One of the main complaints from passengers onboard cruise ships and cruise-ferries relates to the noise generated by the flushing of vacuum toilets, which can cause considerable disturbance, especially at night-time. Helsinki-based Evac Oy, which supplies around 75 per cent of toilets onboard cruise ship newbuildings worldwide, has come up with a solution to this problem with its recently launched Evac 910 vacuum toilet.

As the result of the incorporation of a new patented quick relief valve, which cuts discharge noise by around 4dB(A) and peak noise by approximately 8dB(A), the Evac 910 vacuum toilet is much quieter than previous generation vacuum toilets. Recent testing carried out by an independent research centre has demonstrated that the sound level of the Evac 910 is around 5-8dB(A) lower than other vacuum toilets on the market.

According to Markus Peltola, director, European sales, “We have put a lot of research and development effort into reducing the sound pressure level of the Evac 910. We are very pleased with the results and the Evac 910 is now clearly the quietest vacuum toilet available to marine customers, with a sound level comparable to gravity toilets. With this toilet a major source of annoyance to passengers has been eliminated, and we are sure this will make a big difference to their enjoyment of the onboard experience.”

The Evac 910 has also been designed to facilitate onboard maintenance and repairs. An integrated mini check valve makes servicing easier, and reduces the spare parts requirement compared to the earlier generation Evac 900 vacuum toilet. The inclusion of a new by-pass valve also facilitates servicing work and allows a complete toilet flush to be carried out manually from the shaft area.

Indeed, the Evac 910 has been designed so that all servicing can be carried out from the shaft area, making life easier for maintenance staff. The complete backplate can be removed either through the service space or the cabin simply by removing two screws.

Other features of the Evac 910 include a vacuum guard unit which ensures there is sufficient vacuum in the pipes to carry out efficient flushing and which prevents blockages occurring in the piping. If the level of the vacuum is too low, an integrated flush memory unit waits until there is enough vacuum in the pipes.

Equipped with a fully pneumatic flush mechanism, and designed to minimise water consumption, the Evac 910 is a highly robust unit that has been designed to withstand the rigours of use at sea. The toilet has been tested for a lifecycle of 300,000 flushes.

While representing a major step forward, the Evac 910 is in many respects an evolution from the well-proven Evac 900 and includes many of the same features. Like the Evac 900 the Evac 910 has a bowl manufactured from high quality porcelain and features the same Prestige seat and cover which has a 280kg rated load capacity and is highly resistant to damage. The heavy duty Evac Prestige seat and cover are designed to conform to ANSI Z124-5 requirements and the wrap over design provides good sound insulation.

Although suitable for all types of vessel, the Evac 910 is targeted mainly at the passenger ship market. The first deliveries, to river cruise liners (where the sound level is probably the most critical) at Neptun Werft in Germany for the two-ship Arosa project, were made in November 2008 and Evac is now working on its biggest contract relating to marine vacuum toilets to date. More than 4000 Evac 910 toilets will be delivered to STX Shipbuilding in Finland, to equip the Allure of the Seas, the second Genesis class ship for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Mr Peltola says, “All our new cruise ship contracts in future will be supplied with the Evac 910, which will supercede the highly successful Evac 900. While this toilet is designed for vessels of all types, we expect that the tried and tested Evac Classic toilet, which is designed primarily for use onboard cargo vessels, will continue to be popular in other sectors of the market.”