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Robert Ray
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For those of you interested in humanure, composting toilets, urine diversion.



http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=human-urine-is-an-effective-fertilizer
 
                              
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Location: Thailand
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If you are interested in a much more in depth but also very practical guide on urine use, check out this publication.  "Practical Guidance on the Use of Urine in Crop Production"  from the Stockholm Environmental Institute.

see the link below

http://www.sei-international.org/mediamanager/documents/Publications/Air-land-water-resources/ecosan-urine-in-crops-100824%20web.pdf
 
                          
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I think livestock recycles urine quite nicely anyways.
 
                                  
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Michael, great urine info.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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http://www.popsci.com/environment/article/2009-09/fertilizer-future-might-be-closer-we-think
Better Tomatoes Via a Fertilizer of...Human Urine?
By Rebecca BoylePosted 09.04.2009 at 7:53 am15 Comments

Tomatoes C.P.Storm (CC licensed)
You say tomayto, I say tomahto.
You say Miracle-Gro, I say ... pee.
Apparently, human urine works remarkably well as a fertilizer for tomatoes, according to a new study out of Finland.
Plants fertilized with a mixture of stored human urine and wood ash produced 4.2 times more fruit than plants without the pee, the study found. The urine-fertilized tomatoes had more beta-carotene than unfertilized ones, and much more protein than traditionally fertilized plants.
And the tomatoes were just as good as those grown with traditional fertilizer, according to a panel of 20 brave tasters.
Healthy human urine is rich in nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphate, all key ingredients for healthy plants. As long as the pee doesn't contain any fecal matter, it's usually free of any microorganisms.
Surendra K. Pradhan, K. Holopainen and Helvi Heinonen-Tanski of the University of Kuopio in Finland collected human urine during the winter of 2007-2008 from several eco-toilets in private homes. The urine was stored for about six months at 45 degrees F and tested for microbes and bacteria. The team mixed it with wood ash collected from a household furnace, and found the mixture was just as good as -- or better than -- conventional chemical fertilizer.
In taste tests, the urine-fertilized tomatoes tasted different from those fertilized with urine and ash, but tasters didn't have a preference -- "all tomato samples were evaluated as being equally good by the tasters," the study says. The results are reported in the latest Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The same team had previously tested human pee as a fertilizer for cucumber and cabbage, and a South African team reported last year that urine had successfully fertilized maize. The Finnish team said they tried tomatoes because they're grown all over the world and are a staple ingredient in many recipes.
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TAGS
The Environment, Rebecca Boyle, agriculture, farming, fertilizer, food, Future of Food, gardening, tomatoes, urineThe use of urine to fertilize crops has been practiced since ancient times, but is relatively rare today, thanks to the ick factor and the prevalence of chemical and mineral fertilizers. But as farmers and home growers seek organic ways to grow food, urine could be a solution.
The study "may contribute to the development of positive attitudes about the use of urine and ash as fertilizer as a way to both increase crop yield and reduce water pollution," the authors wrote.
It may not be necessary to go all NASA with our pee and start drinking it. But if we can safely and efficiently grow food with it, why not?

 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/studies-conclude-urine-good.html
Studies Conclude: Urine in the Garden is a Good Green Thing
Recognizing the value of a free, and abundant, fertilizer for your garden.


By Colleen Vanderlinden
Fri Aug 7, 2009 08:42
       

Colleen Vanderlinden
READ MORE ABOUT:
Gardening | Organic Gardening Tips
I read a post by Josh here on Planet Green about using urine in the garden. One of the commenters stated that using urine was completely unsanitary, which is a common statement when the subject of human waste comes up. Earlier in the day, I read an article from Mother Jones about the value of using urine as an organic fertilizer. It appears that we Americans are way behind in recognizing the agricultural value of urine. From the Mother Jones article:

"For more than a decade, 130 households in Stockholm, Sweden, have collected their urine--nearly 40,000 gallons of it per year--and trucked it off to be sprayed on crops. More than 600,000 Chinese households in at least 17 provinces use special urine-diverting toilets to fertilize crops such as sugarcane, watermelons, and peanuts. Farming communities in 17 African countries have also taken up the practice of collecting urine. And in the central Mexican village of Tepoztlán, an environmental group wheels a urine-collecting porta-potty to fiestas and uses the cache on local fields."

