
invention - creating some new and useful thing or machine (See Wikipedia)
innovation - a new way of doing something นวัตกรรม
innovator (noun) - a person who creates a new and useful way of doing something
trying times - a period of time with many difficulties for people
help people in trying times
focus - to be concerned with and work on one thing ให้ความสำคัญ
cope - deal with a problem, continue to operate and function despite problems (make it manageable) รับมือกับ (See glossary)
innovators focus on products to help people cope
ancient - very old ที่เก่าแก่ ที่โบราณ
proverb - a short sentence with a lot of special meaning in it, popular with people so has existed for a long time (See Wikipedia)
ancient Chinese proverb - (See Wikipedia)
crisis - an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation วิกฤตการณ์, วิกฤต
opportunity - a situation when it is possible to do something that you want to do (See glossary)
in every crisis, there is an opportunity
remind - to make someone think of something they have forgotten or might have forgotten เตือนความจำ
hardships - difficulties in life ความลำบาก
amid hardships - during times when life is difficult
remind people not to lose hope amid hardships.
smooth - not rough; a flat or rounded surface without bumps, lumps or holes เรียบ (example: After the monk's hair was cut off, his head was perfectly smooth.)
surface - the outside of something, covering, exterior ผิวหน้า
asbestos - a grey material that does not burn, used as protection against fire and heat (insulator), the particles can cause lung disease so asbestos has been removed from all buildings in the US and Europe, asbestos was used to make rooves on Thai houses for a long time (See Wikipedia)
asbestos-free - without asbestos (and therefore not presenting any health risks of lung disease)
a smooth-surface asbestos-free cement board
durable - able to stay in good condition for a long time ทนทาน
durable and lightweight.
division - one part of a large organisation
marketing division - marketing department, the part of a company that markets products, works to make customers interested in products and buy products
staff - workers, employees พนักงาน
team up with - join with in doing a project together
SCG staff have teamed up with students from the King Mongkut's University of Technology
distribute - to give something such as food, clothes or money to a group of people แจกจ่าย
distribute them to government offices in provinces
recede - to move back; to move further away into the distance ถอยหลัง
floods recede - when the floodwaters go down; the water goes back to the river
conglomerate - a large company joining together a group of companies with different business activities
industrial conglomerate - a big company that does many different kind of businesses
distributed - made available to customers through stores and middlemen
distributed 50,000 "paper toilets" for one-time use
development - the gradual growth and formation of something
development of a floating house is under way using ferrocement
polyethylene (PE) - (See Wikipedia)
car wrapping plastic made of polyethylene (PE)
zipper - two sets of small metal teeth used to close two pieces of fabric (example: the zipper on jeans) (See Wikipedia)
change course - change what you are doing
Wandee Panich Industry, which normally uses PE from PTT Plc to produce plastics for agricultural uses, changed course to wrap cars in plastic
micron - one-millionth of a metre (1/1000 of a millimetre, or 0.001 mm). Its unit symbol in the International System of Units (SI) is μm, also called a "micrometer" (See Wikipedia)
the car wrap is 1.50 microns thick
came up with an idea - created a new useful idea
ease - to make or become less severe, difficult, unpleasant, painful, etc ทำให้ง่าย บรรเทา
ease of use - easy to use, no difficulties
I came up with an idea to use plastic snack bags for ease of use
ensure - to make certain that something happens or is done รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ ให้การยืนยัน
the plastic wraps do not ensure the safety of the car if the flood is higher than the car's height.
withstand - strong enough not to be destroyed or harmed by a bad event; survive a strong force that could destroy; to be strong enough not to be hurt or damaged by extreme force, extreme conditions, etc. ทนทาน
put sandbags in the car so it can withstand the strength of the water
unplug the battery before wrapping it
hot-rolled coil maker
the steel boat is coated to be rust-free and glows red and white in the dark
About the author
- Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Assistent Manager Educational services