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wheaton labs: the pooper and the urine diverter  RSS feed

 
Justin Jones
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We are currently trying to wrap our heads around this problem at base camp. It seems we have had trouble with the ladies' seat, i.e. accidental defecation into the urine diverter. Our discussions have led us to the conclusion that even with the most well-designed diverter, occasional accidents should be expected. As a result we are considering two solutions:

- replace the stationary diverter with a removable one (possibly glass) so that it can be more easily cleaned in the event of an accident, OR
- convert the ladies' seat into a urine-only toilet (there are two seats in the pooper)

Personally I favor the second solution. Now, the existence of the diverter is a consequence of the fact that most women lack the awesome power to poop without peeing. What is unclear to me, and what I wish to ask the female readers of this post, is whether or not women can pee without pooping (supposing their primary purpose in there is to dispose of solid waste).

Please keep in mind, it is a bunch of dudes that are handling this problem. Which is definitely, uh, sub-optimal, so bear with us here.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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I can pee without pooping but can't poop without peeing.

However, I will admit to sometimes having a ninja turd attack when I innocently assumed I was just there to "make water".

Poop can sneak up on one sometimes.... Just sayin'.
 
R Scott
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two hole system is stupid simple, which is critically important when you you are dealing with a lot of people--especially new people/semi public access.

Making a diverter work for one woman takes some adjusting, making it one size fits all is probably impossible.
 
Matu Collins
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I have pretty good control over these things and have successfully had a pee only bucket. And yet, I've decided that I don't like separating and prefer a single system. I want a system that is as comfortable for guests as possible. I am not interested in asking them to control their sphincters.

And that's just adults, never mind kid company!

 
Ann Torrence
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The shared urine diverter sounds like something gross that no one should be expected to clean.

On river trips where we had to pack out solid waste, I learned it can be done, with practice, 90% of the time. The rule was urine goes into the river, so if you can, empty there. Sometimes urine accidentally was deposited at the same time with the solid waste in the crapper, despite the ladies' best efforts. And we did try, because the groover had to be carried from camp to camp and it got heavier and heavier. That's what they called it, a groover, I guess because it was made out of an old ammo can.

It doesn't sound like you need a urine-only toilet (if your lady-folk are as compliant about using the woods as river trippers are about peeing in cold ankle deep water) as much as some acceptance that a little bit of urine in the crapper is a price to pay for the exceptional company of your lady residents and friends.

PS We asked the river guides what they did with the plastic bag of solids at the end of the trip: it went to the dump. Apparently the dump station guys said it was the least of their worries compared with the real hazmat they had to deal with every day. TMI, I know. And yes our guides get big tips at the end of the trip.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Justin, et al,

From a perspective of...hmmm...different angles (no pun intended) this is something that comes up from time to time...

In the matter of separating the liquids from the solids, there can be (is?) as I have guided rivers and waterways as well, some anxiety for a percentage of our ♀ gender that does lead to some "health issues" that they should NOT have to be burdened with. I would suggest a "redesign" so that when eliminating both go in, and the liquids percolate through, and are channeled (drained) to a collection vessel below the solid receptacle. There are a number of ways to achieve this, with the outcome being less stress for our gender counterparts...and also a means of rendering the system "unisex" at the same time...less hassle all around.

At least...that's my view of this issue...

Regards,

j
 
William Bronson
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my Iideas have too much plastic for Paul's place, but I have been pondering a system that would have the combined waste hit a layer of landscape cloth or something similar. The liquid could drain to a lower section and then to a separate holding tank for solar evaporation.
Both tanks would have solar chimneys to keep the stink going the right way.
Worms and sawdust would work on the solids.

As for the issue of cleaning nasty bits of poopers, I have been thinking that the NeverWet hydrophobic coating could be used to eliminate waste sticking to diverters, seats, buckets, pipes etc.
Of course it is definitely a toxic gook producy...
 
Steve Smyth
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I am beginning work on my first composting toilet and have been searching for good information regarding ideal positioning of the urine diverter.

I don't have room for a two seater so getting the urine diverter optimized is a necessity.

Have you all made any progress in making the "shared" urine diverter play well? Have you found any helpful resources out there that you could share?

Any assistance will be appreciated!!

