A toilet is a sanitation fixture used primarily for the disposal of human excrement and urine, often found in a small room referred to as a toilet/bathroom/lavatory. Flush toilets, which are common in many parts of the world, may be connected to a nearby septic tank or more commonly in urban areas via “large” (3–6 inches, 7.6–15 cm) sewer pipe connected to a sewerage pipe system. The water and waste from many different sources is piped in large pipes to a more distant sewage treatment plant.
Chemical toilets are used in mobile and many temporary situations where there is no access to sewerage, dry toilets, including pit toilets and composting toilet require no or little water with excreta being removed manually or composted in situ.
Other toilet types
A pit toilet is a dry toilet system which collects human excrement and urine in a large container or trench and ranges from a simple slit trench dug in the ground to more elaborate systems with seating and ventilation systems.
They are more often used in emergency, rural and wilderness areas as well as in much of the developing world.
Dry toilets, which use very limited or no water for flushing include the pit toilet (a simple hole in the ground, or one with ventilation, fly guards and other improvements) and composting toilet (which mix excrement with carbon rich materials for faster decomposition),
A public toilet, frequently called a restroom, is accessible to the general public. It may be within a building that, while privately owned, allows public access. Access to a public toilet may require a fee, (pay toilet), or may be limited to business’s customers.
The portable toilet is used on construction sites and at large outdoor gatherings where there are no other facilities. They are typically self-contained units that are made to be easily moved to different locations as needed. Most portable toilets are unisex single units with privacy ensured by a simple lock on the door. The units are usually light weight and easily transported by a flatbed truck and loaded and unloaded by a small forklift.
‘High-tech’ toilets include features such as: automatic-flushing mechanisms that flush a toilet or urinal when finished; water jets, or “bottom washers” like a bidet; blow dryers; artificial flush sounds to mask noises; and urine and stool analysis for medical monitoring.
A floating toilet is essentially an outhouse built on a platform built above or floating on the water. Instead of wastes going into the ground they are collected in a tank or barrel. To reduce the amount of waste that needs to hauled to shore, many use urine diversion. It was developed for residents without quick access to land or connection to a sewer systems.
It is also used in areas subjected to prolonged flooding
Although it is possible for the urinal to be used by females, it was originally constructed for males. It was designed primarily for the disposal of urine and not solid objects. It is meant to be used in a standing position for the convenience of male users and also has no door, stall, and takes less space. These receptacles are most commonly found in public places but can occasionally be found in a private home
The squat toilet (also called “squatter” or “squatty-potty”) consists of a hole in the ground. However, common modern versions flush like a modern seated toilet, and are not to be compared to a contemporary portable toilet with no plumbing. To use this toilet, one is in a squatting position rather than sitting, by placing one foot on each side of the toilet and squatting over it.
A public toilet (also called a bathroom, restroom, latrine, comfort room, powder room, toilet room, washroom, water closet, W.C., public lavatory, convenience) is a room or small building containing one or more toilets and possibly also urinals which is available for use by the general public, or in a broader meaning of “public”, by customers of other services. Public toilets are commonly separated by gender into male and female facilities, although some can be unisex, particularly the smaller or single occupancy types. Increasingly, public toilets incorporate accessible toilets and features to cater for people with disabilities.