Worms, worms, worms... (vermi-composting for faecal matter)
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TOPIC: Worms, worms, worms... (vermi-composting for faecal matter)

Re: Worms, worms, worms... 24 Jun 2012 14:51 #1726

  • canaday
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  • A biologist working toward sustainability
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May 2014
Hi Everyone,

Very interesting discussion. Congratulations on the users at David's site being so enthusiastic.

I would like to fine-tune Christian's suggestions of using interchangeable containers to overcome the space limitations of this 2-chambered UDDT:

// I suggest using woven polypropylene sacks (as commonly used to transport grains, flour, sugar, fertilizer, etc.) This allows for water to evaporate out and for oxygen to filter in. These sacks are also extremely available and inexpensive. Earthworms may also find their way in.

// These sacks can be placed in baskets or plasic bins (with holes for ventilation cut into them). I recommend containers of about 40 liter capacity, as the sacks fit snugly into them, with the edge flapped over the rim. This holds the sack open and allows it to be accurately placed in the fecal "line of fire".

// Another option is to have a chute (for example, made from an up-side-down bucket with its bottom cut out) that the sack can be tied around.

// After the temperature is stably within the acceptable range from earthworms, these sacks can then be emptied into a chamber for vermicomposting.

The use of interchangeable containers also allows for much more control of smell and flies. Yes, this involves more frequent Operation&Maintenance, but it is not at all disgusting or terrible to change the sacks. People have to realize that things do not disappear by magic, so we have to deal with them (as opposed to out-of-sight-out-of-mind dumping of sewage into rivers). More info in my paper on simple UDDTs in Issue 6 of Sustainable Sanitation Practice on Toilets (www.ecosan.at/ssp).

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday in the Amazon
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com

Re: Worms, worms, worms... 28 Jun 2012 11:13 #1760

  • Wolfgang Berger
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  • Publisher and author of a specialist book and various publications on composting toilets; owner of Berger Biotechnik since 1985; project staff of research projects;
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Hi,
remains only to add:
Compost animals, such as Red Worms (Eisenia foetida), need for their digestion and the production of clay-humus compounds periodic additions of minerals such as rock and basalt powder. Further the pH is very important and can be raised by addition of natural lime, also called calcium carbonate or carbonate of acidic (slaked) lime, or marine algae, if the pH should develop below the neutral range of 7. To lower the pH, marc and wood ash from untreated wood are suitable. Quicklime (calcium oxide) is harmful for compost animals.

Best regards
Wolfgang
Wolfgang Berger
BERGER BIOTECHNIK GmbH
Bogenstr. 17
20144 Hamburg, Germany
tel. +49(0)404397875
fax +49(0)40437848
berger@berger-biotechnik.de
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Re: Worms, worms, worms... 29 Jun 2012 09:13 #1771

  • emmanuel
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Hi Chris,

do not forget that eisenia foetida worms are not "digging" worms. So I think that you have to prefer large baskets with a low height than the opposite.

Wolfgang,
I did the experience in my composting toilet not to put additionnal componants like minerals and see how the worms react. After 3 years of experience, there is still few worms but not as the first year. So vermicomposting can be done without adding worms nuttriments but not for many years.

Regards

Emmanuel Morin
Ecodomeo
Emanuel Morin
Ecodomeo - France
www.ecodomeo.com

Re: Worms, worms, worms... 03 Apr 2014 03:46 #8086

  • nazimuddin
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Dear Alan,

Thank you for the very interesting information, particularly in the 8 points. Could you please provide me the references of the information that you have written in those points.

Best regards
Nazim
Sayed Mohammad NAZIM UDDIN
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Re: Worms, worms, worms... (vermi-composting for faecal matter) 05 Apr 2014 10:21 #8112

  • Billy
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Hi David, you might like to have a look into using BSFG (black soldier fly grubs), if BSF are to be found in your area, which I believe they would be. Can I suggest you check out the blacksoldierflyblog.com forum, it is most instructive. BSFG and vermicomposting can go hand in hand (not literally of course!).
blacksoldierflyblog.com
Don't throw it all away!

