Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tired of Thinking About Poop

I've been thinking about poop a lot these days. Now before any of you poop aficionados who came across this post via some weird google search go getting all excited, it isn't that kind of post. I'm talking about what we're going to do with poop on our recently purchased acreage. Since our lot isn't serviced, we're forced to deal with this issue ourselves, and so this is new territory.

First off, at this stage of our lives we can't afford to build a cabin with a bathroom, let alone install a septic system, so that's off the table for the next few years regardless of how we may feel about the sustainability of one of these things.

Composting toilets are interesting, but they don't come cheap. After I reckoned our "output", I realized that we would need an Envirolet Waterless Remote System, which runs on a 12v battery. Since there's no power, we'd have to charge it with a solar cell, and since the toilet has to sit over a meter above the composting bin, we'll have to construct an elevated structure. I figure all this come in at around $4k+. That's a lot of dough for a glorified hole in the ground. Mind you, it looks like some of our neighbours have managed to rig up a home-made composting toilet without too much trouble and expense.

Then there is the venerable outhouse. I really don't like outhouses, but I found some good plans (PDF) to work with, and for about $500 I could build an all cedar structure, and seal off the hole with a concrete pad, thus helping to keep down the smell. Trouble is, I have no idea how deep the topsoil is, and I haven't walked the land to know if there is a place to drop it far enough away from the creek, and well in order to meet ministry standards.

I really can't wait to stop thinking about poop all the time. Frankly people are beginning to talk.


Doppelsis said...

Did my darling sister forget that we used to live in a trailer for a few years which did NOT have a running toilet? It wasn't a fancy potty either. It was a bucket with a toilet seat.

John said...

So does this mean you won't want to visit us at the cabin?! I'll promise you this... if it ends up being an outhouse I'll build it out of cedar.

Cedar is awesome, and sweet-smelling! Does that count for nothing? ;)

Doppelsis said...

I have a phobia. I don't know know if it has a fancy name or not, but it exists for me. I have a fear of something biting my butt while I am using the latrine. I have gone camping and have had to use the outhouse. I have done my business among spider webs and things scurrying(?) by. I can see those things. I can't see what's below nor do I want to look down that hole. Maybe I have seen too many movies.

tuckova said...

You may have solved this by now, but if not: We have a "collecting toilet" and it was super cheap and it's simple. Try "sawdust toilet" or "humanure" (which is almost as much fun to say as POOP) for step-by-step instructions and photos and everything. Let me know if you want first-hand details.

I like the cedar idea.