Thanks

S.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Hi Steve, I see that no one responded yet. We've had multiple people help us with different versions of urine diverters, though I see that we didn't document that. Darn.

Since permies has an entire forum devoted to composting toilets, I attempted a search, though it seems we don't yet have good examples posted. (Please, someone else double-check my search because I do miss things some times!)

Here is a list of best ever topics in the composting toilets forum
.

And, this is thread about the first pooper at paul's place
.

I found many mentions of a urine diverter, but no pictures or instructions that I could find.

See also the book review on Liquid Gold
. The author, Carol Steinfeld is passionate about saving water and seeing as a nutrient resource what some consider a waste product. The author sells plans for a system that sounds similar to Paul's pooper design, those plans, or her websites (linked in the review thread) might include some urine diverter info.

 
Tom Turner
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Spending much time in a tent or in a car, I've found the big problem to overcome is urine alone collection. As one of the most healthy things to do is to pound water, this becomes very important. This is the ultimate pee-bucket:
Large volume creates a goal to try and fill it. Large opening and handle are convienient. The squatty height allows one to hands-free urinate on all fours while still remaining under the covers in bed.

Collection of feces by pooping in a plastic-lined 5 gallon bucket is always more sloppy should one also pee into the bag while pooping. God help the man with holes in his bag. After reading some of the posts here I should probably be ashamed to admit as a guy that I can't poop without peeing either. In fact I rather enjoy alternating with a sort of rhythmic team effort, so to speak. Kind of like conducting a symphony.

When one trip I just happened to have a rectangular poop bucket, instead of the normal round one, I found that my favorite pee-bucket nestled right into that flat-side space (see the tapered end near the collector). I found a little box that placed everything at the correct heights for comfortable hands free operation ... after-all I need my hands to conduct the symphony.

If a personal pee-bucket becomes the norm one would carry it from the bedroom to the bathroom to dump it, and at that point it could be placed into a personal storage cubby, available for use during the day if needed and then picked-up at night to be brought to bed. In a group setting there would be a wall mount storage cubbys for everybody's personal pee-buckets - just like the small-town diner sometimes have a coffee-cup wall.

Problem solved ... for guys. Girls are challenged simply by having no nozzle. Girls just need a prosthetic nozzle. Like this:
 
Steve Smyth
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Hi Steve, I see that no one responded yet. We've had multiple people help us with different versions of urine diverters, though I see that we didn't document that. Darn.

Since permies has an entire forum devoted to composting toilets, I attempted a search, though it seems we don't yet have good examples posted. (Please, someone else double-check my search because I do miss things some times!)

Here is a list of best ever topics in the composting toilets forum.

And, this is thread about the first pooper at paul's place.

I found many mentions of a urine diverter, but no pictures or instructions that I could find.

See also the book review on Liquid Gold. The author, Carol Steinfeld is passionate about saving water and seeing as a nutrient resource what some consider a waste product. The author sells plans for a system that sounds similar to Paul's pooper design, those plans, or her websites (linked in the review thread) might include some urine diverter info.



Thank you Jocelyn,

I searched as well and found a lot of good information just not much regarding successful implementation of a urine diverter.

I will go through the links you posted and see if I can find some gems.

Thanks again.
 
Dianne Keast
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JUST AN IDEA:

Passive Solar Composting Toilet

An alternative on­site waste recycling system that reduces pollution and creates safe and nutrient-
rich fertilizer for gardens and farms.

This Passive Solar Composting Toilet design has been utilized in North Carolina, Georgia,

Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Maine, and New York. Plans have been sent

to several other states here in this country in addition to Peru, Indonesia, the Philippines, Haiti, the

Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Australia. The state Departments of Health of North Carolina,

Georgia, and Kentucky approve this design, and the state of New York is currently reviewing the

plans for approval. Read full PDF >>> ... https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-HH0b6RDKBCVnFEZkY5cGdtQ1U/view

Their Website is here : http://longbrancheec.org/home/Home.aspx

 
Deb Rebel
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Most of the time I have no issue if I want to do #1 or #2 separately but. It is much easier to go #1 THEN go #2. Only if there's issues with a #2 do I have the need to do another round of urine-and very small amounts. If there was a dedicated #1 and dedicated #2 holes adjacent to each other I would be able to do my duty just fine. (had some months here of having to deal with wonky plumbing so went from watering trees to a two pail system and I can squat just fine and go into a baggie in a 2 gallon pail!) Once in awhile you have a major surprise but usually that should be easy to clean up from a diverter with enough of a catch pan. A properly done #1 diverter dedicated hole could be used by the male half of the population too... (yes, years of kegels help a LOT)
 
