Design and implementation of a low cost hands-free tap and flush toilet system
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In Uganda today, there is an increase in the use of water-borne toilets both in public, commercial, residential and health facilities. However, increased spread of diseases in the public due to the touching of flush toilet and tap handles in water-borne toilets is rampant. Using a low-cost design, the control of taps and toilet flush handles can be automated and the spread of these diseases reduced. This project comes with the added value of conservation of water which is a major concern and increase in durability of the restroom ware. The main objective of this project was to automate toilet flushing and water tap control in water-borne toilets. The specific objectives included; to design a control circuit for the hands-free flushing toilet and tap system, to simulate the control circuit for the hands-free flushing toilet and tap system, to prototype the control circuit for the hands-free flushing toilet and tap system and to install and test the prototype for the hands-free flushing toilet and tap system. The process of achieving the objectives involved research and collection of data from both written literature and the internet. A market research shortly followed for inquiries on price and available systems. Using the information obtained, different circuit designs were obtained and compared. The most suitable circuit was simulated in Proteus Simulation Software and a prototype developed. The prototype was then tested with already installed waterborne toilet. The result was a user friendly hands-free flush toilet and tap system, with an efficient electronically controlled mechanism. This was realized with a low-cost design, affordable to the public and to an appreciable percentage, free of errors that surfaced as flushes or water flows without a human trigger. Consequently, the toilet user does not touch the toilet flush handle or the tap while washing his or her hands. The spread of disease-causing microbes is therefore minimized. From this, recommendations were made and these included; modifying the circuit to cater for cases where there is no water in the tap or cistern and improvement of the sensitivity and speed of the motion sensors. In conclusion, the prototype developed is a huge step forward in improving the sanitation in water borne toilets. This system is slowly gaining popularity in the developed countries but the products developed there are not affordable in the developing countries like Uganda. The low-cost design presented here therefore provides a suitable equivalent to automate toilet flushing and tap control.