Toilet?

My pop, brother and I are going up to the land on the 16th of June until the 20th, mainly to see if the foundation is still intact, and to do some hand-on planning and visualizing, and to swim and fish and look at stars and eat food out of cans. We will be building a smaller, less permanent platform and small shack for our toilet. We found a composting toilet, used, on craigslist for 250 bucks, which is a substantial discount from the price of a new one (about two grand.) Even though it was used, the guy who sold it to us cleaned and disinfected before we picked it up.This is the model we purchased: http://www.envirolet.ca/enwatsel.html

Basically, at the beginning of each cottage season you fill the bottom tray with a layer of compost. As you use the toilet, the compost starter turns…whatever you drop onto it…into harmless compost, which you dump out at the beginning of each new season. This unit is good for up to 4 people using the toilet three times a day. Generally we don’t pee into it. Explicit, I know, but someone has to be brave and discuss this most important topic on this vast internets. The unit we have is not powered, and is vented out a long tube that sticks up the back and goes out the roof. The powered version basically has a fan in the vent tube that dries things out faster, and can therefore be used by more people because it composts faster. In any case, the vent tube makes sure the smell doesn’t stick around, which I think is quite nice.

For the enclosure for the toilet, we’re looking at sitting the foundation on concrete piers, which are less stable, but the platform will probably be rather small. HOWEVER, we might get ambitious and turn the platform into a combo wood and storage shed, with a separate shed for the toilet. We’re also talking about the location for this, because if it’s the middle of the night, or a cold morning, you want to be able to get to the toilet with a minimum amount of fuss.

Light inside will also be an issue, but I think we might be able to kill 4 birds with one stone. If we put a few LED lights along the shed (they use even less energy than the compact fluorescent bulbs and are more environmentally friendly) we could conceivably run them off a car battery that’s charged from a small solar panel from Canadian Tire or somewhere similar. A fan for the toilet could also be hooked up to this, and the battery could be hidden in the back of the shed. I’d imagine the floor area would be about 5 feet wide by 12 feet long. And maybe directly behind or beside the cabin, somewhere that could be linked up to the landing at the top of the stairs to the cabin by some decking so that you could get there at night without tripping over rocks and roots.

I’ve been trying to use Google’s SketchUp to show how these things would look, but it’s just too sharp a learning curve. I’m going back to MSPaint.

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~ by cabineer on May 25, 2009.

2 Responses to “Toilet?”

  1. In regards to powering the fan on the compost toilet (highly recommended if you do not want odor!), have you considered installing a solar powered mushroom vent? You can see one @ http://www.allowsolutions.com. Look under Nature’s Head Compost Toilets, the product page.

    Best Regards with your project,
    Cassaundra James, CBO
    Allow Solutions

  2. I’ve looked at the website, and while it’s interesting, there doesn’t seem to be enough information to make an informed decision. http://www.allowsolutions.com/naturesheadproducts.html is where you can find the mushroom vent cap, which looks attractive, but I don’t understand how it works, or if it would work with a different system. Chalk it up to not being a toilet expert.

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