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Human manure
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Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 05 10:30 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I think that may be because the Scottish industry is way behind us. We've been refurbishing our incinerators over the last couple of years so that they meet the new requirements when they are introduced. Gave us a laugh when a 100m stainless steel smoke stack was delivered to our offices, the billing address, rather than the sewage works.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 05 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What concerns me is the concentration of heavy metals or other 'unknown' factors. I'm not keen on it in potting compost as we often grow salad crops in it so the liklyhood of soil on the leaves is high.

On the other hand, I'm very keen on recycling *all* our waste when we move somewhere. Would a composting toilet or reed bed system actually be good enough to break down soilds into a harmless fertiliser? The easier option if you have room is use the composted waste to ferilize non-edible plants such as trees being grown for timber or fire wood, but that's a bit of a cop out.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 05 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
What concerns me is the concentration of heavy metals or other 'unknown' factors. I'm not keen on it in potting compost as we often grow salad crops in it so the liklyhood of soil on the leaves is high.


Outputs from such sewage plants are monitored for heavy metals, and yes, it's a problem for them sometimes. The big problem they have is that if too much contamination occurs, it'll knock over the whole activated sludge process and close the plant till it can be re-started, and that's time consuming and bloody annoying.

I've yet to come across any credible stated danger associated with metal ions in the waste when used as a compost component or soil conditioner.

Quote:

On the other hand, I'm very keen on recycling *all* our waste when we move somewhere. Would a composting toilet or reed bed system actually be good enough to break down soilds into a harmless fertiliser? The easier option if you have room is use the composted waste to ferilize non-edible plants such as trees being grown for timber or fire wood, but that's a bit of a cop out.


It's also a bit unreliable- rain spreads the waste about rather, it creates aerosols when it hits the waste, so you don't want it spread, untreated, on ANY of your land.

monkey1973



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Location: Bonnie scotland
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 05 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
On the other hand, I'm very keen on recycling *all* our waste when we move somewhere. Would a composting toilet or reed bed system actually be good enough to break down soilds into a harmless fertiliser? The easier option if you have room is use the composted waste to ferilize non-edible plants such as trees being grown for timber or fire wood, but that's a bit of a cop out.


Surely well rotted human manure, particularily your own, as you know at least what you have put in, so to speak, would be no worse than digging in well rotted horse manure.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 05 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Certainly people do do it and I have also thought about medicine residues being a problem, so if it's yours then you will know what's in it.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 05 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

monkey1973 wrote:

Surely well rotted human manure, particularily your own, as you know at least what you have put in, so to speak, would be no worse than digging in well rotted horse manure.


WAAAAY worse.

There are a whole heap of bactera at the far end of your digestive system, bacteria that you'd rather not get back to the top end. Really. Washing your hands after taking a dump isn't just abour ptorecting other people, it's also about protecting you.

monkey1973



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Location: Bonnie scotland
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 05 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
monkey1973 wrote:

Surely well rotted human manure, particularily your own, as you know at least what you have put in, so to speak, would be no worse than digging in well rotted horse manure.


WAAAAY worse.

There are a whole heap of bactera at the far end of your digestive system, bacteria that you'd rather not get back to the top end. Really. Washing your hands after taking a dump isn't just abour ptorecting other people, it's also about protecting you.


Even after it is well-rotted?

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 05 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well rotted human manure is really what the sewage treatment is about. IF done properly it'll get rid of the nasties.

Leave it to the professionals and stop trying to put me out of a job

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 05 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

monkey1973 wrote:

Even after it is well-rotted?


I wouldn't test my own composting skills in that way. Too risky for home composting. Not for all the well rotted matter I can make!

monkey1973



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 683
Location: Bonnie scotland
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 05 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Behemoth wrote:
Well rotted human manure is really what the sewage treatment is about. IF done properly it'll get rid of the nasties.

Leave it to the professionals and stop trying to put me out of a job


But I thought that was the whole point of downsizing ie. taking responsibility for your own 'actions' ...ahem

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 05 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ahhhh...but when your 'movement' towards self sufficiency start impinging on the health of the local community (with their individual movements) sometimes it's best to work collectively and all move together.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 05 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Behemoth wrote:
Ahhhh...but when your 'movement' towards self sufficiency start impinging on the health of the local community (with their individual movements) sometimes it's best to work collectively and all move together.


Perhaps you should put that on your next leaflet.

There are many, many people in Europe with various schemes running, some must work? I also know somone with a local treatment works emptying into to local river. I'll have to ask them what happens to the sludge.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 05 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:

Perhaps you should put that on your next leaflet.

There are many, many people in Europe with various schemes running, some must work? I also know somone with a local treatment works emptying into to local river. I'll have to ask them what happens to the sludge.


Having your own treatment works is rather different to composting it or rotting it down for use as fertiliser. I'd be curious to know how smaller scale operations work too.

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 05 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The traditional way of disposing of the sludge from septic tanks was to spread it on the land. However the EA are starting to frown on this and are looking to get people to have their tank emptied by a "competent body". What they mean is to pay someone to empty it, tanker away the crud to a sewage works where it gets treated. I'm not sure that this is really necessary.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 05 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Behemoth wrote:
The traditional way of disposing of the sludge from septic tanks was to spread it on the land.


When we moved here, we found a strange-looking implement at the back of the barn. It looked a bit like a small wok on the end of a very looong handle. Couldn't for the life of me work out what it was for. Then a friend came over and said, with glee, "It's a s**t scoop"! Presumably for doing just that.

It is still at the back of the barn - untouched

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