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Do you think it's possible?

 
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Hi,

I know very little about processing residential sewage (black water) so I wanted to ask the forums here a question.

It's not exactly about composting, though.

I don't actually plan on doing this but I'm curious if it could be theoretically done as another option for DIY wastewater treatment.

I see a lot of these DIY hydroponic systems (the Dutch bucket system, etc.) on YouTube. I was wondering if the concept could be modified to process wastewater with non-edible plants so an actual flushing toilet could be used.

Basically, my thinking is could you hook up a regular flushing toilet to a system of plastic drums with plants sitting on a grate in the upper half of each drum, with the black water flowing into the lower empty half of the drums? The plant roots would grow down through the grate to access the nutrients in the flushed water below, thus using and naturally processing the waste water. A layer of cover material could be periodically placed around the plants top layer to seal off any unpleasant fumes.

I'm not sure where aeration comes in but that could be employed as needed.

Thanks for any feedback.
 
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Hey Michael,

Great question, I bet someone has a good answer. I remember reading a thread on a flushing toilet that used worms,
it is out of Australia and has their governmental equivalent of EPA approval. Here is the link to the permie post about it.

Worm Food
 
Mike Feddersen
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Michael,

I went back and was reading through the above mentioned thread and one of the contributors mentioned
a woman that used a flushing toilet, worms in a box and (plants) to suck up the gray water. They included
a link to her information.
 
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I know that cattails have been used to purify water and remove heavy metals but you certainly would not want to be eating any of those plants.
 
Michael Andreas
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Mike Feddersen wrote:Hey Michael,

Great question, I bet someone has a good answer. I remember reading a thread on a flushing toilet that used worms,
it is out of Australia and has their governmental equivalent of EPA approval. Here is the link to the permie post about it.

Worm Food



Thanks, Mike. There can't be enough options and alternatives when it comes to residential water processing. Certainly, something to keep in mind. It looks about as construction intensive as putting in a regular septic, correct? I didn't see any pricing on the worm farm website I found through the link you provided.

My ideal system would be something low cost, self-contained and DIY. Of course, I realize that might be asking a lot but this thread was posted mostly as hypothetical. I'm interested if something like I proposed could work, if I ever attempted it.



 
Michael Andreas
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Mike Feddersen wrote:Michael,

I went back and was reading through the above mentioned thread and one of the contributors mentioned
a woman that used a flushing toilet, worms in a box and (plants) to suck up the gray water. They included
a link to her information.



I think I found it.

Ah, that's what I'm talking about! A simple plan! Thanks, Mike.
 
Michael Andreas
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bud smith wrote:I know that cattails have been used to purify water and remove heavy metals but you certainly would not want to be eating any of those plants.



Cattails would definitely be one of the plants I would have in mind for such a system.
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