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Old 02-08-2016, 05:50 AM   #113
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Green fire,

Great info, thank you!

I'd like the think that I am not unreasonably concerned about pathogens on barely composted human waste. My toilet is used by not just me, but also by a bunch of kids and one can never be sure what kids may have picked up in school.

Based on this information the 6-8 hours listed on the natures head website seems random to me and not based on any real information. Maybe it's just there to ensure the waste has lost most of its moisture and therefore smell, but based on the information you provided it seems that after sitting 6-8 hours, the waste has not lost any of its ability to carry and pass on any pathogens.

This is still not necessarily deterring me from a composting toilet, I just want to be informed about what I am dealing with. And what this tells me is that I would need to deal with a composting toilet with at least the same precautions as I deal with the stinky slinky.

Great information, thank you.

-J

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Originally Posted by Greenfire View Post
apologies if this posts twice, in trying to fix the photo link,it wasn't letting me edit, and it appears my post was deleted. I'll try again in one go.



first of all, if you yourself are not infected with any parasites or pathogens, then you don't need to worry about how long it takes to kill them off. Most of the bacteria in our feces is harmless. (don't have roundworms? then don't need to worry about how long they take to kill off. Don't have Giardia? Don't worry about infecting people with it.) While there is risk with individuals infected with things that can pass the fecal to oral route, if you're not infected, the concern is really not something you should worry about. Also, if someone else uses your compost toilet and you're not certain if they might have a disease that you could contact... wash your damn hands if you come into contact with it. Wash your hands before you eat even if you don't come into contact with fecal matter... it's a good rule of thumb.



There has been a bit of misinformation though I think in this thread. The type of composting done matters greatly as to how quickly various pathogens die. Just spreading your waste on the soil (or pooping in a cathole 6 inches deep) a number of bacteria in our intestines will just die on their own. Some pathogens and certainly things like roundworm eggs can live longer. (the eggs can lay dormant for years, always wash your hands... you can pick a flower that had a worm on it from a growing where a dog pooped years ago and get infected)



Composting kills this stuff. Different kinds of composting kills it at different rates. Certainly putting it just in a bucket and leaving it, most everything can get killed off within a year, but if you want to be certain about it, you need to compost at high temperatures, where things DO get killed off quickly. (this would be minutes to hours, depending on the pathogen)



The turning of poop in a bucket with peat or coco coir, or whatever other cover matter and compost starter... after a few hours, hasn't likely raised the temperature up high enough to kill off the stuff that you're worried about. (but again, stop worrying about it unless you already know you're sick with it, and if you are... then you're already sick with it so it's weird for you to worry so much, you'd know your poop is already a biohazard in that case, and no, you wouldn't just put it into a garbage can until your treated and well again.) But it WILL compost, and eventually kill off the pathogens...



Read the Humanure Handbook if you want to learn how to compost so that nothing survives the pile after a few hours of the right temperature. Here's a handy couple of charts from the book that can ease your mind about it. (and someone mentioned they weren't sure of their sources, but I give you the World Health Organization as one, and a study from Feachem for the other, two very very good sources) You can download the book online free, definitely worth a read.





(nothing survives an hour in a thermophilic pile)





You can look at the anaerobic and the compost toilet retention times for the natures head, and determine that it's a combination of the two. I'd put the poop in a thermophilic pile myself.




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Old 02-08-2016, 06:02 AM   #114
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Hi,

Yes well aware of that, I was hoping that the original author had found this information somewhere else which provided more information than the simple statement: "It is advisable that you delay emptying the solid waste for 6-8 hours after the last use"

I think it behooves us to be aware of what we are dealing with, and from the information that has been recently provided it looks like the waste is potentially still laden with pathogens after the 6-8 hours. For me this is very important information so that I know how to properly handle the waste.

I would treat it like a biohazard (just like the stinky slinky) not like harmless dead humus, as had been described before.

Hope that helps someone else as well.

Thanks,

-J

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrprez View Post
This is where the 6-7 hours comes from:

http://natureshead.net/user_guide.html

Scroll down to the section on emptying.




