A flush toilet (also known as a flushing toilet, water closet (WC) – see also Toilet (names)) is a toilet that disposes of human excreta (urine and feces) by using water to flush it through a drainpipe to another location for disposal, thus maintaining a separation between humans and their excreta. Flush toilets can be designed for sitting (in which case they are also called “Western” toilets) or for squatting, in the case of squat toilets. The opposite of a flush toilet is a dry toilet, which uses no water for flushing.
Flush toilets are a type of plumbing fixture and usually incorporate an shaped bend called a trap that causes water to collect in the toilet bowl and act as a seal against noxious gases. Most flush toilets are connected to a sewerage system that conveys waste to a sewage treatment plant; where this is not available, a septic tank may be used. When a toilet is flushed, the wastewater flows into a septic tank, or is conveyed to a treatment plant.
A typical flush toilet is a fixed, vitreous ceramic bowl (also known as a pan) which is connected to a drain. After use, the bowl is emptied and cleaned by the rapid flow of water into the bowl. This flush may flow from a dedicated tank (cistern), a high-pressure water pipe controlled by a flush valve, or by manually pouring water into the bowl.
Tanks and valves are normally operated by the user, by pressing a button, pulling a lever or pulling a chain. The water is directed around the bowl by a molded flushing rim around the top of the bowl or by one or more jets, so that the entire internal surface of the bowl is rinsed with water.