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The toilets that can send out text messages30th of April 2014
Public lavatories that send out text messages to cleaning staff when the toilet paper is running out are being mooted in parts of the UK.
The toilets, earmarked for towns in south Norfolk, will also be self-cleaning.
Councillors are considering installing the high-tech washrooms in a bid to improve cleanliness and reduce maintenance. The floors of each single-unit toilet will slope slightly to allow the floor and troughs to be washed clean with a liquid detergent solution after each use.
A mechanism in the toilet tissue dispenser would also measure the amount of toilet paper left on the roll and an SMS message would be sent to staff when the supply was running out.
Text alerts in general could play an integral role in toilets of the future, according to recent reports. In Beijing a project is in place to dramatically increase the number of toilets in the city by 2015.
The government plans to create an electronic toilet map and develop an automated guidance system in co-operation with telecoms operators. Once the system is up and running, inhabitants or visitors in need of the loo will be able to text a number to receive directions to the nearest public facilities.
And a text service has now been put in place for sailors in Newtown Creek, New York, where high levels of sewage and storm water tend to be released during heavy rains.
During wet weather conditions, people on boats in Newtown Creek can add to this problem when flushing their lavatories. Sailors now have a dedicated phone number to which they can send texts and receive an immediate response as to whether or not it is safe to flush.