Saturday, February 10, 2018

Compost Toilets! Yea!

I am hoping to educate people on composting toilets. I have read and tested systems for this process and most people are not very well educated on the microbial processes used to convert human waste into SANITARY fertilizer. It is the NUMBER ONE system used by UNICEF and the WHO for primitive villages to stop diseases.
1/ Containment and processing. It is best to have a three stage process. First stage is raw poop mixed with wood shavings or even cardboard shredded or even sterilized grass clippings. It is important that you NOT add any living bugs, insects, or flies to the mixture. Each time you do the deed, you put in a handful of wood chips along with toilet paper and some water, is the best. This puts air space and covers the stuff so it does not look so bad and the moisture helps the process. No urine in the poop is best.
2/ Venting. You place a sealed toilet seat and a screened inlet into the vat so that constant air is put in the mix and the odor is removed. (I used a computer fan with a 12V system) and 2 inch pipe going out to the roof. Screen the opening for the air inlet and on the exit pipe on the roof. Air is necessary for the aerobic bacteria to work.
3/ Seal the container and control the air system, so that no flies or flying insects can get in. In my unit the flies have never caused a problem. I keep the room closed and the door is tight so that flies can, almost never get in (we live next to a horse boarding stable, TONS of flies). The toilet has a foam seal on the toilet seat, bottom part and top part. And the "shoot" from the seat to the vessel is sealed with silicone sealant.
4/ Speeding up the process. It is best to have a urine separating system under the toilet seat. Basically, you can use a funnel, or whatever. I used a piece of 4 inch PVC Pipe and made a urine separator. The urine goes into a separate container. Urine can be mixed with water and put directly at the base of trees or just in the yard. It has no smell when you let it cure a bit then mix with water and put it on trees. Urine is basically sterile to begin with and good for plants. Mix in the "magic ingredients".
5/ The Magic ingredients: Dirt. When you buy compost "starter" it is basically normal dirt free from insects or they make it look like something else, by putting some organic waste in the package along with the dirt. The dirt contains the aerobic bacteria that digests the poop and sterilizes it. For example; If you were to poop on in a small hole in the ground and cover it up, come back in 3 months, you would have just rich soil in the hole. The poop would have been digested by the bacteria in the soil (as long as there was some moisture for it to work.) The second magic ingredients, next..
6/ Second magic ingredients: Worms. Jim's Worm Farm is a good place to get them. In a medical study done in Mexico, and a septic system that was over loaded, they put in worms and closed the system. 6 weeks later they took samples the the lab and found less bacteria that is found on your kitchen counter top. And the "remains" was all usable for fertilizer on a garden after only 6 weeks.
7/ Add some water, and stir it once in a while. There are special stainless steel compost agitators you can buy, and just hang it by the toilet. Keep it in a warmer place is best, room temperature 68 to 80 is fine. Outside in the cold winter takes forever to compost until summer.
8/ For multiple users. Three barrels or containers with this system will take care of a family of 4 to 5 people. Just keep air moving in them and stir them once in a while. Believe it or not, compost toilets have less odor than a flush toilet, because when you flush the bacterial is lifted up and out of the toilet. (Please close the lid before flushing any flush toilet. Can't do that in most public toilets and that is why they stink so much.) And the fan of the compost toilet constantly moves the "fragrance" out to the roof, where it is quickly dispersed and you can't smell it outside either. When one barrel is 3/4 full , move it over and put the screens over the opening and set the next barrel as the receptacle. Using a shop vacuum hose works very well for venting, because you can attach both all the barrels to it with PVC "TEES". By the time you get the third barrel full, the first one is ready to put out in the field. About three months per barrel. If you are afraid of it, live in the city or whatever, put it in the garbage. The barrel will be about 1/2 to 1/3 of the size it was after it composts.
It is not much work, and people seem to have emotional issues about this natural process. When the infrastructure fails, this is the ONLY solution we have to waste disposal other than destroying the water table (why non-containment, outhouses are outlawed in most states).

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Composting Human Waste Methods and Worms Give a Rapid 6 week, Safe Levels of pathogens.

Every day in Denver Colorado, according my calculation based on an average flush of 2 Gallons per flush (average of older toilets and new low volume flush), some 14,000,000 gallons of drinking water is flushed down the toilet.

Bioresource Technology
Volume 101, Issue 10, May 2010, Pages 3548–3553

 Cover image
Pathogen reduction in septic tank sludge through vermicomposting using Eisenia fetida

L.G. Rodríguez-Canchéa, , , L. Cardoso Viguerosb, T. Maldonado-Montielc, M. Martínez-Sanmigueld
 Show more
Get rights and content
This study evaluated the potential of earthworms (Eisenia fetida) to remove pathogens from the sludge from septic tanks. Three earthworm population densities, equivalent to 1, 2, and 2.5 kg m-2, were tested for pathogen removal from sludge. The experimental phase lasted 60 days, starting from the initial earthworm inoculation. After 60 days, it was found that earthworms reduced concentrations of fecal coliforms, Salmonella spp., and helminth ova to permissible levels (<1000 MPN/g, <3 MPN/g, and <1 viable ova/g on a dry weight basis, respectively) in accordance with Official Mexican Standard of environmental protection (NOM-004-SEMARNAT-2002) (SEMARNAT, 2002). Thus, sludge treatment with earthworms generated Class A biosolids, useful for forest, agricultural, and soil improvement.