Adrian Andronache
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Just another idea:

In short, i am starting building my house this year. Romania, Transilvania, in the mountains, around 750 meters altitude. Quite cold, a very long winter.
My heating energy source will be a bioreactor made using the ideas (with some modifications) of a scientist published in this site: http://mb-soft.com/public3/globalzo.html


The composter will be in the basement. Toilet and kitchen waste will go directly to the composter. Every mid-winter day I will need around 15-20 kilograms of dry material to "burn" in the composter (dry straw, dry hay, dry leaves.) (House is extremely insulated, 80 cm of straw bale thickness, and will need very little thermal energy, some 36kWh/day in the mid-winter). The additional urine and "humanure" will be a small added quantity over this, and will easily absorb the three-four liters of water produced by two persons per day plus some additional running water. (Normally the initial dry organic material need to have at least 40-60% added water for "reaction" to work).
Even in summer the composter will still run every day, to produce heated water for showers and domestic use. Adding 10-15 kilos of dry organic material to it every day will not be a problem.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Dianne, the .pdf file you linked to wasn't available. I'm curious, how does that solar system compare with Paul's goals for "willow feeders?"

As I was searching for a summary of Paul's goals, I could not for the life of me find one, so I made a summary in this thread on poop and pee:

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
paul wheaton wrote:I think it is wise to make sure there are poplar, cottonwood and willow trees growing.

Next, all systems should be designed so that they run cleaner than a standard septic system or a sewage treatment plant.

I think pee should be encouraged for all of outdoors.

I think the first system should be the wheelie bin system. Later systems could be dry outhouses.

I would like to find somebody that is keen on this space and microscope savvy to conduct tests to verify the cleanliness of our systems.


I'm reviving this thread about Paul's goals for human waste management at wheaton labs because I'm struggling to find where this has been outlined clearly. If I missed a good summary elsewhere, please provide a link here!

We now have two poopers, at wheaton labs. They are called poopers because they are NOT outhouses. Most people think of an outhouse as a pit toilet. Paul does not want pit toilets until we are absolutely sure the waste in the dirt pit will not leach out and pollute ground water. Paul originally dubbed his designs "wheelie bin poopers," though the poopers we built here now use garbage cans without the wheels.

One pooper is at the lab (chateau de poo, see more in the first pooper Sketchup thread).

We have a second pooper at base camp (now called the willow bank--make your deposits here - heh, heh!, and this is its pretty pooper thread).

The basics of a wheaton labs pooper system, now called willow feeders, are the following:
  • poop is deposited into 32-gallon plastic garbage cans, with some wood chips or sawdust to mitigate smell
  • urine is diverted or otherwise not included in the bins
  • large bins are used to minimize touching, moving, messing with poo
  • full bins are topped with 2 inches of sawdust, capped, and moved to the "willow candy bank" for 1-2 years to compost
  • after 6 months of resting, 99% of any potential pathogens are likely eliminated - we're letting sit two years to be extra cautious
  • this aged poop compost aka "willow candy" is used on fiber crops (trees, shrubs, etc. where fiber is used for woodworking, baskets, etc.) that appreciate heavy nitrogren
  • willow candy is NOT used on food crops.

  • Did I miss any points?

    (Edited to add Paul's corrections to the quoted post.)
     
    Joseph Bataille
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    I'm no expert but it would seem to me that this problem could be solved if we all finally admitted that squatting toilets are better for us.

    If you've ever seen a urine diverting squatty, the "seat" is long... there's a reason for that. When you squat, the urine practically diverts itself. If you don't believe me, try one of these for the first time with your pants at your ankles.



    P.S. I am being a bit hypocritical here... I do not (yet) own a squatty, but I want to. When I own my own home, I can poop wherever and however I want (as long as my wife agrees).
     