Human urine is a very high-quality fertilizer. It is so high-quality, in fact, that a single person's urine would be enough to fertilize up to one tenth of an acre of vegetables for an entire year. There is a certain grossness factor that would undoubtedly turn some people off of the whole idea of using urine on their veggie garden, but before we blow this off as just one more outlandish idea, let's look at what's really going on here.

Set aside the issue of bodily fluids and letting them loose in the garden for a moment. Let's look at what good fertilizers consist of. On any bag of either synthetic or organic fertilizer you would buy, there are three numbers commonly known as the NPK ratio.


N stands for nitrogen, which is important for stem and leaf development.

P stanks for phosphorous, which aids root development, as well as flower and fruit production.

K stands for potassium, which provides for general overall plant health and disease-resistance.

While I have yet to see an NPK ratio for human urine, we do know that it is high in nitrogen, and also provides good doses of phosphorous and potassium. In fact, in a 2007 Washington Post story, they followed a study in which human urine was used to fertilize cabbage (cabbage was chosen because it requires a lot of nitrogen for strong growth). The study found that the cabbages fertilized with human urine were larger at harvest, grew to their maximum size more quickly, and suffered less insect damage than cabbages grown with conventional fertilizers.

One concern that has been raised about using urine as a fertilizer, especially for edible crops, is that any pharmaceuticals that a person is taking could be passed along to the soil and plants via the urine. In the Washington Post story, one of the lead scientists in the cabbage study said that any pathogens that survived in the urine would have to battle it out with microorganisms that already exist in the soil. He also said that, most likely, those pathogens would lose.

Tips for Using Urine as Fertilizer

It's probably best to dilute your urine by mixing it with water. A 50/50 mix would probably be best.

Don't apply urine directly to the plants. Use it to water the soil around the plants instead.

If you take a lot of medications, you might want to steer clear of using your urine as fertilizer. It seems to me that the microorganisms have enough to deal with.

If you'd rather not use urine to fertilize your garden, you can add it to the compost pile.

I know this idea isn't for everyone, but it's an interesting concept, and both the Mother Jones and Washington Post articles touted human urine as a possible option for farmers and gardeners who are low on cash. What do you think? Have you used urine in your garden?

Like this article? Tons more in our Organic Gardening feature.

 
nancy sutton
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Another way for women to collect urine was suggested to me by a friend, and it works very well!  A yellow, plastic, tightly lidded container of Nestle Quick chocolate drink powder, when emptied (can use up making brownies , would seem to have been designed specifically for us gals to collect the liquid gold   Mine goes to topping up a watering can, already half full of water, and, thence to the leaf pile, or the toes of various happy plants
 
                                          
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Thanks alot for these articles. I've been wondering about this for quite some time
 
Kate Nudd
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I was initially hesitant to try this but...
Okay, the snow peas are taller and greener than I have ever seen them this time of year and the tomato plants..well the same so...I will head out soon with more of this 'miracle' liquid to feed other plants in the garden.
Thanks for the information.
 
Charles Anacker
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I've been using urine in my garden for about 6 months and it is a great source of nitrogen which is especially good for all greens. We have used it for our nopales cactus and it has incredible growth. My wife has been using it on her herbs and the basil and sage love it. We use it on our orange, tangerine, kumquat, guava, Japanese Persimmon, and Cherimoya trees and they are all doing well.

Carol Steinfeld has written a book called Liquid Gold that gives a great overview on "the Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants".

Some interesting information that I have found:

The average Westerner's urine has a N-P-K of 11-1-2.5.

One person could supply enough urine to fertilize roughly 6,300 tomato plants a year, yielding some 2.41 tons in one season. Researchers at the University of Kuopio in Finland sue wood ash and human urine in their studies. The tomatoes had more beta-carotene, higher levels of magnesium, and more protein than those not fertilized with Urine. The wood ash was to furnish more potassium.

The salt content of urine was the one draw back and it can be controlled by watering the plants before the urine is added, helps protect the plants from taking up too much salt. There is a caution to not apply to waterlogged or high clay soil, since these soils will hold onto salt no matter what you do.

Will Brinton, PhD, president of Woods End Laboratories developed recipes for Free Homemade Liquid Fertilizers for Mother Earth New. Urine Tea is simple, it doesn't have to be steeped, just diluted 1:20 with water. He says that teas made from steeped tea of grass clippings and/or urine come closest to providing the optimum N-P-K ration of 3-1-2. If you don't use it all in 2 or 3 days, dump it to your compost or pour it out beneath your perennials. 
 
