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21 August 2013

Planet-huggin’ Dunnies

I've just finished building a composting toilet. A few people have asked me if it's hygienic. You know, it's home-made toilet and just through together on the weekends. From now on I'm not going to go through a conversation about how composting toilets are great and are usually really safe. I'm just going to show them our commercial water recycling system. It's an Ozzi Kleen. Cost a lot of money. Uses a lot of electricity. In theory, it converts kitchen/toilet waste water into lovely clean water. In practice, it jams a lot and dumps a lot of random shit (literally) into our nice native garden.

Just now, for instance, the system alarm went off. The buzzer is about 500 dB of whine (right above poor little Nina's bed), letting us know the water recycling is somehow unhappy. I often have to go check on the system and give it some encouragement. Today was a little worse than usual. All the compartments were full of liquefied shit. And it was blocking most of the passages, and wasn't getting pumped out of the final tank. This is both good and bad. You don't really want to pump 100 of litres of shit onto your garden. But then, you kind of have no alternative. The trick is, once you have mixed your shit with 1000s of litres of previously clean water what do you do when the system to process that water fails. Every month or so.

Well, after some investigation I decided I'd just have to try and pump the shit out onto the garden. Nina won't be back for another week, so I figured it shouldn't be too bad. So I filled up the final tank with water to dilute the shit enough to get through the pump. Then I got the pump going. Then the pumped got blocked again. So I turned off the whole system at the switch AND the circuit board. Because I'm not an idiot. Then I detached the pump from the outflow hoses to reduce the resistance. Then I turned the power back on at the circuit board and then the switch. I got sprayed square in the face by a shit-load of mildly diluted shit-water. I watched for a while, as shit-water sprayed about 4 metres up in the air, over the whole garden. Then I switched the system of again. Closed the cover on the recycling system to stop the electricals from getting all shitted up. And turned it backed on again. It sprayed for a while. Then it felt better.

The garden has got shit sprayed all over it, and also had shit-water evenly pumped across it by our carefully laid irrigation hoses. There is not a square foot of the garden which isn't a serious health hazard. And people should probably avoid being near me for a while as well.

Next time people suggest my dry composting toilet is a health hazard because it wasn't installed by professionals, I'm going to ask them to read this post and then come back to me.

Mud brick toilet


  1. Oh Ryan.
    What a story.
    I’m sorry to have laughed at your expense.

    Jenny / 6:18pm / 21 August 2013

  2. I’m so annoyed at these pinko water recycling contraptions, I almost want to vote for Tony Abbott.

    Ryan / 3:29pm / 22 August 2013

  3. I love a good poo story.
    I also love that I’m a long long long way away from you right now.

    Howie / 7:39pm / 22 August 2013

  4. Well that’s something to look forward to on return today.

    Mil / 7:27am / 25 August 2013

  5. Your bricks are magnificent. Who wouldn’t want to sit in a dunny surrounded by bricks like that?

    Laurence / 2:08am / 22 September 2013

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