Water dispensers for handwashing

In the former Soviet Union- and its satellite states, many citizens had and have water dispensers in their so-called ‘Dachas’ (Russian: дачи). Dachas are typically simple, free-standing houses, either located in city suburbs or the countryside. And most of them do have not running water or electricity. But most of them are surrounded by a vegetable garden and have some fruit trees on it. There is no real counterpart of such a kind of second home in the Western world. This concept remains nowadays in all former Soviet influenced states in Europe, including Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary, … and so on.

Typically, on weekends, the whole family has to drive to the Dacha and do gardening chores. Most of the available plot is used for planting potatoes, cabbage, beetroots, and many other vegetables; often too much for one family. And life in the Dacha is typically quite basic. Electrical power or solar panels are very seldom there. Sewage is improvised and running water is seldom available within the house. But there are webpages, which offer help to all of these problems. And one of these webpages you can find here.

Manual water dispensers for handwashing

For hand washing within a Dacha, an old Soviet design is still in vogue. It is a vessel, mounted on the wall which will be filled with water. A valve on a stick protruding below this vessel will be lifted – opening the valve – and water is running out. Which will be used for handwashing.

The Soviets of the past used a standardized metal container, which is still used widely today. In Central Asian countries, these vessels were often made from brass and are nicely decorated. But most of the new handwashing devices nowadays in former Soviet countries are made of plastics.

The advantages of metal containers are longer lifetime and insensibility against UV rays. But the disadvantage of metal containers is, that often the valve seat is not watertight, and these containers are leaking. How to use such handwashing basins can be seen in the following video.

Lessons learned from water dispensers for handwashing in Dachas:  

  • It is a very efficient way to utilize water for handwashing.
  • There is no need to fill these containers with running water, but water can be refilled from sources outside.
  • Plastic dispensers have more reliable closing valves than metal dispensers.
  • Within the water vessel, a heating device can be mounted for heating water.

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