                            
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My partner and I started using a sawdust urinal a couple weeks ago and it ROCKS!!! We are renters a semi-urbanized setting (house with about 3x15 metres garden), so humanure wasn't really feasible for technical reasons. The sawdust urinal system seemed like a good compromise and so far it works really well. It's just a 5-gallon bucket half-filled with sawdust, plus a sprinkle of sawdust every so often to keep it covered with organic matter. The full bucket goes on to the compost pile. There are no smells, no flies, and it is generally simple to manage. I think this system is highly recommendable for anyone who has space for a compost bin, especially in an urban setting  . After reading this it seems like the "innoculated" sawdust could go directly on the garden beds as well 
 
Charles Anacker
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I wouldn't recommend putting sawdust, even with urine added on the beds directly. If you are using sawdust, put it in the compost bin or pile and let it full decompose as the microorganisms will take nitrogen directly from the soil until it is fully decomposed. Pouring pure or diluted urine in the beds is a better way to give the plants the benefit of the urine.

From a practical uni-sexual way of collecting urine, my wife came up with using a big gulp cup which people where she works supply daily (we reuse it and rinse it each time with a small amount of water we collect from the shower as it warms up), and we can  both use it easily. We pour it into a large mouth plastic jar, with a lid. We recycle it daily into our garden, around our fruit trees, or onto our compost pile. We don't use sawdust as we are only using urine, which has little or no odor if it is fresh. As it ages, it gives off an ammonia smell which indicates a loss of nitrogen, so use it fresh, or pour it into your compost.
 
cheng cai
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Charles Anacker
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I haven't seen these, but I prefer a closed container. I use a recycled, larger white plastic container with a lid, similar to the type that sports protein supplement come in. They are light weight easy carry and as I use them daily, the convenience of handling them and the low cost (free) makes it possible to have several available so that I can only deal with using it in my garden, around my fruit trees, or in my compost pile, once a day. Also, and open container will attract flies and ants.
 
cheng cai
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yes you can also get the one w cover; its used in asia in the old days before the flush toilets
 
Charles Anacker
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From practical home use experience of about 6 months, having a smaller 1-2 quart container, with a screw on lid, that one can easily carry outdoors and pour into a watering can may be better than a larger, although more attractive, container that is heavier and breakable (?).
 
Troy Rhodes
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Been doing it for years.  Glad it's getting a little publicity from mainstream science. 

It's a bit safer if you dilute it.  I like 6:1, but it's not critical.


During the growing season, this is part of my routing as I walk around and inspect the plants.  Anybody that's looking a little droopy or tired gets a shot of liquid gold.  And the big feeders always get a share of the bounty, the corn, tomatoes, etc.


In the winter, I was having a hard time finding a steady supply of sawdust.  Feel free to chime in if you have a magic solution to that.

My solution was big bags of wood pellets (for pellet stoves).  Four dollars a bag and the bags are pretty big and last a long time.  They are just compressed sawdust, no glue or binders.  They expand amazingly when they get wet and soak up the urine.


Finest regards,


troy
 
Charles Anacker
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While I don't use or see the need for sawdust in urine collection, if it is kept in a closed container, I have seen bulk products at my local feed store that are used for horses stables. You might try there to see if it is more economical than what you are using.

The dilution is quite arbitrary and everyone has a favorite dilution rate. I read that Chairman Mao like 5:1, but being Chinese, "5" represents the 5 happiness's. The Swedish study sited with a link on an earlier post (Practical Guidance on the Use of Urine in Crop Production) referred to undiluted and  3:1 dilution and Mother Earth Magazine referred to 20:1 as the proper dilution for a urine tea, which required no fermenting and could be used right away. If the plant is salt sensitive such as beans, than a greater dilution could be used to minimize the salt content, if the plants are not, then an undiluted urine would be appropriate.

Since saw dust has a 100:1 carbon ratio, why would you want to tie up all of the nitrogen in the urine by adding sawdust. In the Humanure composting toiled, I can understand the need for sawdust for odor control, but urine is much less of a problem if it is fresh and used daily, it is only after the urine starts making ammonia gas that the smell becomes a problem and we should want to avoid that as the ammonia means a loss of nitrogen for use as fertilizer.
 
Troy Rhodes
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Because I can't use it "fresh"in the fall and the winter and part of the spring.  So I save it.

