Prison building in Uddevalla, Sweden

Vacuum toilets in prisons

Jets™ systems have operated reliably in Swedish prisons since 1993, when they were first installed in cells for awaiting-trial prisoners in Uddevalla, western Sweden. Vacuum toilets offer several advantages over their more traditional counterparts.

Vacuum security advantages

Prison toilets can give a whole new meaning to the words "cell phone". Plumbing for traditional gravity toilets in prisons can be used to send contraband or messages. Jets™ vacuum systems prevent the exchange of objects or use of
the plumbing as a “cell phone”. And more importantly: prison staff who are planning to search cells can shut off the vacuum pumps first, so that illegal objects cannot be flushed away.

Water consumption

Gravity toilets in prisons need large volumes of water, but when installing a vacuum toilet system, water consumption is reduced to a fraction of the amount needed for gravity toilets. Jets™ systems can be combined with electronic flush controls to prevent unnecessary flushing. The cost of wastewater treatment is also lower.

Reliable operation and no clogging

Blockages – sometimes caused by objects flushed down the toilet deliberately – can present a major problem in prison toilets. The vacuum system keeps the wastewater moving swiftly through the system, reducing the build-up of waste and blockages. Foreign objects can be trapped before they get to the pump. The Vacuumarator™ pump grinds solids to prevent clogging. Each cell toilet can be monitored so that if blockages do occur, it is easy to track down the source. The vacuum system also solves the problem of foreign objects that end up in municipal wastewater networks.

Installation and upgrades

Installation and renovation of plumbing systems for gravity toilets may be complicated and expensive. The small footprint of the vacuum system, simpler logistics, less need for core drilling and sewerage trenching help to reduce installation costs. And the piping can be installed at a later stage than gravity piping, enabling a more flexible construction schedule. Small-diameter vacuum piping can be routed upward and around obstacles, reducing the need for penetration of concrete floor slabs. Toilets can be installed on any floor – even in basements.

Hygiene advantages

Unhygienic toilets may be a health risk in prison communities. In Jets™ systems, the powerful vacuum draws the waste along with 60 litres of air into the piping with every flush, reducing aerosols and odours.

Temporary prison facilities

Gravity toilets may be difficult to install in temporary facilities. The flexible design possibilities and small footprint of a Jets™ vacuum system, along with the reduced need for underground plumbing, make it an effective solution for temporary and mobile prison facilities.

Jets™, Vacuumarator™, Helivac™, VC™, VOD™, CVS™ and Softsound™ are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Jets AS. © Copyright 2014, Jets AS
Contact Jets™: Phone (+47) 70 03 91 00 - Fax (+47) 70 03 91 01 -