Author Topic: Sanitation for those planning to shelter in place  (Read 496 times)

R.R. Book

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Sanitation for those planning to shelter in place
« on: August 12, 2017, 11:27:56 AM »
My son and I just finished installing a no-flush Canadian-made Sun-Mar non-electric composting toilet (a dry toilet) in a ventillated corner of the garage.  While I consider the toilet itself to be a bit pricey for plastic, everything else about the project was either free or negligible.  Instead of using valuable water to flush with, you're making garden compost out of manure that would otherwise become an unwieldy problem unless one is willing to dig at least a 5' deep cesspool beneath an outhouse and reinforce it with a lining, only to need to move it every few years.

Because our weather can be stormy here and our winters confining, we needed something that didn't force us outdoors for regular bodily functions, especially not in the middle of the night.  There are no plastic liners or chemicals to buy as with a camping toilet/bucket, no odors to contend with, no raw sewage to handle, and no pump-out needed ever so often as our standard rural septic tanks need. 

We began by digging a small, simple French drain outside that wall of the garage, with dimensions of 3 x 3 by 3' deep and lining it with a layer of sand, then fist-sized rocks, then coarse gravel, then fine gravel, sort of like this:



It was tested with a hard rain while in-progress.  Mid-way into the layers, we drilled a hole into the masonry garage wall and passed the unit's diverter hose through the hole and into the pit, then caulked with silicone and finished layering the pit.  This hose came with the unit and creates a great improvement over early-model composting toilets by removing urine and odors from the composting process, speeding up the finished garden product.  The trick is to keep a bin of peat or other light soil on hand, with a scoop being added after every few usages. 

Another hole was cut into the wall above the toilet to run a ventillation pipe out.  An optional 12v fan can be installed in the exhaust pipe, but we are opting to add soil more often instead, maybe one scoop each time the toilet is used. We needed to buy an inexpensive flexible aluminum elbow to connect the top of the unit to the collar in the upper hole in the wall.

Walls were made inexpensively out of 4 x 4' pallets that we got free from a business a short drive away, affixed together with blackened hardware hinges in a stable "L" shape.  We got the idea for the walls from this photo from the web:


A soft washable mildew-proof recycled plastic rug was put on the floor beforehand.

A painted metal LED lantern running on batteries that are rechargeable with an exercise bike was added to the privy, as well as an alcohol gel hand sanitizer bottle (cheap to stock at Dollar Tree).  I decorated the walls with primitive farm-scene fabric for more privacy, and am looking for an "occupied" sign like this one:


Still need to find a blackened iron TP roll holder, and a sturdy wooden footstool to replace the plastic one that came with the model

Here's the finished privy:


« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 01:54:46 PM by R.R. Book »

ilinda

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Re: Sanitation for those planning to shelter in place
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 06:03:36 PM »
Very impressive--thanks for posting.  A lot of work went into the underground part it seems, but what I don't understand is where and how the finished humanure is obtained?  Does it have to be shoveled out of the bottom of the toilet?  Or?  I must have missed something.

R.R. Book

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Re: Sanitation for those planning to shelter in place
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 07:40:10 PM »
There's a pull-out drawer at the base that contains the finished product.  Am considering moving part of my red worms in there to speed things up, too.  Sequel to follow :)