Don't forget that the sawdust only temporarily ties up the nitrogen.  As it breaks down, it gently releases the nitrogen.  Once your soil is truly alive, the sawdust will gradually increase the humus and carbon content as well.

That's a big part of why hugelkulture works so well. 

HTH,

troy
 
Dave Bennett
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Robert Ray wrote:
For those of you interested in humanure, composting toilets, urine diversion.



http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=human-urine-is-an-effective-fertilizer

My old toilet looks just like that.  Hopefully the property manager won't ever discover that some of the compost I give him for his flower beds is partially composted humanure. 
 
paul wheaton
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"A team of Finnish researchers found that sprinkling tomatoes with human urine mixed with wood ash was the ultimate eco-friendly fertiliser."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1214346/Urinating-tomato-plants-fruit-times-larger.html

 
Alison Thomas
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Gosh, at first glance I thought that the woman was applying 'direct'
 
Theresa Whited
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i am getting a compost toilet to live off the grid and what a great idea compared to a large septic drain field that does nothing. I did hear you can use the compost on everything but edibles because of E coli? Of course this is dehydrated humanure not just urine.
 
Maura Will
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The secret to non-stinky composting toilets and to recycling nutrients in human waste is: SEPARATING URINE FROM FECES.
This is easier than it sounds. A proper composting toilet has funnel in the front that captures the liquid and takes it down surgical tubing and into a holding container. The poo falls down in the back. It needs to have shredded bark or straw sprinkled on top each time to prevent odors. Two poo chambers should be alternated so it has time to break down before you clean it out. The liquid (urine) container is normally used as fertilizer in a greenhouse. Dilute 8:1 for most plants. Less for mature trees and shrubs outdoors. This type of toilet is used exclusively at Cob Cottage Company, in Oregon. Only there they are outdoors in a very mild climate. In Montana, I would think they should be located inside a greenhouse attached to the house.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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paul wheaton wrote:
"A team of Finnish researchers found that sprinkling tomatoes with human urine mixed with wood ash was the ultimate eco-friendly fertiliser."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1214346/Urinating-tomato-plants-fruit-times-larger.html



Really! Well, I guess the porta potty is coming back out of the closet
 
George Lee
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I've noticed urine being an exceptional innoculator if anything...If you've organized a raised bed, with a fine granular soil being the substrate or top layer, urine additions here that seep through the soil profile is highly encouraged... I've had raised beds (not hugel) go from 80-to-150f in 2 days using this method...
I'll usually urinate directly and have a water can close by to pour on top of that to get those nutrients down through the first couple inches toward the centre.
 
Nick Garbarino
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I think it's worth mentioning that for those of use who have conventional septic systems, and mow lawn over the drain field, if we bag our grass clippings and use them for mulch or compost, we are recycling at least some of the nutrients from both our urine and poo. We sure don't have any need to fertilize that area, or even mow with a mulching mower for that matter.
 
Adam Old
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you would think that root vegetables are not the best ones to use with this technique.
 
Nick Garbarino
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I've yet to find anything but grass for growing over septic field lines. You can mulch anything safely with the grass clippings, as long as it perks properly.
 
Jay Green
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I've been using urine in the garden for several years now and see no down side to it...it's free and it works great, two of my favorite things! I applied it "direct" to my mother's failing rhubarb this spring and it has yielded amazing results. She has put everything on that rhubarb the past few years to get it to grow but has had no success. Lush, green and tall is the result.

I did an experiment with my corn a few years back and the rows side dressed with undiluted urine were a foot taller and produced twice as many ears as the untreated rows.
 
Dustin Diedel
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I've been researching information about how to properly store urine for safe use as fertilizer. I've come to the conclusion that I will be satisfied storing the urine in sealed milk jugs for 6 months at 4-20 degrees Centigrade, or 39 - 68F.

QUESTION:
Will urine stored in a sealed plastic whitish/translucent milk jug become sterilized after 6 months if the temperature reaches 37 degrees Centigrade, or 100F? The temperature will remain between 30-38C for the majority of the storage during the summer months here. Does it need to be kept from direct sunlight during that time? What about indirect sunlight?