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Old 02-08-2016, 06:37 AM   #115
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My early seventies AS had instructions on digging a gopherhole. That's how waste disposal was done then. I would think if you were using dispersed camping then burying the waste would be fine. Otherwise I would think using a dumpster would be okay. I would carry a separate container with a secure lid to dump the toilet into until getting to a proper dump area, dumpster etc. then the toilet could be used again, starting over. A hole for urine in a dispersed area would also work. Otherwise storing it in an additional container or black, gray tank until proper dispersal could be done would be prudent. I think the idea of the composting toilet would be almost a necessity to those who boondock for lengths of time, In dispersed areas with no facilities and also to anyone restoring a trailer without a toilet. I camp almost exclusively at full or partial service campgrounds and regularly find where raw sewage has been dumped next to the hookup at each campsite, so there's a problem there also. So as far as sterility, the composting toilet may be even cleaner if used and disposed of properly. I'm not going to get rid of my toilet, but if I boondocked most if the time or were installing a toilet into a renovation, I would consider a composting one.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:54 AM   #116
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jpons, I suspect the 6-8 hour time listed on the Nature's Head website, is more for ease of emptying than anything to do with pathogen destruction. The one thing though, that separates them from the stinky slinky, is the addition of the cover material, and waiting that 6-8 hours, (or using an evaporative technology as some of the compost toilets have) likely isn't random, but will mitigate some of the danger in that you're less likely to spill and can contain the contents better. I'd rather empty something with the consistency of dry soil than that of mud and water. (with less risk from some of the toxic chemicals so many use in black tanks too)

Really, with your statement of having multiple kids using your toilet, you're likely to be more at risk from touching the doors and taps after they wipe, than you are emptying the compost. Wear gloves when you empty, wash your hands, and you'll likely never have a problem. (make sure those kids wash too, and cook your food properly before you eat if they are anywhere near the kitchen!)

It's kinda a waste to dump it into a trash can, but it's still preferable to using a dump station and the chemicals that are employed there. (and risking more of them closing due to contamination of the ground) Ideally, you'd be able to put it in a compost pile somewhere, that someone is taking care of to really be able to compost it properly. They're composting animals this way now too, it's only time before even we ourselves will be composted safely enough using the techniques described in the Humanure book.

I'm glad you're not put off by it, if you want to be able to dry camp a little longer, then seriously consider it. I'm already committed to having a larger grey water tank because of no black tank, and such a simple change I believe will allow me to go places I otherwise couldn't stay for long at, and enjoy them fully as they should be.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:00 AM   #117
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Dump stations are generally connected to a sewage system and the chemicals now are biodegradable.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:11 PM   #118
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So if you are a weekend warrior and go out a couple of times a month, do you wait until the end of the season to dump the compost or do you do that after each weekend trip? The pee bottle would have to be emptied after each trip.

Kelvin
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:02 PM   #119
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First thank you Greenfire, and MrPrez.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
Hi Mike,

I'm following this thread with great interest. Please do us a favor and post an update in a month or two after you've had a chance to experience all aspects of this device, including a couple of dump episodes, how clean does the bowl stay (really) and also some comments on the real world savings in fresh water, and your real world experience with combining the grey/black tanks.

Thanks!
Bob
Just to touch base, I'll be doing that.

I installed this at the same time with some friends we have been caravaning with. They have 3 kids who are older and all using the potty. So 5 people total. They think they're almost at the limit and are going to be changing out at a faster rate, than us. We are starting training with the oldest who only just turned 2. So I might include some photos and feedback from Jon if he changes out before us. So far, we are at 10 days usage. Handle is still easy to use.


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Frankly I don't see a huge problem with the disposal of human waste in a dumpster
Neither do I. Wear some gloves, put it in a bag, wash your hands afterwards. Not rocket science. I have kids too. I'm not worried about getting AIDs or Ebola from our poop. We change diapers, and I'm not concerned about those killing us either. It's not like we are playing in it, or handling it with our bare hands.

