Units vary in how humanure is handled.
Some use heat and/or evaporation to rid the chamber of excess urine and water and speed the composting process, while some retain and process all material. Mixing or stirring capabilities, misting sprayers, and rotating trays are options offered by certain manufacturers.
Some units gather excess urine after it has passed through the bulk material in the chamber and retain this liquid as a high-quality fertilizer. This makes best use of the potential value of all material entering the toilet, as up to 80% of the nutrient value in toilet waste is in urine. Once transformed into nitrites and nitrates after passing through the biologically active compost solids, the fertilizer can be a safe and low-odor fertilizer.
All chamber style toilets provide humanure with enough time and adequate conditions to allow the composting process to fully convert to compost before being removed from the unit. These are the only units that do not require additional outdoor composting capacity.
Weeping fields Greywater is disposed directly into the ground using a process similar to septic systems, in which a holding tank allows for settling of solids and rising of scum, and perforated drainage tiles allow the water to be released into the ground. Microorganisms in the soil deal with any harmful bacteria. Some systems include a biological filter in place of a septic tank to help reduce costs.
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Outdoor irrigation Greywater is disposed into a weeping field that provides subsoil irrigation for outdoor trees and/or gardens. Systems have the same components as weeping fields, with the drainage tiles intentionally located to provide water to plants.
Indoor irrigation Greywater is directed into planter boxes that use stone aggregate to allow water to flow sub-surface beneath growing medium and plants. Microorganism colonies in the aggregate, soil, and plant roots help to clean the water. Some systems retain all the greywater within the system, providing adequate storage capacity to allow transpiration through the plants to release water to the atmosphere. Other systems direct greywater into an outdoor weeping field after it has flowed through the planter boxes.
Greywater recycling Greywater is directed through filters into a storage tank, where it is reused for toilet flushing, irrigation, and other uses in the home. The type of end use for recycled greywater is dependent on the degree of filtration provided. Ozone or chlorine treatment is often required for greywater recycled for indoor use. Overflow from these systems is disposed through weeping field or irrigation systems.
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