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Old 08-02-2009, 07:39 PM   #251
Vidya Moksha
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Default Re: Radiant zones and communities building..where are we up to ?

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Originally Posted by NorthernSantuary View Post

Vidya, the simple system you mention works, but the people are still use to the convenience of indoor plumbing, so I'm trying to come up with a solution for that if possible.

The link to magnegas also triggers me to lok into the manure biogas processor
For the system I am suggesting the indoor plumbing needs to be bypassed, or just used as a urine disposal system, which is kinda wasteful as diluted urine is such a good fertiliser. I have seen several approaches to indoor toilets, but all bypass the conventional toilet system. One system builds up a wooden frame around the existing toilet and utilises a bucket to collect solids. You sit or squat at some height off the floor, but this is no hardship. A bucket will need to be emptied weekly most likely, unless a larger storage unit can be used. It is always easier to leave the solid waste in situ until it has composted naturally, but this isnt always possible indoors; size being the restricting factor.
Urine, in all these sytems, is simply piped to the garden, that is a very simple job. Handwashing grey water is piped to the same source as the urine, providing the dilution, though some plants, such as comfrey, will take concentrated waste water with no difficulty.
Biogas seems like a good idea, but it is is not so simple in reality. In china they just make enough methane if they compost all vegetable and food matter AND garden compost as well as faecal material AND have a pig, with pig wastes entered into the same system. Otherwise there is simply too little methane to make the system viable. Although not always possible, wood is the best fuel for cooking and heating, and the ash is so useful for treating the composted material.
Also with biogas you need a large storage area, if you can even consider this sort of storage size then compost toilet space will be easily achieved.
VM

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Old 08-02-2009, 07:53 PM   #252
artvision
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Default Re: Radiant zones and communities building..where are we up to ?

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Hi Northern Sanctuary,
I have designed and built a number of dry compost toilets and I can't imagine too many situations where they would not work well (flooding being the only potential problem).
......
My suggestion: keep it simple, keep it cheap and keep it dry.
om shanti
VM
Hi Vidya Moksha, do you have some drawings, some blueprints for constructing such toilets? I would be interested in constructing myself such devices, just be able in case SHTF, repair, service and do maintenance myself.

All the best!

Last edited by artvision; 08-02-2009 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:16 PM   #253
Carmen
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Default Re: Radiant zones and communities building..where are we up to ?

I have a great book(everyone who knows me knows I have a book on Everything!!!). Anyway this book is called "The Humanure Handbook" by Joseph Jenkins. Its fabulous (if any book on poos can be fabulous!)Covers all aspects of dealing with human waste by a person who has been using these systems for years. Told with knowledge and humour.

Cheers

Carmen
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:16 PM   #254
Vidya Moksha
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Hi Vidya Moksha, do you have some drawings, some blueprints for constructing such toilets? I would be interested in constructing myself such devices, just be able in case SHTF, repair, service and do maintenance myself.
I have a photo of my first toilet, which i could maybe post (retake it with a dig. camera)...and maybe also there are some images i could dig out...
However, the principle is extremely simple, let me see if I can describe the basic design. if you need more let me know.
Imagine 2 cubes next to each other, say a nominal 1 metre cube. On the upper surface of each cube cut a hole, upon which one toilet will sit. The other hole is capped for now. Now create an entrance to the cubes on the front faces of each cube, this is the access to empty the compost. Employ a door to this entrance, and try and make it air tight to prevent flies getting in. (it can be siliconed, access is once per year!)
Use one cube until it is full, then switch the toilet and the cap over.
That's the entire concept.
However! both cubes need to be vented in some way (with vent pipes capped against rainwater and screened against flies).
Also urine needs to be separated, either by employing a separate urinal (some urine in the solid box is ok)..or by understanding that both men and women defecate backwards and urinate forwards, so various collectors/splitters can be devised.
Of course, above the cubes u need a roof, either a tarp/sheet/tent structure or a constructed super structure.
I built a shower/bath and toilet system in the same block.
It is better NOT to dig into the ground but to rest the cubes on the ground and build up around them, so the entrance needs to be from a raised level or steps have to be climbed.
Its very simple..
VM
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:24 PM   #255
Vidya Moksha
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Hi Vidya Moksha, do you have some drawings,

