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


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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 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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