 
Judith Browning
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The only time I considered storing urine was to replicate a natural dye process and decided the smell would not be worth it. Otherwise we pour our pee bucket daily either watered down near plants or on the compost or just garden edges year round. We have two bathrooms, one has a sawdust bucket system and the other a pee bucket. Both have wooden stands and conventional plastic seats and they are both replacing the flush models that we took out when we moved here. The humanure compost we spread in the woods near where it is composted (not on the gardens or fruit trees) .
 
nancy sutton
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Look's like pee is getting 'trendy' ;)

http://www.guldkannan.se/english.aspx#/Towa%20in%20detail/
 
Judith Browning
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I think urine as fertilizer is part of mindful lifestyle choices rather than trendy...some of us have been have been doing this for decades but just never had a comfortable place to share among likeminded folks.
 
Nick Garbarino
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QUESTION:
Will urine stored in a sealed plastic whitish/translucent milk jug become sterilized after 6 months if the temperature reaches 37 degrees Centigrade, or 100F? The temperature will remain between 30-38C for the majority of the storage during the summer months here. Does it need to be kept from direct sunlight during that time? What about indirect sunlight?


My understanding is that human urine is sterile to begin with unless the donor has a urinary tract infection.
 
Dustin Diedel
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Yes, urine is sterile when it first exits the body, however microbes enter the urine and thus we get the smell and urine is no longer sterile. Plus, pathogens can be taken up by the plants you fertilize. It's my understanding that if you use urine directly, (uncomposted/unfermented) then you need to wait about 1 month before harvesting any crop for raw consumption. The exception seems to be that if only your household will consume the products, then they have been exposed to those pathogens before and will not suffer any ill effects. Non-the-less. I'd prefer to kill all the bad stuff and not eat raw crops fertilized with urine. It's safest to cook the crops. Unfortunately, my question remains.

Can you store urine in sealed milk jugs for 6 months over 20 degrees Centigrade and still have proper fermentation to kill viruses and pathogens?
 
                    
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I've used urine before, years ago, in response to a forum thread, and have never stopped. I've found that 1 cup urine per gallon of water is a good start, unlikely to overload even the lightest feeders, and provides a ready boost for heavier feeders, without risking salt buildup. I've found "morning water" to be most beneficial. I usually capture that in a 2 liter coke bottle, and use it within an hour. I have found no way to store liquid urine over time without it developing an objectionable smell, so I prefer immediate use.

I also get fewer objections from the wife this way There were uncomfortable times in the past following the question "Hey dear, what's in this jug under the sink?"

I currently use it on my outside hugel bed by collecting my "morning water", carrying it out to the garden, applying it evenly to the base of the plants, then giving a watering sufficient to dilute it properly in the soil. Just once a week or so, and my garden LOVES it. I highly recommend it, for any garden - the plants just LOVE it, ALL of them
 
Judith Browning
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Dustin Smith wrote:Yes, urine is sterile when it first exits the body, however microbes enter the urine and thus we get the smell and urine is no longer sterile. Plus, pathogens can be taken up by the plants you fertilize. It's my understanding that if you use urine directly, (uncomposted/unfermented) then you need to wait about 1 month before harvesting any crop for raw consumption. The exception seems to be that if only your household will consume the products, then they have been exposed to those pathogens before and will not suffer any ill effects. Non-the-less. I'd prefer to kill all the bad stuff and not eat raw crops fertilized with urine. It's safest to cook the crops. Unfortunately, my question remains.

Can you store urine in sealed milk jugs for 6 months over 20 degrees Centigrade and still have proper fermentation to kill viruses and pathogens?

could you pass on your information source? Organic standards have guidelines for animal manures that sound vaguely similar but of course do not accept human urine as afertilizer so there are no guidelines for it. storing in plastic seems like it could cause a whole other set of toxins leaching from the plastic...and I guess there would be too much to add to your compost daily. I never seriously considered storing urine as a fertilizer, it just seemed to make simple sense to use fresh everyday and have never heard any negatives as long as everyne involved is healthy and not taking any medications or has a mindset against it as I have for using humanure on our orchard/gardens.
 
Dustin Diedel
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To Arlone Wonderlin Folkers,

http://www.sswm.info/category/implementation-tools/wastewater-treatment/hardware/processes/urine-storage
This is the main place where I've found detailed information regarding my concerns. I was introduced to the idea from another website, but I cannot recall where.

Read the first paragraph, and then you can scroll down to find a chart of fresh versus stored urine for the actual nutrient content as well. Scrolling down even further reveals yet another chart that helps you to see the length of storage and the safety of the urine.

I do not know the reliability of the information contained in the site, but it is presented in a way that makes me feel they are trustworthy. Let me know if you find out anything about the temperature of storage over 20 degrees Centigrade. Thanks.
 
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