All the best!
I forgot, i posted one already lol, in my album called zonca

this is a toilet with a view! No roof, but hey, what a view.
The square toilet sits on a hollow stone column that is about 10m high, this toilet never needs emptying.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:34 PM   #256
Carmen
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What a great toilet, one with a view!! thanks Vidya
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:48 PM   #257
sunflower
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Default Re: Radiant zones and communities building..where are we up to ?

humanurehandbook.com

Here is the website where you can read the book Carmen recommended online. (The Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins)

Interesting, well worth reading. Good for a starter system until something more sophisticated is put in place.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:01 PM   #258
sunflower
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And I forgot to mention in the previous post: watch the videos (left margin on web page) humanurehandbook.com/video

Lots of good info here also.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:06 PM   #259
Carmen
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Sorry to harp on about such a delicate subject but to me its vitally important. We are so used to getting "rid' of our own waste without any thought of where it goes and what it is doing to the environment. Another excellent book on the subject of humane waste, uses and pollution is "Solviva" The author makes a great point that sewage systems are the biggest polluters in our environment and have ruined the foreshore around where she lived at Martha's Vineyard. Whether that is still the case I do not know, but her pics in the book were very revealing. Joseph Jenkins has a term called 'fecalphobia',. We need to deal sensibly with this tendency in us. Its about responsiblilty of dealing with the effects of our so called civilized living.

Cheers

Carmen
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:11 PM   #260
Vidya Moksha
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I have worked as a marine biologist for over 20 years and sewage pollution is the biggest problem I have to deal with. We take 2 items essential for life (water and fertilizer) and we mix them together to form a poison. Its crazy, really crazy. Composting toilets should be compulsory and anyone professing to be environmentally aware should not be using a water toilet.
Of course we now have another crazy problem, the faecal material is actually a food source to many organisms, especially worms. Birds eat worms. Bird poulations grow, In the Uk the bird lobby is particularly powerful and they want to see more birds, whatever the environmental damage! lol, crazy world we live in.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:43 PM   #261
artvision
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Default Re: Radiant zones and communities building..where are we up to ?

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I have a great book(everyone who knows me knows I have a book on Everything!!!). Anyway this book is called "The Humanure Handbook" by Joseph Jenkins. Its fabulous (if any book on poos can be fabulous!)Covers all aspects of dealing with human waste by a person who has been using these systems for years. Told with knowledge and humour.

Cheers

Carmen
Thanks Carmen, I found the book on Scribd, for who is interested:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/270721/Humanure-Handbook

Though, we would appreciate the things tried by our fellows Avalonians, they say are working fine.
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:04 PM   #262
NorthernSanctuary
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Default Re: Radiant zones and communities building..where are we up to ?

Hi Northern Santuary,

This may sound ignorant, but would there be some odd smell cooking with methane?


Natural gas is essential methane; it's colorless and odorless. It's the hydrogen sulfate compounds that give the rotten egg smell, if it exists.

Vidya, your picture is worth a thousand words. By myself, I was using that (a toilet seat on top of a hole in the ground), but for 40 people it's a bigger problem. The biogas digester can be made to work in a commuity; I'll have to investigate it, but some forum people here have the know how.

/NS
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:14 PM   #263
TtC
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Biogas reclamation is by no means hard; you just have to know what you're doing and make sure the calculations are correct. It also helps if you have the space as well as a population to feed it.
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:16 PM   #264
Vidya Moksha
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Default Re: Radiant zones and communities building..where are we up to ?

