Updated on January 6, 2024


Created on July 29, 2017

SaTo Pan

Upcoming Update

The SaTo Pan is a toilet pan that mechanically and hydraulically seals pit latrines.

Developed By
  1. American Standard
Tested By
  • American Standard
  • Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC)
  • iDE
Content Partners


Product Description

The SaTo pan is a toilet pan that uses a mechanical and water seals to close off pit latrines form open air. This reduces disease transmission from flying insects that come into contact with human waste. It also eliminates the unsightly appearance and odors from open pit latrines and reduces the volume of water needed to flush.

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

RFL produce the product and distribute it to retailers in Bangladesh. Crestanks produce and sell the product in Uganda. Kentainers sell it in Kenya. American Standard developed the SaTo pan and donated many SaTo pans during their Flush for good-campaign. iDE, that developed the SaTo pan together with American Standard has distributed it a lot in Bangladesh for example. Wateraid has implemented the product in Nepal. BRAC also assisted American Standard in the development and distribution of the SaTo pan. Save the children, Food for the Poor, Plumbers Without Borders and UNHCR are other implementers.

Competitive Landscape

Direct competitors include AquaSanTec WonderLoo, Easy Latrine, and Elephant Toilet.

Manufacturing/Building Method

Mass produced. Manufacturing can and is done in target regions. At the moment there are factories in Uganda (Crestanks), Bangladesh (rflplastics), Kenya (Kentainers), India and Nigeria.

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Donations or direct sales from distributers. American Standard has had a BOGO offer for customers that when they buy a toilet, American standard donates a SaTo pan. American Standard donated around one million SaTo pans during their Flush for good-campaign.

Distributions to Date Status

As of mid-2016, over 1 million SaTo units have been installed in over 14 countries, for example Bangladesh, Uganda, Haiti, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria and the Philippines. Of these, some 500,000 SATO toilets were donated to nongovernmental organizations for installation in homes and schools in Bangladesh, and another 300,000 have been sold in Bangladesh for $2 USD each.

Toilet type


Evacuation method

Pour flush

Storage conditions


Capacity (L)


Time until emptying


Design Specifications

The SaTo pan is made of low linear density polyethylene and installed over a pit latrine, normally in a cement slab. Its dimensions are height 190.5mm, length 500mm, width 40.5mm and the base has a diameter of 63.7mm. The pan has a door(where the excreta gathers) that opens when the user pours water on it so that the excreta falls into the pit. The door then closes automatically. There are variations of the pan depending on context, the Uganda version needs less water for example. In another version the user pulls a cable to open the sealer.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Technical support can be done by the user him/herself due to the simplicity of the product. There are instruction manuals on how to build a toilet with the pan and how to install it on a pit latrine.

Replacement Components

N/A; the product comes in a one piece.


Should last at least until the pit latrine it is connected to is full. If the pan is attached to a movable slab the pan can be moved with the slab to the new pit.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

The designers made the SaTo pan to reduce disease transmission by preventing insects to come in contact with the human waste. It reduces odours and only needs very little water to flush. The designers used Human Centered Design when developing the product and hence important targets was that the pan was affordable, adapted to the squatting norm and easy to install and use.

Vetted Performance Status

Excreta can be flushed down with as little as 200mL of water Brochure from manufacturer. The product also reduces odor. It closes quickly and automatically to block smell and stop flies from entering/exiting the pit. Brochure from manufacturer


The product prevents insect from coming in contact with excreta and hence disease spread is reduced.

Complementary Technical Systems

The SaTo pan is normally attached to a cement slab placed over an open pit latrine. In a new version specially made for a twin pit latrine it is connected to tubes that leads the excreta to the pits.

Compliance with regulations


Evaluation methods

The designers used HCD (Human Centered Design) to develop the product. They cite affordability, user friendliness and culture adaptation as important factors in the iterative prototyping process. They analyzed computational fluid dynamics to ensure good water flow.

Other Information

Reports about the making, distribution and use of the SaTo pan: 1.Fostering disruptive design innovations in sanitation marketing in Bangladesh 2.Disruptive design in sanitation marketing- lessons from product and process innovations in Bangladesh 3.Sanitation in Bangladesh: Revolution, Evolution, and New Challenges A video from implementation in Bangladesh is found here. An installation video from Nepal is found here. A video showing some of the testings is found here. American Standard received the Patent for Humanity award for the SaTo pan in 2014. A website with information of all different versions of the SaTo pan is under development. In September 2017 a version for a two-pit pour-flush latrine will be introduced in India, see video.  

Comments from the Community

1 Comment

  1. zounogo.nikiema says:


    I am working in the WASH sector and I want to promote the sue of SatoPan in rural areas in Burkina Faso. How can I get the SatoPan in my country

Leave a Reply

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