A challenge in water reuse for toilet flushing in India and other Asian countries derives from pour flushing practices. It is a common assumption that the amount of pour flushed water used for personal cleansing is small in comparison to the cistern flush volume, however there is a knowledge gap regarding the actual contribution of each water source to the blackwater amount. In this study, digital water meters were used to measure the fraction of water from personal wash tap relative to cistern water that is used for toilet flushing. High temporal resolution measurements were carried in three different urban sites in the city of Coimbatore in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu where onsite sanitation treatment prototypes that may provide reclaimed water for cistern flushing are being tested. Data collected over periods of up to 2 months show that the contribution of the cistern flush to the total blackwater volume is low (14-40%). These data highlight an important factor to inform interventions designed around water reuse for flushing in world geographies where personal toilet cleansing by water is the common practice.
Resolving the relative contributions of cistern and pour flushing to toilet water usage
Measurements from urban test sites in India
Welling, C., Varigala, S. K., Krishnaswamy, S., Raj, B. A., Lynch, B. J., Piascik, J. R., Stoner, B. R., Hawkins, B. T., Hegarty-Craver, M., Luettgen, M., & Grego, S. (2020). Resolving the relative contributions of cistern and pour flushing to toilet water usage: Measurements from urban test sites in India. Science of the Total Environment, 730, 138957. . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138957