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Old 02-08-2016, 03:09 PM   #120
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I've been following this thread and had a couple questions. My questions are not as a user of this toilet type, but rather as a user of the campgrounds we all share. Additionally, unless I am diving in a dumpster, I can see that when properly packaged and disposed in a dumpster only the source handler is exposed to the risks.

First, the argument/comment has been made that "urine is sterile". What is the purpose of that statement with respect to the discussion of this topic? It appears that by design of some of these toilets the urine comes in almost immediate contact with fecal matter (possibly only trace) in the bowl. As urine is an excellent growth medium, a high level of sterility seems only to pertain to the urine at the moment when exiting the human body.

Second, the concept of burying the humanure seems to have risks to those unaware. I realize once properly aged and cured, the humanure is safe. My question is how safe is burying prior to safely composted on public lands where my dogs and 4 yr old daughter may play, dig, etc?

The argument of children and pet safety, at any campground with "hook-ups", brings up the similar hazards (to much more of an extreme) but training them to avoid those areas is a known responsibility.

Thanks!
Tom
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:00 PM   #121
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Greenfire,

Thank you for your considerate and thoughtful reply, it is much appreciated. I suspect as you do that the stated 6-8 hours is about convenience not anything having to do about making the waste safe as had been stated before on this thread.

I will most likely install a composting toilet this spring as we dry camp quite a bit on a lakefront property we have, and the extended run times with the composting toilet would be greatly appreciated.

-J


Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenfire View Post
jpons, I suspect the 6-8 hour time listed on the Nature's Head website, is more for ease of emptying than anything to do with pathogen destruction. The one thing though, that separates them from the stinky slinky, is the addition of the cover material, and waiting that 6-8 hours, (or using an evaporative technology as some of the compost toilets have) likely isn't random, but will mitigate some of the danger in that you're less likely to spill and can contain the contents better. I'd rather empty something with the consistency of dry soil than that of mud and water. (with less risk from some of the toxic chemicals so many use in black tanks too)

Really, with your statement of having multiple kids using your toilet, you're likely to be more at risk from touching the doors and taps after they wipe, than you are emptying the compost. Wear gloves when you empty, wash your hands, and you'll likely never have a problem. (make sure those kids wash too, and cook your food properly before you eat if they are anywhere near the kitchen!)

It's kinda a waste to dump it into a trash can, but it's still preferable to using a dump station and the chemicals that are employed there. (and risking more of them closing due to contamination of the ground) Ideally, you'd be able to put it in a compost pile somewhere, that someone is taking care of to really be able to compost it properly. They're composting animals this way now too, it's only time before even we ourselves will be composted safely enough using the techniques described in the Humanure book.

I'm glad you're not put off by it, if you want to be able to dry camp a little longer, then seriously consider it. I'm already committed to having a larger grey water tank because of no black tank, and such a simple change I believe will allow me to go places I otherwise couldn't stay for long at, and enjoy them fully as they should be.




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Old 02-08-2016, 09:21 PM   #122
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I would suggest posing the question to the Natureshead people as they are the ones making the claim of 6-7 hours. BA did not make it up, just repeated what he, I and other users were told.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:59 PM   #123
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It'd be awesome if folks who didn't start this thread could avoid pretending to moderate it while simultaneously taking it wildly off track. Just sayin', ya know?

Sorry, I'll go take my meds now.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:43 PM   #124
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Very interesting thread. I think the fan in the NH system serves 2 purposes.

1. Push smells away.
2. Dry out the #2 waste.

I do have concerns about the "dry" bin and its respective disposal, but then again, I have a hound that poops twice a day....
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:41 AM   #125
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Dump stations are generally connected to a sewage system and the chemicals now are biodegradable.
It depends on the configuration of the system and the definition of "biodegradable". Many small package plants use conventional chlorine disinfection, just like large municipal plants. UV is sometimes used, but chlorine is still a dominant technical standard.
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:01 AM   #126
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I meant the chemicals we put into our trailer toilets. Almost all of those are biodegradable now. Formaldehyde is not allowed at most cg or at least discouraged.
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