    Bob Ruby ll
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    My 2 Cents in the form of a video of a commercial version of the homebuilt Dianne is mentioning in her post:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd8j03CtgEA
     
    Dianne Keast
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    Got the PDF OPEN TO VIEW NOW.
    Read full PDF >>> ... https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-HH0b6RDKBCVnFEZkY5cGdtQ1U/view


    I realize this system may not be exactly what some are looking for but I felt it was worth mentioning for the brain storming process.
    D
     
    Fritz Spoker
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    My take on all this:

    I am a fan of Joseph Jenkins, the Humanure author. Unless you have a definite need to separate urine from faeces (the only one I can think of is separate application to a new compost pile ala' Steve Solomon), I would do as Jenkins suggests and put urine and faeces together, covering the result with a generous carbonaceous cover material.

    All this angst for separating urine seems to be unnecessary...
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Fritz Spoker wrote:My take on all this:

    I am a fan of Joseph Jenkins, the Humanure author. Unless you have a definite need to separate urine from faeces (the only one I can think of is separate application to a new compost pile ala' Steve Solomon), I would do as Jenkins suggests and put urine and faeces together, covering the result with a generous carbonaceous cover material.

    All this angst for separating urine seems to be unnecessary...


    As Paul has written, spoken, and made podcasts about, he would like to do better than a Jenkins Humanure system. Yes, Paul has read the book. I wish I could recall all the reasons here why he wants a better system and why that involves separating the urine, but I've had my head in excise taxes this afternoon, and that has obliterated most recall of other things.

     
    Mj Raichyk
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    Why not just get a plastic bedpan and set that on a solid box in your bedroom so it's real handy when you wake up. Just use it for urine and keep one of those little Reliance 'hassocks' for the dry (mostly) solid waste alongside the box (with a supply of newsprint).... We use crushed newspaper for our 'carbon' and everything goes into a 13 gallon kitchen garbage bag (nice and clean and with a nest of crushed paper to start) lining the 4 gallon plastic bucket in the hassock.... When the deposits and extra carbon have reached the 2/3rds level, lift the sides of the garbage bag back up and cinch it to carry it to the biobin (ala Jenkins)... Life could be simple... bedpan gets emptied as expected (except in the garden season, when the goal is abundance of growth)... We even didn't get rid of the formerly installed toilets in the bathroom since we womenfolk ( even Mercola agrees) have found that a nice hot rinse ala bidet is healthy and quite pleasant.......

    The only other modification we made to the hassock was to use an ample sheet of newspaper (laid over the bucket opening & held well in place by the seat) to cover the bucket and exclude the fruitflies' intentions...... realities...... the hassock's manufactured lid is a hassle and it cuts off the air circulation too much... no smelly problems if you've kept the carbon/nitrogen/air and moisture as normal (a little urine is necessary if things look dry) and you eat right.... same with the kitties in the litterbox business... kibble eaters' deposits smell totally noxious but not raw meat eaters'............... a good gage on your health status.....

    Even with my elderly disability with the proverbial prolapsed pelvic organs that used to complicate the dribble direction, there's no problem with these 'separating' targets in our experience.... of course those travelling amenities mentioned above would certainly look sensible... working on our cat rescue, there's not much travel to worry about... think bedpan and hassock for personal, lightweight manageability!
     
    Janet Branson
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    "When you squat, the urine practically diverts itself. If you don't believe me, try one of these for the first time with your pants at your ankles."

    Yes! I've had the same experience! These are so much more comfortable and healthy, for me anyway. America sells the squatty potty, it's a plastic step that hugs a conventional flush toilet and brings your knees up to a more natural mammalian pooping position. Plastic-bad, but position-good. The position forces the rectum to straighten, thus no straining. Once straight the poop slides right out relieving pressure off the bladder, further making it easier to control the stream, for ladies anyway. Personally, I prefer to use the nozzle into a mason jar, then squat over a hole for the rest. Before my position was perfected and my pelvic floor was strengthened I would rollup a wash cloth and tuck it in like a pad while I squatted for the pooping. The advantage of not having a thigh gap. The cloth only ever had to catch a tablespoon or two at the most.Too much detail?

    All the prosthetic nozzles are silicone or plastic, as far as I can tell. I would like a sustainable and sanitary nozzle; though, I don't see needing a new one ever, it's not something you can sell used and will return to the Earth to not-decompose eventually.