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[COLOR="Cyan"][I]Hi Northern Santuary,


Vidya, your picture is worth a thousand words. By myself, I was using that (a toilet seat on top of a hole in the ground), but for 40 people it's a bigger problem. The biogas digester can be made to work in a commuity; I'll have to investigate it, but some forum people here have the know how.

/NS
with 40 people biogas may be an option, i would guess that centralizing the waste will be the biggest problem, handling fresh faecal matter should be avoided.
With so many people a compost sytem would work really well. I had originally thought to use the compost on my farm, but was amazed just how little volume it produced.
I would think with 40 people the construction of a toilet block would be particularly easy. Just double the bins in each cubicle. So for example, in one block have 3 toilets, thats 6 bins, 3 active, 3 in storage. As a rule of thumb it will take 6 people 1 year to fill one 1m3 collector. Asuming half male and female (if you want to separate the block) then 2 toilet blocks each with 3 toilets (6 bins) would be about right (you need a year really for the compost to activate, unless you employ solar collectors). This would rquire a structure 6 m long and at least 1m deep, not such a big structure really. Of couse several smaller units could be used, but 40 people would work best with 6 toilets.
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:10 PM   #265
NorthernSanctuary
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Hi Vidya,

This is in Canada, so there is the cold if you go outside. Most of the people are coming from the city, so prefer access from their own units (if it is a family unit). I was thinking of using a duel low flush toilet system (6 /3 pints) or separating the urine out completely. There will also be vegetable compost going into the digester, so should be able to enhance the slush consistency, also temperature control (insulated and heated) for optimum production.

/NS
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:44 PM   #266
Carmen
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And I forgot to mention in the previous post: watch the videos (left margin on web page) humanurehandbook.com/video

Lots of good info here also.
Lots of good info here. Here is the link to the video Sunflower was refering to.

http://humanurehandbook.com/videos.html

Cheers

Carmen

Last edited by Carmen; 08-02-2009 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:42 AM   #267
NorthernSanctuary
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TtC: Biogas reclamation is by no means hard; you just have to know what you're doing and make sure the calculations are correct. It also helps if you have the space as well as a population to feed it.

Do you see that this is feasible with "flushable toilets", or is it a carry and dump type of a situation. There are 1 pint flush toilets, but it's limited to how far the water can carry the waste. The alternative would be to sit on top of the digester.

/NS
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:57 AM   #268
TtC
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TtC: Biogas reclamation is by no means hard; you just have to know what you're doing and make sure the calculations are correct. It also helps if you have the space as well as a population to feed it.

Do you see that this is feasible with "flushable toilets", or is it a carry and dump type of a situation. There are 1 pint flush toilets, but it's limited to how far the water can carry the waste. The alternative would be to sit on top of the digester.

/NS
It's extremely feasible with flush toilets. I did a fully integrated system for an apartment complex in Canada back about three years ago. Worked wonders, too. I've made adjustments since then, and have an even better one now.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:30 AM   #269
NorthernSanctuary
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TtC:It's extremely feasible with flush toilets. I did a fully integrated system for an apartment complex in Canada back about three years ago. Worked wonders, too. I've made adjustments since then, and have an even better one now.

A lot of city people will be happy to hear that.

From the info I read, this is related to the required retention period for the waste to stay in the digester to carry out the process and the needed size of the container to do that.
/NS
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:53 AM   #270
TtC
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TtC:It's extremely feasible with flush toilets. I did a fully integrated system for an apartment complex in Canada back about three years ago. Worked wonders, too. I've made adjustments since then, and have an even better one now.

A lot of city people will be happy to hear that.

