Toilet facilities(what to do with your poo).

For general discussion relating to the Thousand Huts campaign and hutting.
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donald.mcphillimy
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Toilet facilities(what to do with your poo).

Postby donald.mcphillimy » 26 Sep 2016, 16:14

Compost toilets have come on a long way and in Sweden some people prefer to have them in their homes instead of a WC. How would you feel about having a compost loo inside your hut? Or would you prefer to have it outside, a short distance from your door? How far? Would you be scared the bears might get you if it was too far? Would you prefer your own private 'privvy' or would you be happy to share with others? And if it is your own, how big should it be? Should it match the style of your hut, a kind of little brother? Should it be wheelchair friendly even if you don't have a wheelchair and there is no way you could get a wheelchair close to it? At out Pilot Site at Carnock Wood, we're going for little brother style outdoor compost toilets, like the huts, clad in vertical boards, with a single pitch roof, blending into the woods. Any thoughts?

Andrew Ramponi
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Joined: 24 Sep 2016, 07:11

Re: Toilet facilities(what to do with your poo).

Postby Andrew Ramponi » 27 Sep 2016, 08:56

I built a compost toilet cubicle at the back of a hut, accessed by walking round the deck. Convenient, but lesson learned there was it's important to have proper venting to the roof...

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donald.mcphillimy
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Re: Toilet facilities(what to do with your poo).

Postby donald.mcphillimy » 27 Sep 2016, 17:29

A bit smelly, was it?

Andrew Ramponi
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Re: Toilet facilities(what to do with your poo).

Postby Andrew Ramponi » 28 Sep 2016, 06:37

Sometimes. Wind dependent...

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stan.davies
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Location: Denny, Falkirk

Re: Toilet facilities(what to do with your poo).

Postby stan.davies » 28 Sep 2016, 13:18

Composting toilet venting is a must !.
The Composting container must be kept as dry as possible internally, no urine deposits. It's the fluids, urine in particular that cause it to go 'Off'(!!) .
Best recommendations for 'drying/composting additives i've found are sawdust and popcorn, anything of that nature, even some wood ash.

Venting: Researching some of the literature available there's a lot going for small battery powered fans, actually 12V fans from a PC will work(see Maplins) a with a small gel battery charged from a Small 5-10 Watt Solar panel (see Maplins!) .
I've opted for a 150mmm Drain pipe, right angled to the outside, reaching to above head/hut height with an extraction 'Fan' cowl fitted. Any wind at all and, the cowl turns and sucks the fumes out. A wee bit expensive but nil maintenance..
The internal 'composting box' can be fitted with a lid for removal/replacement with few problems. Best to have two boxes and keep them interchangeable.

Flintstone

dalancarter
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Re: Toilet facilities(what to do with your poo).

Postby dalancarter » 29 Sep 2016, 08:32

I once had to dig out a composting loo where someone had misunderstood the thing about putting wood ash in it and had instead used the cinders from a coal fire. The cinders had stopped any microbial action and preserved the contents beautifully. Not nice.

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stan.davies
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Location: Denny, Falkirk

Re: Toilet facilities(what to do with your poo).

Postby stan.davies » 30 Sep 2016, 11:08

! What NOT to do with your Poo !

Early days of "the Hut" a few of us were still attached to the Military and as such had easy access (with a bit of stealth!) to supplies of Elsan fluid, 5gal drums, as used in chemical toilets. We duly installed a suitable container in a clearing in the rhododendrons to provide some privacy, fitted with a toilet seat.. and an ashtray(!)

As with any 'outside loo' there was always the question of "Who empties it"!! ,. Anyway, on one particular occasion , when there were enough of us around the emptying had to take place. It took about 4 adults to do so, both from the weight of the (full) container and the difficulties in manoeuvering it down the access track to the old mineshaft workings identified as the disposal point.
The inevitable happened, one of the carrying party tripped and the contents (fortunately, only partially !) spilled out over the pathway.
We were left standing, almost consumed within the stench, surrounded by the vile 'preserved' contents from several days spent living in the hut....... It was almost unbearable, overpowering !!!

It happens that one of the lads, when 'obtaining' the Elsan fluid, had inadvertently picked up the wrong container. It wasn't Elsan, it was Formaldehyde... unbeknownst to him... (He had just been the delivery service).

It took some considerable work, with shovels, and water, digging, moving soil, covering with greenery and branches etc. to dispose of and cover the spillage. Even diverting the pathway.

When it comes to 'Outside loos' .. you need to be careful what you put in them... all of the time.... !!!!.

Johnboy
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Re: Toilet facilities(what to do with your poo).

Postby Johnboy » 17 Oct 2016, 23:09

Hullo, did a dissertation on water supply and sanitation in developing countries so can offer a little bit on this.
A good design is the 'vent improved pit' (VIP) latrine, which is a composting toilet that can be adapted to varying ground conditions, i.e. water table level, soil permeability. The idea is you have a vent pipe extending down into the pit and up far enough that it clears the top of the superstructure by a metre or so. Paint the pipe black so it heats up in any sun, and the convection pulls air down through the seat and up the pipe, keeping smells inside or discharged above nose height. If there's a breeze it acts like a chimney flu and draws air in through the seat due to the negative pressure caused by air passing over the top of the pipe. Also if you put a fine mesh grille over the top of the pipe flies are drawn into the pit by the odour but are drawn up the pipe by the light - if you keep the inside of the loo quite dim they only want to fly up the pipe. They then can't fly out the grille and get stuck in the pit. If you want to build a community loo then you can build a superstructure over two pits; use one pit until it's getting full, then cover it and use the other pit. By the time the second pit is full the contents of the first will have degraded into some pretty high class fertiliser, and all the pathogens should have died. A relatively small dig can serve a surprising number of people if it's not being used intensively. If anyone's interested I've got some designs of various types from Unicef, Water Aid and others I'd be happy to pass on.

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donald.mcphillimy
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Re: Toilet facilities(what to do with your poo).

Postby donald.mcphillimy » 19 Oct 2016, 10:31

Really helpful, thanks John. Can you attach some designs here? I'm not quite sure if that's possible. The alternative is to go to the Thousand Huts website. http://www.thousandhuts.org/



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