• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

Urine Aeration / bioponics / urine compost tea

Posts: 36
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I use a composting toilet. Normally I just pee here and there outdoors, but I had the idea for an experiment.

I have heard:

  • Diluted urine tends to be better for fertilizer.
    Aged urine tends to be better than fresh urine.

  • Well, I wanted to add something to that list, based on a basic understanding of aquaponics and compost tea systems.

  • Aerated systems are better than anaerobic systems.

  • Urine in an anerobic environment quickly begins to stink. However, what happens when it is aerated, by adding an air stone to the urine collector? I don't know. I am probably like most people. I have no experience with this.


    Fill a 5 gallon bucket with a gallon of water and an air stone. Use this as a urinal.

    Periodically dump the bucket here and there in the garden.

    Alternatively, it would be interesting to try bioponics, adding urine to a basic aquaponics system. I am aware of the obvious ickiness of this, and of the potential problems with this because there are not soil bacteria/fungi to act as a buffer between human waste and food. However, with the addition of an oxygen-rich environment, and therefore aerobic bacteria, would the system be better?

    Has anyone tried this? Suggestions before I start selling air stone urinal cakes?

    Posts: 58
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Love the lateral thinking. However I would advise using fresh, diluted urine applied to the base of plants. The rule of thumb seems to be that one adult is capable of fertilising one square metre per day.

    Ageing of urine is recommended for multiple household collection as a safety measure as there may be contamination from faeces. Urine from a healthy person is effectively sterile. Aerating a sterile liquid will do nothing biologically but would surely cause offence to others. I like to keep a lid on mine before the daily application.

    I'm not sure about aquaponics but I reckon you will get best value from spreading it around fresh as you are doing.
    Mother Tree
    Posts: 11648
    Location: Portugal
    dog duck forest garden tiny house books wofati bike bee solar rocket stoves greening the desert
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I'm a bit disorganised and I tend to end up with a whole bucket of pee before I empty it somewhere around the garden. It's not ideal as it tends to overload the soil and sometimes gives the impression that it does more harm than good. I prefer to tip it onto the compost heap where there is a good range of active bacteria to help covert the nitrogen to a usable form.

    You might also be interested in this thread on the backyard aquaponics forum - PeePonics
    Posts: 2392
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I add it to compost teas. But not before using it to recycle alkaline batteries.

    I find that offensive odors may linger for an hour or so after adding the urine to the aerating compost tea bucket, but as soon as the bacteria get lunch digested, it's not much of a problem. I make my compost teas fairly weak, and adding 2 liters of urine to 12 or 15 liters of weak compost tea works pretty well and doesn't burn the plants. I may also throw in a trowelful of wood ashes to get some potassium and phosphorus into the mix.
    Garden Mastery Academy - Module 1: Dare to Dream
    will be released to subscribers in: soon!
      Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
    • New Topic