Sanitation in the Third World

Organization: American Standard
Co-Developer(s): Greg Gatarz, Principal Developer, Jim McHale, Principal Developer, Daigo Ishiyama, Principal Developer
Year: 2014

2014 R&D 100 Winner Lack of safe sanitation facilities causes 2,000 deaths/day worldwide, mostly among children. American Standard set out to help save these lives with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge to develop and test a low-cost, pre-fabricated toilet system for use in developing countries.

The SaTo—derived from “safe toilet”—is a cost-effective, sanitary toilet pan designed for use in Bangladesh, where most people use non-hygienic open pit latrines to defecate. The SaTo uses simple mechanical and water seals to close off pit latrines from the open air, thereby reducing the transmission of disease through direct and indirect contact with waste. Additionally, the unpleasant sights and smells of the open pit latrine are eliminated for users, encouraging the SaTo’s use versus unsanitary open systems.

The toilet pan is created from polypropylene resin and shaped via a plastic injection molding process. The pan operates with a trap-door system that requires a small amount of concrete added to a counterweight cup. The SaTo pan is encased in a concrete slab built to cover an open pit latrine that is lined with concrete rings. Generally, the leftover concrete from the slab can be used in the counterweight cup, rather than being discarded.

Technology Toilet pan

DevelopersAmerican Standard

Development Team

The SaTo Development Team from American Standard Greg Gatarz, Principal Developer Jim McHale, Principal Developer Daigo Ishiyama, Principal Developer