One of my readers commented anonymous-lee that this blog has got a strong potty theme right now. Yep, it's true, it does. Except for Caitlan's posts, which are much nicer.
This pic of the downstairs water closet shows the raw sewage that was leaking out from under the bowl and into the carpet. (Carpet? in the water closet? what was this guy thinking?) I've cleaned it up (mostly) and begun to attack the problems it made in the walls. Happily, the wood is all redwood, and so it's pretty impervious to rotting. And the plaster behind is good old fashioned plaster and hair, so it's pretty impervious too.
This space could become a shower, and we could put a composting toilet in someplace else. Regarding human "waste," this is exactly the challenge presented by a permacultural view: there is no "waste." There is no "away" to throw things into. If we can learn what part of the system uses what we wish to get rid of, we can then support that part of the system.
I learned that most of the nutrients we consume are passed through our urine. Only about 10% pass through our feces. So merely by diverting urine from the black water treatment system, we reduce the demand on that system. Why should we fertilize our poop?
Yeh, I'm getting pretty tired of this theme, too. But it's amazing how important it becomes when you don't have a good way to take care of it.
(Just wait until I write something about cow dung floors...)