    Hmm, just an idea. Ever seen the shredded-paper bricks for fires? One would take shredded paper, soak it in water, then press the mush into a mold, dry it and then they had a brick. I would think the same could be done for a disposable nozzle. Maybe something to sell in the resort gift shop for our brave tourists. Base camp has an excess of cardboard. Any reason this might not be worth experimenting on?

     
    Gerald O'Hara
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    Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:I can pee without pooping but can't poop without peeing.

    However, I will admit to sometimes having a ninja turd attack when I innocently assumed I was just there to "make water".

    Poop can sneak up on one sometimes.... Just sayin'.


    I picked this post to respond to because it justifies the following comments in order to understand WHY we get those NINJA TURD ATTACKS when thinking we were only there to "make water!"

    As luck (and G*d) would have it, the complaint issued by Jennifer is not a design flaw; rather a specific design feature. The human waste disposal system is controlled by the "autonomic nervous system" (read: automatic) and the solid waste disposal function is specifically controlled by the 10th cranial nerve in the brainstem called the "VAGUS NERVE" (yes, this is going to be a bit "technical". We are talking about the "pooping system" after all).

    The Vagus nerve is a rather complex wiring system which controls the activation of certain bodily functions, of which the poop mechanism is one. There are several signal types that enter into play here. One of these is called the "gastro-colic reflex" which simply stated means that when you eat enough to activate the "stretch receptors" in your stomach, those stretch receptors send a signal to the "main frame" (read: brain) and that sends the "empty out" signal to the colon to make room for what is currently in the stomach. Often as not however, as Jennifer has stated, there is no signal from the brain to the colon to tell it to empty because there is nothing in the stomach to tell it that. So you just get the "time to pee" signal from the pelvic nerves and most folks comply with that in a timely manner, assuming they are in a situation where they can do so.

    Now it is important to understand that the signal the brain sends via the Vagus nerve (i.e wiring system) is a smooth muscle contraction signal as opposed to a "skeletal muscle" contraction signal such as when you decide to move one of your extremities. Most of the "hollow organs" are comprised of this Smooth muscle.

    The vagus nerve (parasympathetic nerve) has control of a number of functions including (but not limited to) the heart, liver gall bladder, bile ducts, stomach, trachea, bronchi and lungs, the kidney, and adrenal glands all of which can be activated by this "smooth muscle contraction" signal. The bladder, which is held in check as it fills by the "sympathetic nerves" in the "autonomic system" is activated by an "over-ride" signal from the parasympathetic nerves which causes it to empty. Ergo, you often pee but not poop, but in many cases you may notice that you fart while you are peeing. This is the result of the same parasympathetic nerve stimulation along the "parasympathetic wiring of which the "vagus nerve" is included. If you have ever noticed that some folks actually lose consciousness and even some die with excessive straining to empty the "waste port". Stimulating the vagus nerve also has the ability to slow down the heart to the point of stopping if it goes on for too long.

    The two systems are equal and opposite forces, just like in Newtonian physics. Now it is also true that there are "stretch receptors" in the bladder as well, which when stimulated as the result of reaching its "volume/capacity" sends a signal to the brain to send a signal via the pelvic nerve to the bladder to empty in order for it to NOT overfill which causes some impressive concern for folks who fail to heed its call in a timely manner such as when driving or doing something that can not be easily stopped at the moment one gets "THAT signal".

    So, without going much deeper into the wiring diagram and operation of the human body, suffice it to say, the "two hole activation system" is indeed a deliberate design feature of the "Supreme Architect of the Universe".

    I should also like to point out that the "HUMANURE" system is for reasons no one is completely positive about, unfortunately provides an unsafe product and should NOT, repeat NOT be used on vegetables or edible garden produce. Flowers are fine, but there is an association with certain forms of neurological disease, among which MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS is associated (but never as yet proven). There was (and may still be a product called "MilOrganite" which is made from HUMANURE. If you read about it, you will conclude that this is NOT something we want to add to our diet...ever.
    Just sayin'
    Cheers,
    Trim sends
     
    Mj Raichyk
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    Just a puzzle... why the anti-plastic idea when plastic can be made sustainably with stuff like hemp and ethanol technologies...?
     
