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Pee toilet idea

 
pollinator
Posts: 296
Location: Ozarks
70
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We're using the humanure bucket system but only for #2 and the #1 that happens during #2ing. We have a camper that has an rv/marine type toilet in it. Very little water use. For winter we just used it for pee, mostly for the girls, and let it run on the ground cause frozen pee don't smell but winter's over.

We live in a pole cabin and the high corner is high enough off the ground to fit a 55 gal drum standing up under there. I was thinking of putting a drum full of sawdust under the cabin and putting the rv/marine toilet in the cabin right over the drum with a pipe from the toilet sticking down into the sawdust, say, 6-10" or so. When the sawdust is saturated, drag the drum out and either.........

1)mix it with a compost pile, humanure or kitchen or yard waste pile
2) dump it on the ground in a pile to decompose and then spread it or use it as soil builder etc
3) spread it on the ground wherever
In the latter two cases I would cover it with a layer of fresh sawdust to prevent odors.

I'd never have to worry about major liquid spills. I wouldn't have to worry about odors in, under or near the house.(I can make a lid for the drum and check it occasionally to see when it's saturated) I don't have much growing here yet so I don't have an immediate use for urine so this would be like putting liquid gold in the bank. I would only have to deal with it once every couple, few months or maybe monthly I'm thinking. I have an unlimited supply of fresh sawdust and this would turn it into well rotted sawdust fairly quickly.

Whadyathink?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1613
Location: northern California
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If you don't have a garden and can't use the urine straightway, it is probably a good plan. Pee plus sawdust or wood chips will eventually compost into the most wonderful fluffy potting soil you can imagine!
The only possible improvement would be to fill the barrel with biochar rather than sawdust. This will absorb a lot of urine and store the nutrients in it even longer, especially in hot rainy climates where direct organic matter applications tend to just vanish….. If you have abundant sawdust access perhaps you can figure out a way to char that. It would have the advantage of already being finely pulverized…..
 
pollinator
Posts: 3750
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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We use 5 gallon buckets filled with sawdust and the "emergency" toilet seat lids to collect the pee for the compost pile. With all my kids, it only takes a few days to fill a five gallon bucket. The girls don't like it. Your idea would be a lot more female-friendly IMO.

Dealing with a full 55 gallon drum is NOT EASY. Make sure you have a proper plan for that. It is also really easy to get too much urine in it to actually compost directly. With an over-full 5 gallon bucket, you just dump it on a dryish compost pile; not sure how to handle 55 gallons at a time.
 
John Pollard
pollinator
Posts: 296
Location: Ozarks
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homeschooling goat dog building wood heat homestead
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It's going to take some fiddling for sure to get the amounts right. Maybe with the small amount of flush water it won't be too nitrogen rich. Might be too wet. I can dump it on a pile of dry sawdust and cover it with dry sawdust. With urine being fairly sterile, I"m not worried about getting the hot composting affect. It's not something I'd be using for a veggie garden right off.
I've got one of those lawn tractor trailers. I've used it before for moving full rain water barrels. Those things are 500lbs when full of liquid. I could cut the barrel down to 2/3 and leave it on the garden trailer and still fit under the cabin. Shouldn't be too hard to tip it off from that. If I could turn it into a weekly chore, I could live with that. With just the two girls using it, and me and the boy on those middle of the night pees, I'm hoping for a month.
It's mostly just a vehicle so I don't have to run pipes or hoses above ground. I don't want to put any pipes underground as this cabin is temporary while we build an earthshipish type of house.


 
gardener
Posts: 2132
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
503
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I think it sounds like it might go anaerobic and make an enORmous stench. That's what happened to us with a similar setup.

Last winter we put a small plastic barrel of dry leaves, maybe 20 gallon size, in our attached greenhouse to avoid having to go out to the outhouse on winter nights. It was only for #1, and only for night for two people. I tried to stir it up with a stick every once in a while, but the liquid accumulated in the bottom just went anarobic and then whenever I would stir it it would make a huge huge methane smell that filled the entire attached house.

This was leaves, not sawdust, so it may be different, but I think you might want to think of a way to ventilate the bottom of it.
 
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I'm new here, and dont have one set up myself (yet) but Geoff Lawton's "wheelie bin" composting toilet system sounds similar to what you're inquiring.
https://youtu.be/rlml3Lmdv2o
Best of luck!
 
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