From the info I read, this is related to the required retention period for the waste to stay in the digester to carry out the process and the needed size of the container to do that.
/NS
It depends on how the system is integrated and where the waste is going as an end product. I won't say there is a minimum amount of space required. There are a lot of guiding factors when it comes to this; there is not a "one size fits all" solution, by any means. Ah, the wonders of math.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:13 AM   #271
Vidya Moksha
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Hi Vidya,

This is in Canada, so there is the cold if you go outside. Most of the people are coming from the city, so prefer access from their own units (if it is a family unit). I was thinking of using a duel low flush toilet system (6 /3 pints) or separating the urine out completely. There will also be vegetable compost going into the digester, so should be able to enhance the slush consistency, also temperature control (insulated and heated) for optimum production.

/NS
Good Luck with it. Separating urine is always a good idea. My last 2 cents: One compost toilet per unit will need wood ash to remove the smell. The unit would be raised off the ground, could include bathroom. Pros: cheap, very easy, nothing to go wrong, non polluting, 'install and forget'; one unit will take a couple of years to fill it.
The digester should work also, but more complicated, more expensive, not a passive system (will need maintenance), produces a toxic sludge...but gives you methane.
If you have a ready supply of tree wood (forest garden anyone?) then I wouldnt even consider the digester. Keep it simple, keep it cheap, always a good mantra when building.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:58 AM   #272
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Vidya:Keep it simple, keep it cheap, always a good mantra when building


Keeping it simple is good too. Here's a commercial product of what I think you're talking about, but I couldn't believe it is close to $1000 CAN.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007...oop_on_com.php

I didn't understand why the digester output would be toxic.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:03 PM   #273
Vidya Moksha
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Vidya:Keep it simple, keep it cheap, always a good mantra when building


Keeping it simple is good too. Here's a commercial product of what I think you're talking about, but I couldn't believe it is close to $1000 CAN.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007...oop_on_com.php

I didn't understand why the digester output would be toxic.
When the sludge has 'finished' it shouldnt be toxic, but won't it be a constant feed? fresh sewage mixed with water is a toxic mix. Any seepage from the digester will contaminate the area around the storage unit, then it depends on local geology as to how far the polluted area spreads.

I would always build my own toilet, its simple woodwork, or simple wood and brick work. I wouldnt buy any commercial products - but thats just me. Dont collect urine, it needs to be a passive process (it's fun for a while then its just another chore, when there is much more to do!), pipe it to the garden directly.

For a year or so, while I was building up my farm, I just used a plank of wood with a hole cut in it over a bucket. It wasnt laziness that it wasnt upgraded, but usefulness. We would plan out our tree planting and dig a 1 m hole, half fill with the bucket contents and then with soil, and then plant a tree on top. Simple, incredibly cheap and most effective/ useful. Wood ash negates all smell. I only ended up building up the toilet block for the indoor shower/bath option.
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:05 PM   #274
TtC
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I didn't understand why the digester output would be toxic.
It depends what is meant by "toxic." It is a matter of perspective. It would most likely be toxic to humans and most mammals as well as fish, but not to worms, bacteria, some insects, and the like.

Large quantities of waste, human or otherwise, have been know to produce H2S (hydrogen sulfide gas) which is extremely dangerous. I used to have to wear a detector in sour gas plants for just such a reason. H2S is colorless, odorless, and a little heavier than air, so short people suffocate first. It's supposed to be like going to sleep.

I even designed an extraction process so H2S could be removed from the methane for cooking and heating on biomass reclamation units. It's about 98% efficient and doesn't take up too much space.
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:41 PM   #275
THE eXchanger
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Default Re: Radiant zones and communities building..where are we up to ?

i have a property, i need to get out of in canada
it needs a little work,
so, i can maximize my profits getting out

then, i'd have money - lots of it

to create a radiant zone, here in canada
and/or align with the project in PQ
(or do both) or, perhaps, consider another alternative
if anyone is at lose ends - and, has skills for renos
(floors/painting - simple stuff)
and, need a place in canada, to run to,
this could be a good option for them

[ solicitation is not permitted here, so the bulk of the post has been removed if you want to help Susan contact her at workingwonders@aol.com - A.. ]

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