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Encyclopedia of Marine and Energy Technology

Marine toilet, ship toilet


A marine toilet - or ship toilet – refers to a piece of equipment installed onboard of a vessel that is designed to receive, retain, and discharge sewage.

Traditional gravity flush toilet systems rely on water and gravity to transport sewage from the toilet bowl to treatment or collection tanks. A single flush typically uses 10 litres of water. Since the water is directly fed from the ship’s pressurised main there is no need for a header tank.

AVT13D vacuum toilet deck mounted. By Wärtsilä. AKA marine toilet, ship toiletWärtsilä Vacuum Toilet AVT13D | Rear view, deck mounted | Marine Toilet, Ship Toilet

More modern ship toilets are operating on vacuum technology, using air to drive waste from the toilet bowl into the treatment tank or intermediate collection tank. The vacuum is typically created by an ejector. A vacuum type of marine toilet still uses fresh water during the flushing process, albeit in very limited quantities. Only about 1.5 litres of water per flush. As a result, the vacuum toilet is equipped with smaller diameter outlet pipework.

Most toilet bowls on ships and other marine applications are typically made of vitreous china or porcelain. Navy ships often use stainless steel bowls. The weight of most modern type of ship toilets ranges somewhere between 20 and 25 kg. Find out more about Wärtsilä marine toilets here.

Related topic: vacuum toilets