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Toilets: We (Almost) Don't Need Them Anymore.

There's been a lot of toilet talk here recently. This is a novel idea that could go places.
Often wrong, never in doubt.

Comments

  • Interesting this subject comes up here. Definately not a new idea, I consider this old world knowledge. Older than steam.
    It gets a little unsettling that humanure is reviving, sometimes people run the wrong way with ideas from the internet.
    Thinking things through:
    - some rural areas, septic waste is directly spread on farm fields and is turned in.
    -"Compost" from home centers come from municipal waste byproducts sold to suburban back yard gardeners (labeled as "organic" to make you feel good).
    In some aspects, this is how the world goes round.

    I'll be in the garden.
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 155
    "Toilets: We (Almost) Don't Need Them Anymore." Are Diets that good now ?

    My friend's Leach Bed (or Leach field) heats up the lawn and melts the Snow, so far he does not need help with that heating system.
    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,732
    Is that supposed to happen in the septic tank?
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 155
    mattmia2 said:

    Is that supposed to happen in the septic tank?

    I'm thinking the warmed air from the whole process dissipates out into the Leach Bed (or Leach field) heats up the lawn enough to melt a light Snow.
    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,144
    Amusing. Milorganite is probably the best known trade name for sewage sludge sold as compost/fertilizer, but there are others. Assuming that it is domestic waste water that is the starting point, it's not all that bad (although there is some concern about some drugs that make it through -- antibiotics particularly, but some hormones). I know of at least two ski areas which use tertiary treated waste water in the snow making process (I helped design them -- and no I won't name them... don't eat the yellow snow). Tertiary water is also placed in lagoons for groundwater recharge in places; I believe Phoenix does this. Secondary or tertiary water is also perfectly good for irrigating lawns and some crops (not crops which get wet -- such as lettuce or rice for instance) or for use in toilets (the problem there is the extra plumbing).

    Some jurisdictions do allow land spreading of sewage sludge (mostly from aerobic digestion -- anaerobic sludge has ... shall we say a noticeable odour? It's a good soil amendment -- but it's a miserable fertilizer (not enough nutrients left).

    Composting toilets work well enough, though they do require attention, and are a good bit safer than a privy. But no more suited for heavy use than a privy.

    A carefully designed septic system can approach zero effluent, even in fairly northern climates. Unfortunately there, most such systems are designed on the "out of sight, out of mind" principle, which does create a groundwater contamination (primarily nitrates and phosphates) problem.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    In_New_England
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,541
    109A_5 said:

    mattmia2 said:

    Is that supposed to happen in the septic tank?

    I'm thinking the warmed air from the whole process dissipates out into the Leach Bed (or Leach field) heats up the lawn enough to melt a light Snow.
    My leach field would show through after a light snow. I took pics of it to help remember where all the leach lines were run. I suppose just hot water after shower, laundry, dishwashing would warm the field. As winter progressed the "stripes" would go away.

    I get a few sewer and pumper magazines, my wife is in that business. It is a huge concern now with medications and illegal drugs in the systems. Even after running through the body there is still some residual.

    I have secondary irrigation water and somedays it smells like a Tide Pod, depending on who is dumping treated sewage upstream, I suppose?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,066
    No, no, we definitely need toilets.

    If you disagree then you're not welcome in my home.  ;)


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • The article is mainly about the use of urine - which is sterile, except for some bacteria - on crops. It doesn't need to be composted and can be used full strength on soil that is already wet.

    I'm sure there are drawbacks, but it's a novel idea if it's only for your own vegetable garden.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,541
    I'm going for pee to power, with or without the weed "boost" :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • meerkat
    meerkat Member Posts: 35
    @Jamie Hall , as a longtime gardener I too would have some concern about the antibiotics and hormones that are excreted in urine - although if used on ornamentals rather than a vegetable garden, probably no difference.
    Of greater import, from a plant-health perspective, is probably pH. The pH of urine can be anywhere from 4.6 to 8.0 and still be within normal. That's a really wide range. I wonder if the commercial users are changing the pH to something approaching neutral before they apply it.
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 155
    hot_rod said:

    I'm going for pee to power, with or without the weed "boost" :)

    @hot_rod, maybe that screen shot should be posted here "for those of you who think going all electric will be Just Fine..."
    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 811
    So peeing on the hosta's to keep the deer away has other benefits too? :P
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,541
    109A_5 said:

    hot_rod said:

    I'm going for pee to power, with or without the weed "boost" :)

    @hot_rod, maybe that screen shot should be posted here "for those of you who think going all electric will be Just Fine..."
    I'm still not clear on what you mean by "just fine" ?
    We may not see 100% electrification in our lives, maybe ever. But it is clear that the horse has left the barn on the path towards electrification globally. A renewed focus with world events recently.

    I'll come down on the side of those looking forward to innovative solutions.
    Certainly doesn't hurt that our industry plays a big part in this, and can even bolster the hydronics side of us with A2WHP options.

    The DOE recently awarded 61 million to 74 nuclear energy projects across the country.Most goes to research at universities in 29 states. So the next generation can continue to work on safe, reliable energy options. While most of my generation may not be comfortable with nuke plants I have faith in the younger generation to find way to bring "power to the people"
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    GGross
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,621


    The article is mainly about the use of urine - which is sterile, except for some bacteria - on crops. It doesn't need to be composted and can be used full strength on soil that is already wet.

    Marjorie Wildcraft The home gardening expert states that urine should be diluted with ten parts of water before using it to fertilize crops.

    I am concerned aside from drugs in wasted water is the possibility of heavy metals. the selling of sludge to farmers solves the disposal problem for sewage producers. Kinda like, selling stannous fluoride to the toothpaste producers, a waste disposal solution. Natural occurring fluoride is calcium fluoride.

  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,621
    edited June 24
    Toilets: We (Almost) Don't Need Them Anymore.

    When we don't have food to eat or potable water to drink, will we need toilets except to flush spiders down? A prudent strategy shorting Kohler and AmStd stock? hmmm

    Disclaimer: I am not now or ever have been a licensed financial planner. Any financial statement in this comment is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as financial advice.
    EdTheHeaterMan