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1. What is an eToilet?

An eToilet is an automated public toilet that has inbuilt cleaning mechanisms unlike conventional public toilets. It is India's First Electronic Public Toilet. eToilet incorporates full cycle approach in sustainable sanitation by integrating convergence of electronics, mechanical, web-mobile technologies thereby controlling entry, usage, cleaning, exit, and remote monitoring capabilities with multiple revenue options.

2. How does it work?

The eToilet works on total auto mode: The insertion of a coin opens the door for the user, switches on the light - thus saving energy - and even directs the user with audio commands. The toilets are programmed to flush 1.5 liters of water if the user takes up to 3 minutes, and 4.5 liters of water if the usage is longer. Automatic floor cleaning can be programmed to clean the platform after every 5 or 10 persons. The eToilet is the result of a convergence of electronics, web and mobile technologies, featuring automated door opening, power flushing, automatic closet washing and sterilization, and automatic platform cleaning mechanism, all backed by SMS alerts to inform the control room about the status of water tank and bio gas plant in the event of any errors or failures through which the downtime can be minimized. The solid and liquid wastes are treated scientifically. The sewage treatment facility in eToilet works on an anaerobic biological treatment solution for the on-site treatment of sewage waste. Connection to existing sewage pits is also provided wherever possible and required.

3. How do the public know if the eToilet is ready to be used?

There are indicative lights in Green and Red to show the usage status of an eToilet. Green indicates that the eToilet is unoccupied and that the user can enter it. Red indicates that the eToilet is currently in use and the next user has to wait till the existing user comes out of the unit and when the light turns Green.

4. What are the usage charges?

The eToilets are operated using a coin validator. A minimal amount of Re1/2 or 5 can be used to enter the unit. This is pre-programmed in the eToilet. An instruction board indicating the denominations accepted in the eToilet will be given on the exterior of the eToilet for public aid.

5. Could the user get stuck inside?

No, the user will not get stuck inside the eToilet. The entry door of the eToilet is just like the normal door. After inserting the coin, the user can open it and lock it from inside. Upon exiting, he can open it and exit to the platform.

6. What to do in case a crisis situation occurs?

An emergency exit door is also provided inside eToilets. In case of any unlikely situation needing external assistance, the user can exit the unit though the emergency door. The user can also contact the Toll-Free Helpline Number displayed inside and outside the eToilet. The Customer Care center of eToilet will respond to the user’s call without delay and will ensure that similar situations are avoided in the future.

7. Are there instructions on how to use eToilet?

eToilet functions just like a normal toilet. For further assistance, an instruction board on how to use the eToilet from entry to exit is explained with the help of images and words on the exterior of the eToilets. The instructions will be provided in English and the native language.

8. Are there separate toilets for men and women?

Yes, there are separate toilets for men and women. In places where such units are installed, the units are differentiated using the male & female signage for toilets.

Also, a new model of eToilets named as “She Toilets” specifically designed for women is available in several locations in Kerala. Such eToilets have standard Violet color exteriors and have the indication of “She Toilets” written on the entrance of the toilet. These She Toilets have several women-friendly features such as Sanitary Napkin Incinerator, Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine etc.

9. What are the facilities provided inside eToilets?

eToilets have lights and fan, hand pipe, cloth hanger, wash basin, FM Radio facility and exhaust fan. Emergency exit door is also provided inside eToilets. Flush button is also provided inside the eToilet for the user. In case, the user forgets to flush, the eToilet is programmed to execute automatic flushing system. Automatic Platform cleaning mechanism is also programmed to ensure that the eToilets are always clean. She Toilets are equipped with Sanitary Napkin Incinerator, Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine, wash basin, mirror, cloth hanger, lights and fan, hand pipe, FM Radio facility and exhaust fan. Emergency exit door is also provided.

10. What happens if there is no power/ water?

In case of a power failure, eToilets are equipped with UPS back up of upto 2 hours. Even if a person is using the eToilet during the power failure, he will not experience any difficulty in using the eToilet and exiting it. When the UPS power also fails, the system will automatically go into shut down mode and will stop accepting coins thus restricting entry of users.

The eToilet has a water tank of 225 liters and since the eToilet uses very minimal water for cleaning and flushing purposes, water shortage will not be a problem. But in case of a non-availability of water, the system will shut down and restrict users from entering the unit.

11. How does the toilet remain clean always?

The eToilet unit has inbuilt cleaning mechanisms to keep it clean round the clock. There is automatic platform cleaning which can be programmed after every 5-10 users and automatic flushing systems that has pre flush and after flush. There is also manual flush available for the user. Also there is additional location-wise maintenance by cleaning and technical personnel on regular intervals to ensure proper cleaning and functioning of the unit round the clock.

12. Can another person enter while the toilet is being used?

No, the eToilet permits only one user at a time. The eToilet will not accept further coins while it is in use.

13. What are the safety measures, especially for women?

Public safety is a crucial element and we have taken steps to avoid vandalism and ensure safety for the public. In case of any anti-social attempts within the eToilet, a alarm/hooter will be activated immediately and it will inform the public about the mishap. The sliding door is also a protective measure for safety as the normal door alone will bring in a fear of chances of forced entry especially among women.

14. What happens to the toilet waste?

The toilet waste is treated scientifically. There are two options available. Option 1: DRDO Bio digester- On site eco-friendly cement-based model. Option 2: Anapackage: This works on an anaerobic biological treatment solution for the on-site treatment of sewage waste. System is designed to discharge an effluent which can meet most of the international standards for treated effluent safe disposal in watercourse or underground by absorption.

15. How long can a user use the eToilet?

A user is assumed to use the eToilet for less than 3 minutes for urinal purposes and 4-5minutes for defecation purposes. A usage exceeding 20 minutes will be considered as abnormal occupancy or which requires medical emergency and will be alerted. The hooter will go off forcing the user to exit the eToilet in case it is a forced occupancy. Service engineer support will be provided if it’s a medical situation.

16. Who is in charge of an installed eToilet?

The eToilets are brought on ownership basis by the Government. The Local Self Government department is the sole owner of the eToilet. Eram Scientific Solutions is the technology provider and is responsible for the technical maintenance and servicing of the eToilets as the contract proposes.

17. How can I find the next eToilet?

To further enhance the quality of life of the public and to provide the tourists with world-class facilities, eToilets are connected over a GPRS network and is called as Connected eToilet Infrastructure (CeTI). Public can access the eToilet map through www.eramscientific.com   and can view the locations of eToilets in his itinerary and plan on his halts, ahead of his journey.

18. Are there any risks associated with using an eToilet?

Since the user does not have any contact with the electronic components, automated functioning and control points, he is not at any risks. There is zero chance of electric shocks or accidents. The usage is very simple and the user will face no problems while using the eToilet.

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