    Maureen Abram
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    I am living off grid and have been using a composting toilet sold by the Nature's Head company for 2 years. It is designed to separate the liquids and solids and works really great. I use wood shavings as the solids mix and have been getting about 5-6 weeks of use before I need to empty the poop, I get about 3 days out of the liquids tank, which I use once a week diluted to fertilize my garden (the plants love it). I dug 3 pits and I alternate burying the solids between them so that when I go back to the first pit its been almost 6 months since the last batch. By then it is almost totally composted, but I only use this for my areas for grass or rose garden, not on veggies or herbs. Maybe you could look at the design they have come up with using the 2 chambers and the door flap and lever and it might have ideas for your system? By the way, I am a female and I have been able to keep things fairly separate while using the toilet.
     
    leah cardwell
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    hello I have elders here and they are pretty much unable to do a squat. I had them read the forum and their response was that as you age your sphincters don't function always on command and as females go through lifes hurdles of having children and ageing our bladders don't always work the way that we want them too either.The elders laughed outright at the urine diverters for squatting as they need a 5 inch lift on their seat due to hip transplants etc... to use a toilet and get off of one. I tried a two holer for a practice run and it might as well have been a one holer with the number of seniors and small children running about .
    try and try again is all I can say, my trees would love the compost.
     
    Tom Turner
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    Gerald O'Hara wrote:... One of these is called the "gastro-colic reflex" which simply stated means that when you eat enough to activate the "stretch receptors" in your stomach, those stretch receptors send a signal to the "main frame" (read: brain) and that sends the "empty out" signal to the colon to make room for what is currently in the stomach. (...)

    I should also like to point out that the "HUMANURE" system is for reasons no one is completely positive about, unfortunately provides an unsafe product and should NOT, repeat NOT be used on vegetables or edible garden produce. Flowers are fine, but there is an association with certain forms of neurological disease, among which MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS is associated (but never as yet proven). ...


    I had read of the sensor in the stomach which sends a "full" signal to the brain. I was told that it had a time delay of about 20 minutes. For dieters one should eat a small to moderate sized meal and then wait 20 minutes, if one is still hungry then go ahead and eat some more. Is this sensor a volume sensor or a calorie sensor. I remember experimenting with low calorie bulk food vs high calorie density low bulk food (i.e. fat) and my sensor seemed to ignore the volume and respond to the calories. Have I mislead myself?

    I recently had a bout of dysentery. I think I received it from a rental bobcat which might have been used in some septic system work. I don't know, but I'm not a composter. You seem to be up on the biological aspect of this subject. Explain about these pathogens. Explain how they can survive outside the body; what kills them; at what temperature do they die, how do septic systems and waste treatment plants eliminate these pathogens before the water is released into the environment?

    I feel that this whole subject is awash in misinformation, myth and fear. In European cities during the middle ages the streets were awash in human waste, literally. By current wisdom/myth one would expect the entire city to be forever immobilized with dysentery ... but they weren't. Why?

    .
     
    Jason Learned
    Posts: 83
    Location: Czech Republic; East Bohemia; Latitude 50˚ 12' 34"
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    Has anyone considered using geotube textiles? They hold all solids and allow only liquids to flow out of them. I believe they will keep the bacteria inside where they will break the solids down into the soluble molecular components. I've seen them used in aquaponics systems and have seen some videos where they used it with various wastes.

    It might be a good design to have a pooper made with the collection chamber made of this and the out flow to a reed bed. It seems to take care of the pathogen problem. But Paul might not like the polymer component.

    Hope the info helps.

    Jason
     
    Judy Bowman
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    Location: South Central Oklahoma
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    Fritz Spoker wrote:My take on all this:

    I am a fan of Joseph Jenkins, the Humanure author. Unless you have a definite need to separate urine from faeces (the only one I can think of is separate application to a new compost pile ala' Steve Solomon), I would do as Jenkins suggests and put urine and faeces together, covering the result with a generous carbonaceous cover material.

    All this angst for separating urine seems to be unnecessary...


    I agree. We have used a homemade composting toilet for about 17 years. Our angst free system is: Boys pee in the woods during the day. Girls pee wherever they're comfortable, even in the bucket. (Turns out I'm pretty comfortable squatting anywhere while guests like the seat in the outhouse.). Everyone pees in the night bucket after sundown, mostly because that's when the copperheads like to crawl around in warm weather. We do our initial composting in 5 large, black garbage bins with lids for a household of two people. There are holes drilled in the bottom and sides for drainage and ventilation. Roughly every 4 to 6 months these are emptied into another larger bin for several more months. Our initial bins are numbered so when they're all full we can know which is oldest for dumping and it usually smells earthy and not stinky by that time. Our outhouse is less than 15 feet out the back door and we have no odor problems. We also dump kitchen scraps and the occasional small dead animal in the humanure bins without complication.
     
