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  •  Generally the system can handle short term (1+ / 0-)
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    A Siegel

    Peak loads. It's only when you overwhelm it consitently that you find it needs manual intervention - aka, grab a bucket, scoop most of the contents out (there's a convenient drawer for doing this) and dispose of it.

    In our case, we already have an outhouse, into which such deposits can be made. I have no idea what outhouse-free people would do.

    Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

    by mataliandy on Fri Sep 14, 2007 at 04:24:09 PM PDT

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    •  outhouse free (2+ / 0-)
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      mataliandy, A Siegel

      the only person I've know that had an outhouse was my greatgrandmother, who lived in a town of about 150 people in the Dakotas.  

      Everywhere I've lived an outhouse is clearly in violation of civic ordinances.  Even septic tanks and drain fields were done away with because of eutropification, and in some cases rather stinking ponds formed at low points from the seepage of many blocks of housing.

      Many places I've lived a composting toilet's output would be banned for health reasons, unless it was periodically certified. There's too many pathogens that make it through low temperature composting for just dumping on the surface, shallow burial, or putting anywhere that would allow leaching into neighboring property.

      •  Stinking ponds (2+ / 0-)
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        Floja Roja, A Siegel

        Alas, in VT, where manure is spread 3 - 4 times a year on nearly every field, there are a lot of stinky green ponds come August (or even mid-July sometimes).

        When we had our well drilled, the contractor didn't shock the well with chlorine when he was done. After the entire family was hit with "the runs" the day after we started using the well water, we sent a sample off to the lab. There was 10,000 times more eColi than alloawable by Federal limits. It seems that there's enough eColi on the soil surface courtesy of Bessie and her pals to have done quite an effective job colonizing a deep drilled well. We shocked the well ourselves.

        Anyway, our outhouse is located over very deep sandy loam. The compost from the toilet is largely devoid of liquid, since it drains from the toilet into its very own mini-septic tank. What gets into the outhouse (except when the kids are too muddy to be allowed into the house) is semi-composted solid matter comprising 50% peat moss, 40% sawdust, humanure and toilet paper. The outhouse is essentially a compost bin with a roof.

        Relative to the groundwater pollution created by 16 acres of cow manure that flow down across our property, our personal effluent provides pretty much nothing.

        Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

        by mataliandy on Fri Sep 14, 2007 at 07:49:09 PM PDT

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