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Women peeing, urine diverters and sawdust

 
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I just built an outhouse with compost toilet based on a 55 gallon barrel. When the barrel is full, I will remove, close and store it in the sun for a year or two. The covering material is sawmill sawdust, for the good moisture content compared to lumberyard sawdust.

I want to keep urine in the barrels to a minimum, to reduce smell and to let the barrels fill slower, so they don’t need to be changed out as often. The toilet will be used by up to ten people, so it will fill up relatively fast.
I would also like to keep the urine separate since it can be used as fertilizer right away without composting.
I also need to have a system for peeing in general.

Men can either pee outdoors or in a urinal set up inside the outhouse. Things get a little more complex with women. Here’s the challenge/problem: the ideal solution would be to use a diverter, but whenever sawdust gets tossed into the toilet, some of it ends up in the diverter. I can’t seem to think of any design solution for this problem; any ideas out there?

The only alternative I can think of would be to have a second toilet seat just for women (and sitting men) to urinate. I’m hoping to find an elegant solution to avoid this extra seat, and thus keep the outhouse compact and movable.
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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similar to the concept of a bidet, why not have a separate bucket for urine? A woman's urinal if you will?
 
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I would suggest a home made two piece lid instead of the one that comes with the toilet seat. The first piece would be a hinged lid with a shaped hole that includes the toilet seat hole minus the diverter. This would be dropped before the sawdust gets added. The second lid would be a flat piece of plywood shaped to fit the diverter lid.
 
Robert Chroscicki
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Wow, that was nicely creative

I like it as a solution for a compost toilet that gets used by the same people all the time, and by occasional guests with common sense. If I actually build one I'll post the pics!

For more public compost toilet, I think I'll have to go with the separate urine bucket/system solution.
 
Wyatt Barnes
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Having good clear instructions is important for any non standard system. In this case you would just add one instruction for one extra easy action. While we are on the subject of lids I think that there is a logical solution to the question about whether the toilet seat gets left up or down on any toilet. The answer is that the lid should always be down when the toilet is not actively being used. This means before flushing a flush toilet or letting any system sit idle. Everybody gets to do one action before using, either lifting the lid or lid/seat, and the reverse after.
 
Robert Chroscicki
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Good points, good advice Wyatt, thank
 
pollinator
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Location: Washington Timber Country
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Speaking from no other expertise than my own observations as a woman, I think with a wide collection of strangers using the system, you'll have more luck with the two part lid and a clear how-to sign than with a separate pee bucket. Most folks with no particular stake in the game (not their house, not their mess to clean up later) will just pee and poop in the "main" toilet rather than think hard about what's going to come out and choose a receptacle accordingly.

Either way, you'll need to just plan on some misuse if it's a semi-public facility. Have you ever worked anywhere where you had to keep the bathrooms clean? Even if you give people a standard flush toilet they only use it right maybe 80% of the time.
 
Wyatt Barnes
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My sister in law once had a contract to maintain the highway rest stops in our area. Keep the grass cut, the garbage cans emptied and the outhouses clean. I remember hearing about people dropping off bags of household garbage, rather than going out of their way to the dump, and apparently either monkeys or some other semi sentient life forms used the outhouses. I think the ideal outhouse would be a chamber type with a floor drain because from what I have heard the only reasonable way to clean them sometimes is to hose them down from the outside.
 
pollinator
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My way was to use an RV toilet I already had laying around. It doesn't fill/refill upon flushing. The flush can be as much or as little water as desired or even none if you just step on the lever a little bit. Stepping on the pedal opens a slider door at the bottom of the bowl and opens a valve that shoots the flush water into the top of the bowl but the door opens a bit before water starts coming out. Of course not running a water supply to it would make it waterless but it really needs some kind of flush here and there to prevent odors and nasty build up. A squeeze bottle of water works. The shut off for the water supply can just be turned on a little which would prevent over-flushing by young and/or un-trainable individuals. Can be run to a 55 gal drum or if the property has a grade to it, it can be run to a compost pile or a big raked up pile of leaves contained in a circular fence cage. The latter is what we do. The girls throw there tp in a trash bag. That could be avoided and will be here when I build a better pile system. Something where the tp won't cause a clog at the pile end of the pipe. Here's what the toilets look like.

Not cheap but a used one would be if you can deal with it. Ours came out of our old travel trailer.
 
Robert Chroscicki
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I've finally implemented the suggestions made on this post, by designing and building a double toilet lid. Hopefully the pics are self-explanatory in describing how the system keeps sawdust from falling into the diverter. I also plan to post how I built the low-cost diverter in the pictures. The complete set of pics is in the pdf file.

Urine-Diverter-Guard-Lid-1.jpg
Urine-Diverter-Guard-Lid-1
Urine-Diverter-Guard-Lid-1
Urine-Diverter-Guard-Lid-12.jpg
Urine-Diverter-Guard-Lid-12
Urine-Diverter-Guard-Lid-12
Filename: Compost-toilet-with-diverter-and-guard-lid.pdf
File size: 2 megabytes
 
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Location: Northeast - 5B
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Genius!
 
Robert Chroscicki
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Thank you
The small lid inside the funnel is loose enough that it automatically flips open when you open the main toilet lid, so that when you close the main lid after your deposit, the funnel is open and ready for the sawdust.
 
Robert Chroscicki
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Here's an easy way to check out the complete series of pics without having to download it.

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B03532ODWW2bb0
 
Wyatt Barnes
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Nice rig Robert. Is the diverter hose in the use position in the picture?
 
Robert Chroscicki
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Yes, the hose is in the use position. The p-trap creates a seal for the odor, since the hose locks into the 1 gallon bottle tightly by the use of a rubber gasket.

Unlike the bucket, the bottle rests in plain view to avoid filling it and overflowing. A larger bottle or container could be used, but that would extend the time that the pee would sit, increasing the likelihood of unpleasant scents.

Sorry if I didn't take a good picture of that part
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