    Ruby Gray
    Posts: 19
    Location: Taswegia
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    I just cannot understand why anyone would even try to improve on Joe Jenkins' system. He has done the 4 decades of field trials, of pathology tests, of humanure compost-grown gardens, of practical experiential testing. He has done the lot. There is simply nothing about his system that is in any way inferior to any other "composting toilet" available to build or buy. I have been using my own home-built "lovable loo" for 12 months and it works wonderfully well. I would hate to have to deal with Paul's complicated system. Separation is counterproductive to composting the sawdust cover. You need the moisture and the nitrogen content to thermophilically (read, SAFELY) compost the solids. Seems Paul has over-thought this process to Timbuktu and back.
     
    Tobias Ber
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    hey ruby,
    that topic is discussed in podcast 213 and 214.

    a big thing is about convenience. not everybody wants to deal with full buckets 2 times a week.
    diversion allows you to use the urine immediately as safe fertilizer. the solid waste would not start to stink as much as when mixed, so one can go for some weeks or even months without having to deal with full buckets/bins...

    as far as i remember, the wheelie bin house would have a chimney to suck the stinky air out of the outhouse. this is a nice addition, but one could add that to a jenkins-style toilet.

    when the system works for you, great. awesome that you go this way.

    other people might need/want other systems to fit their personal needs, preferences and situations. some people want more convenient, beginner-friendly solutions ... and that s totally ok. for them. it s important to reach out to people where they re at in this given moment. every little step up the eco-scale should be valued and cherished.
     
    Wyatt Barnes
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    Ruby I am like you and think that the Jenkins system is the way to go but like Tobias I recognize the possible drawbacks for less active people and ones that have geographic limitations. A wheelie bin system or a two chamber would be a terrific labour saver. I don't mind the pails but I am active, reasonably healthy, not fecophobic and actually prefer the fact that my system requires me to be an active weekly participant, other than donations. I frequently go out of my way to take a peek at my compost thermometer in between additions.
     
    Ruby Gray
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    Wyatt Barnes wrote:Ruby I am like you and think that the Jenkins system is the way to go ...

    Ah, if only I could afford a compost thermometer!! But my black locust seeds are germinating a treat on top of the warm compost pile as our autumn weather cools down, so something is going on in there. Gives a whole new meaning to the concept of "applying bottom heat to seedlings"!
     
    Ruby Gray
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    Tobias Ber wrote:hey ruby,
    "that topic is discussed in podcast 213 and 214."


    One day I'm gonna find out what a "podcast" is.


    Tobias Ber wrote:
    a big thing is about convenience. not everybody wants to deal with full buckets 2 times a week.


    So deal with half-buckets on a more regular basis. Nobody complains about having to carry all those shopping bags full of groceries into the house every week, do they? How inconvenient is that? How is it harder to tote the reconstituted foodstuffs back out into the garden? Not! I find swapping out a liftable 3/4 bucket every 5 days is a simple and satisfying exercise. I just wish I had more contributors to my recycling project!


    Tobias Ber wrote:diversion allows you to use the urine immediately as safe fertilizer. the solid waste would not start to stink as much as when mixed, so one can go for some weeks or even months without having to deal with full buckets/bins...


    There is no "stink". Using the urine separately, prevents thermophilic decomposition of the solids over the coming 3 - 4 weeks (that is all it takes for humanure to become unrecognisable as such when I open the pile to make the next deposit).
    Urine is not "safe" fertiliser in all situations. If you are going through a dry spell, even whwen it is diluted, it can spell death to sensitive plants.



    Tobias Ber wrote:as far as i remember, the wheelie bin house would have a chimney to suck the stinky air out of the outhouse. this is a nice addition, but one could add that to a jenkins-style toilet.


    Because there is no "stink," a Jenkins-style toilet does not need a chimney to "suck the stinky air out".

