There is a lot to think about when you’re renovating a home. You need to make many decisions, starting with what contractor to use and how much money you want to spend. It helps if you have a clear vision for how you want your home to look when you’re done. If you’re not sure what it is that you want yet, take some time to look through my blog. I’ll discuss everything from home additions to flooring materials to appliances and fixtures. These articles will help you get a sense of the possibilities for your home renovation, and help you narrow down your options. Eventually, you’ll decide on the renovations that are right for you.
Much of the western United States is currently suffering from severe to exceptional droughts, and since water is in such short supply, everyone living in this region needs to do their part to conserve water. Fortunately, cutting back on your household water usage doesn't mean that you need to stop showering; it can be as simple as installing waterless toilets, like batch composting toilets. Here are five things you need to know about batch composting toilets.
1. What are batch composting toilets?
Batch composting toilets are a type of waterless toilet that can collect your waste and turn it into compost. They look similar to your existing toilets with a seat and a bowl, though they're not connected to a sewer or a septic tank.
Instead, the waste is collected in a container beneath your toilet bowl. Once the container gets full, it's removed and replaced with a new container. The full container is set aside for five to six weeks, during which time the contents break down. This process is repeated as needed, producing batches of nutrient-rich compost.
2. How much water do they save?
Standard flush toilets use a lot of water. Newer flush toilets use about 1.6 gallons of water for every flush, while older toilets can use as much as 7 gallons per flush.
Toilets use so much water that they're responsible for more than one-quarter of the average household's water use. Therefore, by simply replacing your current toilets with waterless toilets, you can slash your household's water usage significantly.
3. Are they hard to use?
Using a batch composting toilet isn't much different from using a regular flush toilet. Toilet paper can also be composted, and you can still use as much toilet paper as you always have. The main change to your daily routine is that you need to add a scoop of wood shavings to the compost after you have a bowel movement. This helps with the composting and with the smell.
Once the container gets full, it needs to be taken outside to finish composting and be replaced with a new container. Once a batch of compost is ready, it can be buried. Burying the compost is the most labor-intensive part of this process, so to save time, you may want to invest in multiple containers so that you can save up your batches and bury them all at once.
4. How are they installed?
First, the batch composting toilet is placed in the desired location within your bathroom. Unlike other types of composting toilets, no underfloor storage is required, so they can be installed in any bathroom, even the ones in your basement.
No connection to the sewer or septic tank is required, though a connection to both a power supply and a vent pipe is necessary. The vent pipe transports objectionable odors and fumes out of the collection container and vents them above your roofline, which helps to keep your bathroom smelling fresh. The power supply is necessary to power the fans that push air up the vent pipe.
5. Do batch composting toilets smell?
You may be concerned that the container beneath your toilet will smell, but fortunately, this isn't the case. People who use these toilets report that there's no smell at all! This is because of the powered vent system that draws all of the bad odors out of your bathroom and releases them above your roof. Since the odors are released above your roof level, your neighbors won't smell anything, either.
If you want to significantly decrease your water usage, replacing your wasteful flush toilets is an easy way to accomplish your goal. To get batch composting toilets installed in your house, contact a plumber. And if you need plumbing repairs for the toilet, do the same.