some input from people who are experienced in building Clivus Multrum like waterless toilets? (Question from Timor Leste)

  • Boyercutty
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  • Owner builder, three houses as far. Owner of a waterless toilet. Current interest and reason for joining Susana.org is in large scale Clivus Multrum systems. Currently living in Timor Leste, a country badly in need of thousands of toilets and safe disposal of end products.
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some input from people who are experienced in building Clivus Multrum like waterless toilets? (Question from Timor Leste)

Request for comments on sketch plans for waterless toilet

As a very recently subscriber, I would appreciate some input from people who are experienced in building Clivus Multrum like waterless toilets. I am aware of the whole compost or not debate, but this issue is not what I am interested in. Disposing of the humus in an appropriate way is of course of utmost importance.

My circumstances are as follows. I am an 73 year old Australian with extensive building experience. In our extended travels, my wife and I find ourselves in Timor Leste. Timor is a very poor country, with most people living on a few dollars a day. While slow progress is being made in the improvement if living standards, toilets are an emerging challenge. Timor, being in the tropics has a wet season and overall the country is not short of water. In practical terms, none of the naturally occurring water is fit for drinking because of contamination from animal and human faecal matter. Those who can afford it, buy treated drinking water, those who can’t drink it anyway. After revenue from oil and gas, remittances from Timorese working overseas now make up the second largest source of money for the country. Most of this remittance money is being spent on building new houses, including water closet toilets. In Timor there are no sewerage systems anywhere. Toilets outlets are run into a septic tanks. These are constructed without a bottom in them, hoping that the liquid seeps out and inevitably finds it way into the water table.

A far more appropriate technology would be the use of waterless toilets. With that in mind, I drew up some sketch plans for a Clivus Multrum like toilet. I showed them to some interested parties, one of them wants me to build a set of two toilets. My request is for those on this forum with experience in building such a construction to comment on my sketch plans. Timor is a long way from most places and getting stuff here is expensive, hence the maximum use of local materials. I do not plan to use of toilet pans, they are expensive and get damaged. Instead a wooden bench with toilet seat and lid. I plan to experiment with a urine diversion system made from locally available plumbing fitting. In Timor people are bottom washers. I figure a small amount of fresh water will soon evaporate in a well ventilated system. It never gets cold in Timor, which should help in the breakdown of humanure and carbon extras, rice husks and buffalo pats.

So, overnight these sketch plans turned onto working drawings. Having never built a Clivus Multrum like system, I would appreciate input from people who have build them before. Any comments at all, would be appreciated.

Cheers Keith Schekkerman, Baucau, Timor Leste


Keith CJ Schekkerman
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Re: some input from people who are experienced in building Clivus Multrum like waterless toilets? (Question from Timor Leste)

Dear Keith!
Welcome to the Discussion Forum. I have moved your post from the incoming mail section to this one. I hope you get some feedback. Have you reviewed the previous threads in this sub-category, in particular this one which has very detailed technical information (although for a colder climate):
forum.susana.org/241-composting-toilets-...aine-now-operational

All the best from a "fellow Australian" (well I'm German but am living in Brisbane),
Elisabeth

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  • Boyercutty
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  • Owner builder, three houses as far. Owner of a waterless toilet. Current interest and reason for joining Susana.org is in large scale Clivus Multrum systems. Currently living in Timor Leste, a country badly in need of thousands of toilets and safe disposal of end products.
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Re: some input from people who are experienced in building Clivus Multrum like waterless toilets? (Question from Timor Leste)

Having done some more detailed work on the plans my question is, could I get away with making the tank five blocks high instead of six? I am still aiming for a generous size tank to increase the times between servicing the system.

Keith CJ Schekkerman
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  • Boyercutty
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  • Owner builder, three houses as far. Owner of a waterless toilet. Current interest and reason for joining Susana.org is in large scale Clivus Multrum systems. Currently living in Timor Leste, a country badly in need of thousands of toilets and safe disposal of end products.
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Re: [SuSanA Forum] Composting toilets do not produce compost - true or false? And is "composting toilet" a misnomer? (Composting toilets, Arborloos)

Comments invited on sketch plans for Clivus Multrum in Timor.
In particular I would appreciate comments on the dimension of the tank. I have decided that the tank being five blocks high should be sufficient. General comments on any aspects relating to the sketch plans would be appreciated. I planning to start building it by next week.
Please follow the link in the scribble above. Having never build a Clivus Multrum before, just telling me that there is not much wrong with the sketch plan provides a degree of reassurance. Much easier to make changes before building than afterwards.
Cheers Keith S

Keith CJ Schekkerman
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  • geoffbhill
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Re: [SuSanA Forum] Composting toilets do not produce compost - true or false? And is "composting toilet" a misnomer? (Composting toilets, Arborloos)

Are you hoping that the poo / pee / sawdust mix somehow moves itself down a shallow slope?