    As far as I remember, Paul went with large bins, which I don't think were wheelie bins at all, because his brother had an oversupply of them. That is not a good reason to use bins that are very heavy and awkward to deal with. Close them things up and leave them for 2 years, and you have just relocated a nasty problem to 2 years hence. You will have the same stuff as you began with. A mouldering dry toilet pile needs to be open to the air. This system is neither aerobic thermophilic (hot) composting, nor aerobic mouldering (cold) composting.

    Paul is concerned about people adding more than 1/2 cup sawdust / contribution, yet advocates the use of great piles of multiple tree logs to create gardens! It doesn't make sense to me, to use an expensive and failure-prone urine diverter to separate liquids from the chunky bits, just to save sawdust and have liquid fertiliser to apply to your poplar trees, when by combining the 3 components in generous amounts, a much nicer and better-balanced product can be manufactured in much less time, which is safe to use even on lettuce crops (if you must, though I intend to use it on fruit trees and above-ground crops).

    when the system works for you, great. awesome that you go this way.

    other people might need/want other systems to fit their personal needs, preferences and situations. some people want more convenient, beginner-friendly solutions ... and that s totally ok. for them. it s important to reach out to people where they re at in this given moment. every little step up the eco-scale should be valued and cherished.
     
    Rick English
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    Location: Central Pennsylvania, USA
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    books dog forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy trees
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    Here is more info one of the specific podcasts mentioned above:
    http://www.permies.com/t/18268/permaculture-podcast/Podcast-Conversatons-Bodily-Fluids-Waste
     
    Tobias Ber
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    i do not wanna be in the position to judge people according to their pooping-habits and how they treat that crap

    i m happy with/for everybody who will take a step (or a few steps) towards a more sustainable life-style.

    when people want more convenience, their choice.

    for me: in our off-grid hut we just do not have the space for jenkins style composting and not the amounts and frequency of bodily wastes to run a jenkins-style-system. and needing more saw-dust would create more hassle/problems for us.

    urine-diversion: my self-built works fine so far. urine can be store or put on high-carbon compost-materials.

    when i would design a house, i would go for a two chamber worm-composter in the basement with urine diversion. or at least use swapp-able, aeriated wheely bins for the solids and add worms later.


    let s be nice, and go on peeing and pooping happily thereafter and maybe grow some good stuff from that crap... may you all be blessed in all things (including the here-mentioned things)
     
    Janet Branson
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    Location: Missoula, MT
    bee hugelkultur rabbit tiny house trees
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    The Wheelie-bin-willow-feeder has been approved!

    A young guest to Base Camp left us this very special message.
    Screen-Shot-2016-07-05-at-10.33.30-PM.png
    [Thumbnail for Screen-Shot-2016-07-05-at-10.33.30-PM.png]
     
    Wyatt Barnes
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    Very good news about the approval. Congratulations.
     
    Steve Smyth
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    Steve Smyth wrote:I am beginning work on my first composting toilet and have been searching for good information regarding ideal positioning of the urine diverter.

    I don't have room for a two seater so getting the urine diverter optimized is a necessity.

    Have you all made any progress in making the "shared" urine diverter play well? Have you found any helpful resources out there that you could share?

    Any assistance will be appreciated!!

    Thanks

    S. 


    Well I finally built my composting toilet and received the "loveable loo" diverter.  Lacking any specific recommendations for placement I made my best guess.

    It works great for me..... Not so well for female users. Some hit the diverter and some don't......

    Looks like I need to make a new lid with the diverter moved back a bit.
     
    Sandy Graves
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    The simplest solution to directing urine into the urine diverter is to use a modified ladle. Simply cut a one inch diameter hole in the center of the bottom and hold in place while urinating. They cost 88 cents at Walmart. Have your personal ladle and think of it like you do your tooth brush. The ladle can be rinsed off and wiped dry or just hung on a hook to dry. Most people adventurous enough to use permaculture or a composting toilet are not averse to using something so simple.
    Urine-assistance-appliance-ladle2.jpg
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    Lady-s-maid-6.jpg
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    Of course, I found a very beautiful couch. Definitely. And this tiny ad:
    FT Position Available: Affiliate Manager Who Loves Permaculture & Homesteading
    https://permies.com/t/69742/FT-Position-Affiliate-Manager-Loves
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