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Old 10-29-2008, 09:29 PM   #1
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Re: To flush or not to flush... that IS the the question. (H2o)

Eventually you have drain the stuff out of there, and water is the most efficient way to "float" the solids out of the tank, without it you may get a build up of "stuff" at the bottom of the tank that never goes away. If you don't want to use water at all, the best method may be to use a casette type toilet that you take the casette out and bring it somewhere to empty it. I like the RV toilet, it uses only a fraction of a cup of water for most flushing, and you have the choice of using more if you need it to move solids.
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:39 PM   #2
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Re: To flush or not to flush... that IS the the question. (H2o)

Might look into a composting toilet; haven't used one so don't know the water use. I've seen one, it uses a compost tank directly under the seat, the folks using it added some sphagnum moss with each "flush". I think they won't handle more than 1 or 2 people in a bus size unit. Again, I really don't know the details, that part's up to you!!!
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:40 AM   #3
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Re: To flush or not to flush... that IS the the question. (H2o)

TourDeHome take a look at this discussion I had here earlier this year. It helped me out tremendously. As mentioned above if there is only one or two of you a composting toilet would be ideal. The real question is, do you buy a manufactured one or take a bit of a gamble and build one yourself? I am still trying to decide...although I have started to collect parts to build one so maybe sub-consciously I know I can't afford $2000 for a pro made one. Either way i am a believer in composting toilets.
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:41 AM   #4
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Re: To flush or not to flush... that IS the the question. (H2o)

Buggar forgot to post the link...here ya go... http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtop...+toilet#p27072
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:05 PM   #5
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Re: To flush or not to flush... that IS the the question. (H2o)

Here's the entire Humanure Handbook published online... for free...

http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/downlo ... ok_all.pdf

Now to divert (urine) or not to divert... that is the question.
The handbook says that urine is an integral part of the composting process. Has anyone built a composting toilet that doesn't divert? Does it create more stink?
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:30 PM   #6
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Re: To flush or not to flush... that IS the the question. (H2o)

Quote:
Originally Posted by staggerlee917
Here's the entire Humanure Handbook published online... for free...

http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/downlo ... ok_all.pdf

Now to divert (urine) or not to divert... that is the question.
The handbook says that urine is an integral part of the composting process. Has anyone built a composting toilet that doesn't divert? Does it create more stink?
I initially constructed my home-built composter to combine #1 and #2. For context, it was being used full-time by two adults, located in northern Arizona near Flagstaff in late summer & fall (low humidity and mild temps). There was a 4" fan providing air-flow over the whole works.

With all of that said, there was more #1 than evaporation could handle. Lots, lots more. I have no doubt that the ingredients in urine help the decomposition process for #2; but in my experience the ratio is all off, and a person will make much more urine than the decomposing mass of #2 can handle. I had to work out a way to add urine-diversion to the system after it was constructed, which was a huge hassle and IMO never worked as well as a system with diversion built-in from the get-go.

If a system is set up to drain the excess urine after it has sifted through a mass of decomposing #2, the resultant liquid is quite gross. If the urine is diverted before coming into contact with the #2, it is much easier (less foul) to deal with. And you have the benefit of adding as much to your #2 as you want, and discarding the rest on a bush, etc.

HTH
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:37 AM   #7
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Re: To flush or not to flush... that IS the the question. (H2o)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneCamping
I like the RV toilet, it uses only a fraction of a cup of water for most flushing, and you have the choice of using more if you need it to move solids.
This is my experience also.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:54 PM   #8
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Re: To flush or not to flush... that IS the the question. (H2o)

I have a composting system setup like in the Humanure handbook - but that is a system. The bucket and sawdust (or whatever organic cover material) is fine for collection, but you HAVE to have a compost pile to put it - so while it works awesome for a not very mobile homestead kind of thing (mine has been just fine going on almost two years) and no real odor issues at all. But my compost pile is a couple hundred feet from the bus - I've got 8 acres. The only downside was last winter having to put on my snowshoes to walk over and dump the bucket!

Since my bus rarely moves, I'm happy with what I'm using. The other bus I'm working on, though, is getting an RV toilet and traditional black tanks (scavenged out of a free camper) for road trips, AND a bucket/sawdust collection setup for at home on the property.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:53 AM   #9
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Re: To flush or not to flush... that IS the the question. (H2o)

I lived with a bucket/sawdust toilet for 4 years, and am so glad that is over...I kept it very clean, but it is still feces. Maggot eggs are laid under the rim of the lid during the day, and the smell is not good. Yeah I dumped my bucket in a compost pile and covered it with sawdust, and have a stomach for it, but now have a rv toilet and a septic tank, and am so much happier!!! It sounds gross because it is. You can do it, but wouldn't recommend it.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:46 AM   #10
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Re: To flush or not to flush... that IS the the question. (H2o)

We must have been using different systems, or a different environment. You go, you cover anything in the bucket with sawdust immediately. That takes care of most of the smell right there. You have to cover immediately. I also would make sure it gets taken out every day or two at most. No maggot egg problems. The only thing I did differently was build a "box" out of plywood that the bucket fit into with the lid on top of that, and then added a bathroom ventilation fan INSIDE the box that vented out through a pipe in the roof of the shed next to the bus that housed the bathroom. Constantly drawing air in under the toilet seat lid (it is not a perfect seal) and venting it out the stack removed any odor in the 8 x 12 shed that is the bathroom.

Yes, it IS a little icky to think of ("Yes, dear, I'm coming in for dinner.... just give me a minute to haul this bucket of poop over the hill and dump it"). But I have been careful to always use a little soapy water to clean the bucket, and lots of sawdust to cover with, and it is not bad. Yes, and keeping it in it's own "outhouse" helps immensely - and like you, am planning the next bus to have the RV toilet. But I'm keeping the sawdust system, too - if nothing else, it helps keep my city relatives from staying long when they come visit *grin*.
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