the treatment of grey water and human excrement

An aerial overview of the present situation with the different elements of the filter and compost systems.
March 2010. The greenhouse on the left and the first ´module´of the strawbale house on the right. The down sloping filter canal is made with black EPDM sheet and filled up with gravel and irregular (´conglomerate´) stones, while the filter pond is lined with smoother river boulders and gravel to avoid damaging the sheet.

As I live almost off the grid, half a kilometer from the village (but am connected to the public water supply system) I had to find ways to treat the waste (´grey´) water from the sink, shower and washing machine and the `dark` material from the toilet. After studying the internet, I decided to start with relative simple systems and make them more sophisticated if needed. After almost 10 years I can say that more sophistication is not needed and that the systems work quite satisfactorily. By that I mean that there are almost no smells and for example the vegetation in the filtering ponds is doing fine. Part of the success is probable due to the use of biodegradable detergent, soap and straw. I will give a brief description of the two filter ponds and then discuss the equally successful compost toilet which treats the ´dark´ waste.

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