Re: Worms, worms, worms... 26 Aug 2014 11:15 #9884

  • mkoslengar
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Dear Steve and ALL

That's very interesting discussion.
I did pilot in 2013 in Monrovia(Liberia) some toilets using the African Night crawler worm or e.fetida. I officially named it " crawler toilets) The toilet unit was designed for 10 people and using 2Kg of e.fetida.
I did not care about the quantity of water to be use for flushing as my bio digester has a sand filtration system composed of layers of sand, gravel and charcoal. The water used to flushed the toilet goes through the filtration layer and collected in the 200L plastic dram used as effluent collector, connected to the 1m3 bio digester through PVC pipe. my Bio digester has enough surface ( 1m2 wich ) that allows the worms to freely move and hide themselves in the corner ( to avoid the fresh fesaces ).I also made sure the feces dropping point is in the middle of my bio digester and the flushing speed is reduced by a 90Dgre elbow ect...
I used local material like coconut coir and onion bags to host my worms .
After almost 2 year of monitoring, I can tell that the system works very well and no bio digester ( from the 10 I initially built and 70 other replicated after) is full of fecal matter. the worms are digesting almost 80% of the feces produced and the effluent collected is use by the family for yard gardening.
I'm still continuing to try to better understand the mechanism and propose a new design model( that will cost less than 100 USD) . I'm ready to share my experience and looking forward for expert feedback.

Mougabe Koslengar
WASH specialist
Mougabe Koslengar
WASH specialist at UNICEF

Re: Worms, worms, worms... 26 Aug 2014 15:38 #9890

  • smecca
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  • It is said that you are what you think about every day; if that's the case, then I am a toilet!
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Mougabe and all,
The GSAP Microflush toilet makes effective use of e. fetida in the filter-digester bed. The mass and pathogen reduction are amazing and the compost quality is high. Size and loading of the digester is important as are the environmental conditions (temperature, pH, moisture, oxygen and C/N ratio). Our toilets are made by trained local MAKERs (as GSAP refers to them. The microflush valve, which flushes on just 150 cc of reused greywater from the previous user's handwash, effectively separates waste from human space avoiding odor and flies. Re: the macroorganism, black soldier fly larvae, dung beetles and other organisms are also effective in the process though the common e fetida is available everywhere and works very well. It is interesting how different organisms work on different regions of the filter-digester bed.

For those in the forum who are interested in introducing the GSAP Microflush toilet in their country, please contact me. We have a training program to get new MAKERs up and running with a small enterprise; we have trained MAKERs in 10 countries during the past year.


+++++++++++
Moderator's note: see also here on the forum for more information about the GSAP:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/106-us...roject-usa-and-ghana
Stephen Mecca, Ph.D.
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Last Edit: 26 Aug 2014 17:29 by muench.

Re: Worms, worms, worms... 27 Aug 2014 14:14 #9898

  • mkoslengar
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Dear Stephen.
I'm very interested to know more about your toilet design. It would be interesting also to compare the efficiency of your system using the e.fetida in Ghnana and mine using the Eudrilus eugeniae in Liberia.
Mougabe Koslengar
WASH specialist at UNICEF

Re: Worms, worms, worms... 27 Aug 2014 14:46 #9899

  • smecca
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Mougabe,
It's interesting that you mention this. I suspect the mass- and pathogen- reduction are very similar. Some of our toilet MAKERs believe they are using one species when we notice that they are using another; yet the results seem similar. Lumbricus rubellus, e. fetida (e foetida in the old spelling) and Eudrilus eugeniae will often get confused by the local toilet MAKERs we train. By the way, we have recently trained the father of a student of mine, who is beginning to make the GSAP Microflush toilets in Liberia. I suspect the worm that is being used is Eudrilus eugeniae, which is fairly common in West Africa. Our same microflush toilet design has also functioned with other macro-organisms as well, including a mix of 2 or more. Often the organisms work in different areas of the filter-digester; we have done some work to better understand these curious inhabitations.
Stephen Mecca, Ph.D.
Professor
Department Engineering-Physics-Systems
S-Lab
Providence College
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Visiting Scholar
Department of Computer Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Science
University of Ghana

Project coordinator at Ghana Sustainable Aid Project:
www.ghanasustainableaid.org/
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