Geoff
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  • Boyercutty
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Re: [SuSanA Forum] Composting toilets do not produce compost - true or false? And is "composting toilet" a misnomer? (Composting toilets, Arborloos)

Hi Geoff,
Yes, it was my expectation that it would move down the slope. Are you suggesting that I should increase the angle?
These are the very suggestions that I need, as I have never built or operated one of these.
Cheers Keith S

Keith CJ Schekkerman
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  • Boyercutty
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  • Owner builder, three houses as far. Owner of a waterless toilet. Current interest and reason for joining Susana.org is in large scale Clivus Multrum systems. Currently living in Timor Leste, a country badly in need of thousands of toilets and safe disposal of end products.
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Re: [SuSanA Forum] Composting toilets do not produce compost - true or false? And is "composting toilet" a misnomer? (Composting toilets, Arborloos)

If indeed you are suggesting I increase the angle, than there are two ways to do this. Firstly stick with the original design of building the tank six blocks high and starting the ramp at the fourth block or if the tank is five blocks high, reduce the length of the ramp.
I suspect the first option is the better one.

Keith CJ Schekkerman
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  • Boyercutty
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  • Owner builder, three houses as far. Owner of a waterless toilet. Current interest and reason for joining Susana.org is in large scale Clivus Multrum systems. Currently living in Timor Leste, a country badly in need of thousands of toilets and safe disposal of end products.
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Re: [SuSanA Forum] Composting toilets do not produce compost - true or false? And is "composting toilet" a misnomer? (Composting toilets, Arborloos)

Having just drawn some more lines on my plans, to start the ramp at the fifth block might even be a better idea. It certainly increases the angle and should help greatly in a downwards movement.
What is your option?

Keith CJ Schekkerman
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  • Boyercutty
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  • Owner builder, three houses as far. Owner of a waterless toilet. Current interest and reason for joining Susana.org is in large scale Clivus Multrum systems. Currently living in Timor Leste, a country badly in need of thousands of toilets and safe disposal of end products.
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Re: [SuSanA Forum] Composting toilets do not produce compost - true or false? And is "composting toilet" a misnomer? (Composting toilets, Arborloos)

Hi Geoff and all,
Having has a few hours to think over how to increase to angle of the slope. I like to stick with the tank being five blocks high. With that in mind, I have come up with starting the ramp at block four and making it shorter. This will make for an angle of about 35 degrees. Does that look more promising?

Keith CJ Schekkerman
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Re: [SuSanA Forum] Composting toilets do not produce compost - true or false? And is "composting toilet" a misnomer? (Composting toilets, Arborloos)

Hi Keith,

I work with Ecoflo Wastewater - we are in Brisbane and we manufacture Clivus Multrum composting toilets. Your drawings are pretty close for sketches! Well done.

I have attached a paper setting out (see Appendices) some laboratory testing of the compost produced by various composting toilet systems - they certianly do produce compost and are quite effective at removing pathogens - albeit none of them tested for helminths.

The only rider is that composting toilets, like every sanitation system, need to be properly designed, properly installed and then properly maintained.

Happy to have a chat tomorrow or Friday and see if we can help you out?

Suggest you check out www.ecoflo-wash.org for a start.

We have an installation at Railaco - check out the case study on the site.

Joe
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  • Boyercutty
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  • Owner builder, three houses as far. Owner of a waterless toilet. Current interest and reason for joining Susana.org is in large scale Clivus Multrum systems. Currently living in Timor Leste, a country badly in need of thousands of toilets and safe disposal of end products.
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Re: [SuSanA Forum] Composting toilets do not produce compost - true or false? And is "composting toilet" a misnomer? (Composting toilets, Arborloos)

Hi Joe,
Thanks for your reply. I presume you agree that the increase of the angle of the slope should improve the operation of the unit?

People in Timor traditionally are bum washers. With this in mind and comments on the SuSanA.org site indicating that water use for washers can be between half and three litres of water per user, do you think this will inhibit to operation of the unit? Will three litres per person drown the system? It will have good drainage, as the floor slopes to one side into a decent size drain pipe.

The users of the system at Railico I presume are washers? The system copes OK with the extra water? Does it have a Urine diversion system?

You can contact me directly by email via the icon. If you do, I can ring via what’s app.
Cheers KS

Keith CJ Schekkerman
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Re: [SuSanA Forum] Composting toilets do not produce compost - true or false? And is "composting toilet" a misnomer? (Composting toilets, Arborloos)

Hi Keith,

The ClivusMultrum system is a waterless toilet and is not designed to handle any additional water beyond urine so I expect that the additional washing water will drown the system. It needs to compost and reach a sufficiently high temperature for thermophyllic effect to kill pathogens.

If the users are allowed to put bottom washing waster through the waterless ClivusMutrum system, I suspect that short term the additional water will just wash live pathogens into the environment and stop the composting process. Medium term the flow will likely sweep material down to clog the outlet pipe and turn the tank into a stinking mess.

The shape of the container as well as the slope is critical, which is why we only rotomould ClivusMultrum tanks. Unless you get several issues exactly right, the system is unlikely to perform well at pathogen removal.

What number of people is this system intended to service? How are you funding the construction?
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