The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Homemade urine diverting toilets

Homemade urinal"I'm sold on the idea of using urine in my garden," you may be saying.  "But how do I collect it?"  Urine collection for men can be as simple or complex as you want.  In addition to just peeing outside or straight into a milk jug, you can make a simple urinal with a bleach bottle, a milk jug, a length of hose, and a ping pong ball.  Cut the bleach bottle into a funnel shape and connect it to milk jug with the hose, then drop the ping pong ball into the funnel as a stopper.  When you pee in the funnel, the ping pong ball floats and rises out of the way, allowing your urine to flow into the milk jug reservoir.  When the pee's all gone, the ping pong ball falls back into place to make the whole setup relatively air tight and cut down on smells.  Liquid Gold has a great diagram of this simple urinal, but I can't find one on the internet, although you can read a longer description by its creator, Chris Melo.  I've included a related homemade urinal picture instead, but this one looks like you'd need a bit better aim.

Another DIY option that is more suited to women consists of a five gallon bucket full of sawdust underneath a potty chair.  The sawdust soaks up the urine, and the combination is Privy kitemptied onto the compost pile when you start to smell an odor.  Alternatively, women can get a pStyle and pee straight onto the compost pile along with men (although I have to admit that I got sick of my pStlye after a while --- too much work.)

If you want to get fancy, you can always buy a urine-diverting toilet, although a quick search of the internet suggests that they start at around $600.  A more interesting storebought option is the Ecovita Privy Kit for $112 (plus $15 shipping), which fits onto your outhouse seat and diverts the urine away from the solid wastes.  After looking at the Privy Kit diagram, it seems like we should be able to retrofit our biochar composting toilet into a urine-diverting biochar composting toilet with a funnel and length of hose.  We may have to start our experiments there!

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This post is part of our Urine Fertilizer lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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