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I installed a composting toilet in our master bathroom about a year ago. We have a urine diverting toilet seat. I use a bucket and sawdust for the solid wastes, and have been collecting the urine in a separate container, which I carry out to empty and fertilize with. This works okay, but the urine collection has been messy, and I want to streamline the system, and avoid disasters like an overflowing pee bucket (yuck!). I’m considering running the urine hose out through the exterior wall of the house, and into a holding tank with a spigot for easy access for fertilizing, and an overflow pipe from the holding tank which would drain into some sort of infiltration basin (either a gravel or rock pit, or a mulch basin). I’m curious if you’ve seen systems like this, or have any suggestions for getting the urine out of the house, providing somewhere for it to infiltrate directly into the soil, and also allowing access to it to use as a fertilizer resource when needed/wanted? I’m nervous about drilling a hole through the exterior wall of the house (eek!), and also curious if there are any negative consequences of having a lot of urine infiltrating into one spot, and/or having urine sit in a holding tank?

Thanks in advance for any advice you have, and for the great work you’re doing!

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Hi Elizabeth,

I would not go that direction as you are likely to set it and forget it. I’ve had your same issue in the past and have found that adding a calendar reminder on my phone works wonders! I empty my urine diverter every two weeks. It only took one time of overflowing to do this 🙂

 

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Hi Elizabeth,

Different things work for different people!  For myself, I wouldn’t want to manage a urine container inside the house again (I did it for many years). I would definitely want a direct urine drain to outside. I like your idea of a container with an overflow. What you describe are options people choose with a urine diverting toilet. If you overflow the urine into a soak-away pit you’ll need to be sure you’re not near any surface waters or high ground water, or drinking water well etc, b/c the urine is very high in nitrogen which could pollute. You could create a constructed wetland type planter, or “evaporation bed”, which is lined so urine can’t soak into the ground, and planted with plants that are tolerant of the salty liquid. Alternatively you could create a carbon sink, like a lot of wood chips, to absorb the nitrogen. I describe these types of options in more detail with diagrams in my book, The Water-Wise Home.

Good luck with your system!

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