Some communities in Cape Cod area on the Massachusetts coast in the United States are exploring urine diversion and composting toilets

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Some communities in Cape Cod area on the Massachusetts coast in the United States are exploring urine diversion and composting toilets

The Cape Cod area on the Massachusetts coast in the United States is facing sanitation challenges, and some communities and organizations are exploring alternate approaches, such as urine diversion and composting toilets.

The Town of Falmouth in Barnstable County, MA, for example, is experiencing impaired surface and ground waters from nutrients leaching from septic systems. This process is creating increased rates of eutrophication in fresh water ponds and coastal areas. Tourism and population growth have exacerbated the problems.

As a result, The Town of Falmouth assembled an Eco-Toilet Subcommittee
to bring together local experts, residents, and government representatives
to talk about alternative approaches. This article from Tufts University explains more .

The ecological challenges also spurred a coalition of organizations to hold an Eco Toilet Summit there in 2011. The summit was sponsored by The Green Center, and co-sponsored by Clean Water Action, FCAT (Falmouth Climate Action Team), GreenCAPE, Nature’s Circle, Cape & Islands Group Sierra Club, Water Alliance.

One regional organization that's exploring solutions is the Cape Cod Eco-Toilet Center , which is run by a 501(c)(3) non-profit, The volunteer-run organization supports projects that demonstrate ecologically derived forms of energy, agriculture, aquaculture, housing, and landscapes, and living in harmony with nature.

I hope these links are helpful. Kind regards,

Toni

Toni French, Consultant
Climate Foundation
Toni French
Consultant for Climate Foundation
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Re: Developing urine diversion systems in a developed world context

Hi Toni,

How is the demonstration project going now?
I've had some contact with Winthrop Munro and Sia Karpus about this project and sharing our own experiences with UD systems in Australia. It would be great to hear about how successful they have been since their installation...and the challenges you've had along the way
Regards
Dena
Dr Dena Fam
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Institute for Sustainable Futures
University of Technology Sydney
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  • KaiMikkel
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Re: Developing urine diversion systems in a developed world context

I second Dena Fam's request for an update. :)
Kai Mikkel Førlie

Founding Member of Water-Wise Vermont (formerly Vermonters Against Toxic Sludge)
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  • ToniFrench
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Re: Some communities in Cape Cod area on the Massachusetts coast in the United States are exploring urine diversion and composting toilets

Hello. I apologize for the delay on an update - I've been dealing with family matters (including a recent death in my extended family) and working on tight deadlines for unrelated projects. I'm also not involved directly in the Cape Cod project - I had posted the original information on request after a colleague mentioned the topic briefly in a forum meeting. I've done some checking, though, to see if new information is available.

According to the Town of Falmouth's Website, there's strong citizen interest in an incentive and data collection program that involves replacing traditional toilets with eco-toilets. There's an email address and contact phone number posted on their Website, if anyone wants specific details or would like to connect with people involved in the program.

www.falmouthmass.us/waterq/web%20site/pages/eco-toilets.html

This text is currently posted on their Website (although subject to change over time) and more details are available at the above link:

"Falmouth is providing a subsidy of up to $5,000 [US dollars] to homes and businesses willing to participate in the Eco-Toilet Incentive Program. This Program will evaluate the real contribution that eco-toilets can make, and the real cost of installation. To be part of the Program, homeowners or businesses must replace or remove all of their standard flush-type toilets with eco-toilets of the composting, urine diverting, or combination type. Data from this study will be used to assess how much nitrogen and phosphorus is removed by eco-toilets, and costs for this level of nutrient reduction."

Here's a Memorandum of Agreement about the program: www.falmouthmass.us/ecotoilet/wq-et%20de...inal%204-29-2012.pdf

Regards,

Toni

Toni Saddler-French
Toni French
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Re: Some communities in Cape Cod area on the Massachusetts coast in the United States are exploring urine diversion and composting toilets

Hi Toni,

This is good news. Let us know if there are any little problems we can help to resolve ... before they become big problems.

It is great to have more up-scale cases, so people can see that UDDTs are practical and acceptable at all levels, not just for poor people out in the woods.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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Re: Some communities in Cape Cod area on the Massachusetts coast in the United States are exploring urine diversion and composting toilets

I have some direct experience in this project, so I might be able to answer questions if anyone has any. I recently installed a pair of Full Circle composting toilets ( www.fullcirclecompost.org ) as replacements for an old residential Clivus system, and will be installing one more in another residence this fall or winter.

The Full Circle toilets (which I manufacture) are UDDTs with composting for the feces, but the subsidy also applies to combined urine/feces composting toilets and to UD flush toilets (and I know that Separett UDDTs, Phooenix composting toilets, and Dubbletten UD flush toilets have all been installed as part of this initiative--and there may be other types installed that I'm not aware of.)

The purpose of the program is to reduce nitrogen emissions from on-site septic systems, and to that end the nitrogen concentration in the septic tanks is being tested before and after installation of the ecosan toilets.

The project involves the subsidies that have been mentioned, and also a set of plumbing code variances for imported systems or other equipment that does not have U.S. approval.

--Abe
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