Squat toilet

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Squat toilet (flush toilet) with water cistern for flushing (Saline, Michigan, USA)
A squat toilet with water flushing cistern in Japan
A squat toilet near Relwasar Lake, Himachal Pradesh, India
How to use a squat toilet correctly (sign in a toilet cubicle in Japan)
Typical toilet used in urban areas in Syria: flush toilet squatting pan with hose for anal cleansing with water (Damascus)

A squat toilet (also known as a squatting toilet, Indian toilet or Turkish toilet) is a toilet used by squatting, rather than sitting. There are several types of squat toilets, but they all consist essentially of toilet pan or bowl at floor level. Such a toilet pan is also called a "squatting pan". The only exception is a "pedestal" squat toilet, which is of the same height as a sitting toilet. It is in theory also possible to squat over sitting toilets, but this requires extra care to prevent accidents as they are not designed for squatting.

A squat toilet may use a water seal and therefore be a flush toilet, or it can be without a water seal and therefore be a dry toilet. The term "squat" only refers to the defecation posture and not any other aspects of toilet technology, such as whether it is water flushed or not.


Squat toilets are commonly found in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East but can also occasionally be found in some European (Romania, Southern France), Mediterranean, and Latin and South American countries. Squat toilets are not common in Central and Northern Europe, North America, Australia.

In Latin and South America, toilets that use water for flushing (flush toilets) are always of the sitting type, whereas toilets that do not use water for flushing (pit latrines and urine-diverting dry toilets) may be of either type, i.e. to be used in a sitting or a squatting position.

Materials used[edit]

Squatting slabs can be made of porcelain (ceramic), stainless steel, fibreglass, or in the case of low-cost versions in developing countries, with concrete, ferrocement, plastic, or wood covered with linoleum.[1][2] Slabs can also be made of wood (timber), but need to be treated with preservatives, such as paint or linoleum, to prevent rotting and to enable thorough cleaning of the squatting slab.[2]

Operation and maintenance[edit]

The standing surface of the squatting pan should be kept clean and dry in order to prevent disease transmission and to limit odors.[1]



  1. ^ a b Tilley, E., Ulrich, L., Lüthi, C., Reymond, Ph., Zurbrügg, C. Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies - (2nd Revised Edition). Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Duebendorf, Switzerland. p. 44. ISBN 978-3-906484-57-0. 
  2. ^ a b Reed, Brian; Shaw, Rod (2011). G005: Latrine slabs - an engineer's guide. Loughborough, UK: WEDC. p. 11. ISBN 9781843801436. Retrieved 8 April 2015.