Last blog articles
Search on blog
Contact us by our contact form
Saniflo macerators prove to be a high-performing, long-lasting plumbing solution
Case Studies 09/20/2023
Craig Bogard, co-founder of the nonprofit Aslan Youth Ministries, has happily depended on Saniflo’s macerators for nearly a decade, showcasing its reliability and longevity despite harsh surroundings and the population’s unfamiliarity with modern plumbing.=Saniflo macerators prove to be a high-performing, long-lasting plumbing solution for medical clinic in Haiti
L’ACAJOU, HAITI — Aslan Youth Ministries is a nonprofit organization serving disadvantaged children and their families in New Jersey’s Monmouth County, including the communities of Long Branch, Red Bank, and Asbury Park. Since 1975, Aslan has provided community development programs to at-risk youth in these locales, focusing on each child’s spiritual and educational development.
In 1996, Aslan took the dramatic step of expanding its ministry 1,500 miles south to northeastern Haiti. After many years and over a thousand success stories, Aslan continues positively impacting and empowering children in need in both the state of New Jersey and the nation of Haiti.
Craig Bogard and his wife Lynn Ann, the founders of Aslan Youth Ministries, eventually contracted with Hospitals of Hope (HOH) in Wichita, Kansas, to build a modern medical facility in Haiti. After shipping the completed, ready-to-assemble structure to Haiti in late 2011 and a two-year battle to clear Haitian customs, they built the 960-square-foot building on Aslan’s property in L’Acajou in 2014. It is now a vibrant clinic serving the medical needs of disadvantaged families there.
When Bogard set up the clinic, he had plans to construct two half-bathrooms to offer convenience for both his Haitian staff and volunteers from around the world who come to help. He subsequently decided to install a pair of Sanitop models from SFA Saniflo, which has since been upgraded with the Saniaccess 2 model. The macerating pumps from SFA Saniflo, including the toilets, were installed in hopes they could withstand the harsh poverty in Haiti, plus the near-total lack of familiarity with modern plumbing among its citizens.
Except for the capital city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti has little traditional plumbing. Most Haitians dig a septic hole close to their wood or concrete huts as their only toilet system, which is why most of the groundwater in Haiti is contaminated. Bogard and his staff had to explain to Haitians how to use and flush a toilet. In particular, they had to caution them to flush only toilet paper.
“In the long run, it made sense to install the Saniflo units,” explains Bogard. “We knew our staff would be working with 100-plus kids, who could be careless in what they’re flushing. They’ll throw something down a toilet that should never be put in there.”
For most of the past decade, the units held up quite well. “The Saniflo products withstood a lot of abuse and continued to work properly,” says Bogard, “They make it easy to remove the top lid and clean out a unit if someone flushes something they shouldn’t.”
So, when one of the units finally needed a replacement, Bogard had no question about the quality of the product. Rather, he thought only to replace it with the same Saniflo model. Fortunately, after a call with one of Saniflo’s representatives, the Edison, NJ-based manufacturer offered to replace both units for free.
Bogard might have switched to another brand, but he never considered exploring his options, even before the offer of free replacements: “For the past nine years, in the absolute worst conditions you could imagine, the Saniflo units have held up,” says Bogard, “I could buy something $400 cheaper, but who knows if it would be able to withstand these conditions like the Saniflo systems?”
When Bogard and his wife decided to create the medical clinic, they had to design and build it in the United States before transporting it to Haiti. They sought help from Hospitals of Hope, which specializes in converting Conex boxes into medical clinics and shipping these modular buildings to Third World countries.
Their plan called for creating three separate room “units” for assembly upon arrival. Their strategy was to insulate the steel Conex boxes and incorporate smaller air conditioning units so that the hot weather did not destroy the materials.
Next, they shipped the containers to Cap-Haitien and rented a crane from the neighboring Dominican Republic to Haiti, placing the three units on a solid concrete foundation. A U.S. team of building contractors and a Hospitals of Hope staff member traveled to Haiti with Bogard to connect the three conex boxes together and assemble the Saniflo units. Israel Joseph, Aslan’s on-the-ground director in Haiti, and Booz St. Preux and Frantz Francois, two students who had attended a trade school in Cap-Haitien, were also integral in assembling the units.
The Saniaccess 2 is ideal for half-bathrooms. Intended to handle black water from the attached toilet, the Saniaccess 2 will also drain gray water from a second fixture, usually a nearby sink.
Here’s how the plumbing is set up for the medical clinic bathrooms:
“Haitian wells are usually hand-dug and not nearly deep enough to prevent groundwater pollution,” says Bogard, adding that Aslan hired an American driller to go much deeper, and he hit an underground aquifer at the 92-foot point. “We were happily surprised that after testing the well water, it was more pure than Poland Spring Water.”
The discharge pipe from the middle of each macerator runs 25 feet straight, eventually connecting to a 6-inch pipe that runs to the septic tank. Each Saniaccess 2 is equipped with a ½-horsepower pump and stainless-steel blades that rotate at 3,600 RPM to rapidly reduce incoming water and organic waste matter into a fine slurry.
Bogard says it only took a few hours to install the two Saniflo units, and it was well worth the wait. After years of planning and determining how to transfer the units to a different country outside the United States, it all came to fruition.
Bogard can’t help but reminisce about witnessing Haitian teenagers use a flushable toilet for the first time. “You would have thought it was Christmas Day,” he says, “and all they did was flush the toilet a few times.”
While certainly appreciative of Saniflo’s donation, Bogard and his colleagues may be even more impressed by the performance and durability of the products themselves: “Saniflo has proven that they can create machines that can last in the rugged conditions of the developing world, says Bogard. “To me, that says everything.”
SFA SANIFLO U.S.A. – whose parent company originated macerating plumbing technology — offers a complete line of waste and drainage pumping systems for residential and commercial applications. Saniflo developed its innovative, “above-floor plumbing” technology more than a half-century ago and has led its commercialization worldwide. Today, the company markets macerating technology through 24 subsidiaries in 50 countries and has sold more than seven million units worldwide since 1958. Saniflo markets through independent sales agents throughout North America, and the product line is currently available at distributor and dealer locations throughout the United States and Canada.
For more information, contact Saniflo at 1-800-571-8191. Or visit the Saniflo website at saniflo.com.
For editorial assistance, including photography, contact John O’Reilly c/o GreenHouse Digital + PR: 708-428-6385 or [email protected].