composting toilet

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by missf, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: composting toilet

    g'day sweetpea,

    do you have anything like nature loo over there?? it is so simple and versatile as to not be believed even mre economical than the others.

    https://www.nature-loo.com/

    len
     
  2. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Re: composting toilet

    Len, I've seen NatureLoo talked about in here before, and you guys have given good reviews. The style is pretty classic, probably the original way to compost, and could easily be made. But they also require you to buy their enzymes. If someone lives where there's snowy winters and can't get to compost or soil with broken down leaves in it to provide microbes for the composting chamber, that is an added expense (probably includes shipping) that is something to consider. The companies that sell the enzymes usually require their use to enforce their warranties. And it must be above ground to drain out the excess liquid. The folks I was trying to help were told they could put that chamber in their basement, and there's nowhere to drain, so that's another complaint I have about the company I mentioned, and another thing to consider when buying one.

    But I still prefer a stirrer or tumbler design to speed things up, and lessens the drainage out of the unit. It's not a fast process under any scenario, so there needs to be probably more than one chamber for a family of 4.
     
  3. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: composting toilet

    no not so and equivalent enzyme can be bought off the shelf, but we used wroms to do the composting and they do it very well naturally over about a 7 month period. we built our toilet where it got maximum winter sun, the worms need warmth. but could envisage in colder climates heating the room wher the bins are might be needed for the worm method.

    we also ran a dry sytem, that is we collect primary urine seperate as it ahs many uses directly for the garden and plants. so the only fuid that went into ours was incidental urine, and we also harvested worm wee from the bottom, by law we had to have that section drain to a leech field but the worm wee never built up high enough to run out.

    len
     
  4. Salkeela

    Salkeela Junior Member

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    Re: composting toilet

    +1

    Easy and straight forward. Of course it does mean emptying buckets - but that's not nearly as bad as it sounds. No techie stuff to go wrong.....
     
  5. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Re: composting toilet

    len, if it's not their enzymes, it's enzymes from somewhere, like you said off the shelf, which is an added expense that those companies don't tell people about, which is why I brought it up. Compost or tree litter that has microbes in it works too, so I don't have to buy anything extra.
     
  6. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: composting toilet

    g'day sweetpea,

    as i recall the enzimes weren't particularly expensive so if you where to use them the system would still be just as economical. but we used composting worms found they where self multiplying and worked on and on.

    len
     
  7. greenfarmers

    greenfarmers Junior Member

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    Re: composting toilet

    Hello,

    New to this forum, but I think I might know a few of you from elsewhere ... anytime, only have a little time, so will do the intro later.

    Re toilets, we have two composting - nature loo and on-slab sun-mar excel .... and a year's experience!

    The natureloo wins hands down for us. No fuss, really not that bad to empty and the new look pedestal makes it blend peacefully with any room. It's contemporary with clean lines, minimal, easy to clean ....

    The sunmar ... mmm ... it's my worst enemy at the moment! For one, it's a big white plastic thing which is ugly as sin. It has no soul!

    Then you have to climb up to sit on it. Ours has to be on blocks too as there is insufficient fall on the floor to get the wee pipe out of the wall (over the wall stud - temporary spot for toilet so no point in cutting this). My husband has also declared the toilet cannot have been designed by a man - the pan design (a sort of liner to reduce the size of the hole) proves extremely uncomfortable for male genitalia ... I will leave the rest to your imagination ..

    Another down size is the small tank, so it fills quite fast for a family of four plus visitors. You can always easily see what goes in. This can often be off-putting to visitors, who then can be known to try to cover their "doings" with reams of toilet paper! More fill for the tank.

    Then there is the maintenance ... much higher than the natureloo. The sunmar tank has to be rotated every few days and the balance monitored a lot closer than the nature-loo. It's critical in fact, to get it to compost down fast enough. This is where we have come unstuck and so have had trouble getting the contents to dump out of the bottom in sufficient quantity. Not sure, but it seems it does not dump enough into the lower chamber when you go to remove it? Anyway, the long and the short of it saw me gloved up and attempting to shovel shit out from the top a few weeks ago ... not fun, especially since that hole (the one you sit on) does not easily accommodate a shovel. And the smell ....

    To add insult to injury, it seems the waste urine pipe, which removes the wee has now blocked ... this causes the unit to leak (overflow:)) onto the toilet floor. I have emptied it by the cupful but am aware I am putting off the inevitable. We need to empty the entire unit - ALL solids and liquids, remove it from it's position and wash it down ... my worst nightmare.

    Never again! At least the natureloo cannot flood in inside of your house.

    I love our natureloo and will never again have a flushing toilet. For the record, our fan works beautifully. The only other issue, which has effected both toilets is little vinegar flies. They seem to find ways in through the seals and are a bugger to get rid of organically. But we have found, they come only when the toilet is "out of balance", so are an indicator we need to add more carbon, etc.

    The natureloo enzyme is minor cost.

    Til next time ... and good luck,

    Heidi

    ps, before these "flash" toilets we had a simpler system - "the wee place" for girls - a 200l drum half buried with a seat on top, grate in the bottom and drain pipe into sub-surface rubble drain, toilet paper in bin then burnt. and "the poo place" - the loo with a view - a 2m3 hole in the ground with a slope to the base. Seat built over end at top of slope, remainder and all openings (apart from toilet seat) covered first with shade cloth, which successfully made for a fly-free system. Solids dried nicely as slopes made this system self draining.
     
  8. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Re: composting toilet

    Heidi, thanks for the comparison. Is the waste urine pipe a different size on the Nature Loo so it wouldn't clog up, or is there some sort of filter? You ought to be able to run a thin piece of wire from the outside of the tube back towards the inside to unblock it? Unless the block is right at the beginning of the tube.
     
  9. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: composting toilet

    the actual outlet on the bin is 3/4" if i recall correctly and that goes into underground 100mm pipe to leech field. over here that was the only part that needed council inspection for approval.

    we found that if we ran a dry system that is collect intended urine seperate and only incidental urine in the drum nothing ever flowed out which suited us as most of the liquid in the bottom after composting was comlete is worm wee, i found the best way to empty once the drum was out in the open was to use a shovel to get the material out without the need to lever on the sides, as in reality you only get about a good big wheelbarrow full of material. i could then slide the drum to a slope and run off the worm wee and use it on teh agrdens adding with water made it go further. then we simply gave the drum a quick hose out and collected that water as well. no need to sanitise the drum as it is only going to get filled again hey chuckle.

    realy couldn't see how it would ever clog as only liquid gets into the bottom chamber, if it did all you would need to do is remove the connection between drum and underground pipe and clear it.

    len
     
  10. Salamandra

    Salamandra Junior Member

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    After so many years, did anyone actually get the plans to build the clivus? We cannot afford those huge sums to buy one prepared to install. Yet we haven't even got any carpentry experience albeit it looks like we will have one after trying to build the out house! anyway we really could use the idiots guide to self building your own clivus! Any suggestions as to which book or site would be wonderful. Thanks
     

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