Toilets Sewers and Waterborne Diseases

Hope you & yours are safe & well. Did you know?

The average person produces 2 liters of urine a day or roughly $5.00 worth of organic nitrogen.

A city like Miami flushes down the drain 10 to 20 million dollars worth of nitrogen a day and spends another fortune to do it.

The Water Crisis, A Practical Solution

(Thanks to Timedonkey)

A MOVING APPEAL from 4 years ago by “Timedonkey” published by the Gates Foundation

The Water crisis is the most serious problem humanity has ever faced. Water pollution has infused the entire food chain with neurotoxins, poisons and pharmaceuticals, all of which damage the health and survivability of man and planet. The cause is our modern, water based sewer system.

We flush all of our disposables down the drain, into the sewer system where more chemicals are added and then finally pumped back into our water system.

Water based sewer systems are the prime polluters and our use of them has proved to be full of unintended and unanticipated horrors. The use of water based sewer system wastes and contaminates the entire water supply with pollutants and nutrients that if captured and recycled, could provide sufficient agricultural nutrients to ensure a sustainable food supply. One practical solution to the water shortage is to replace our centralized water based sewer system with on site, waterless toilets and recycle grey water. Grey water is the water from the kitchen and shower and can be recycled, on site and reused for landscaping. This will reduce our demand on the water source by 80 percent while simultaneously creating a sustainable, renewable, agricultural resource, namely, organic nitrogen. “No Mix” toilets collect urine and feces in separate places, the toilet bowl has two drains, one, in the front for the urine and one in the back for the feces. The feces are dry composted and the urine is processed for agricultural purposes. Separating toilets protect the water supply and provide a renewable, safe, low cost source of nitrogen, enough to greatly reduce our dependence on foreign natural gas and oil. The important key is to separate the valuable, nitrogen rich urine, human urine is 18% organic nitrogen, at the source, before it is mixed with feces and before it is flushed into the water supply. The economic potential of capturing human urine is stunning. Human urine is 18% organic nitrogen and has been used in agriculture for thousands of years. Sweden, Germany, Holland and many other countries have been using and processing human urine for agricultural purposes and to protect the environment from water based sewer systems. Human urine is the only renewable, sustainable and economically feasible source of nitrogen available to humanity and it is free.What is the economic value of human urine? Here is how it works: the value of comparative petroleum derived fertilizer with the same 18% nitrogen content is approximately $10.00 a gallon and requires a massive polluting industry that is not renewable.

The average person produces 2 liters of urine a day or roughly $5.00 worth of organic nitrogen.

A city like Miami flushes down the drain 10 to 20 million dollars worth of nitrogen a day and spends another fortune to do it.

Integrated Recycling is the future of our economy and could replace taxation in funding community services. The cities will become fertilizer factories and urban and suburban farming and food production could provide a sustainable, local food supply. Schools and churches could be nurseries and local gardening centers, hubs of city and urban agriculture and recycling. This could be a sustainable, local system that is a renewable doable foundation for local economies. Local food production is the basis of all economies and the missing component in modern cities.This kind of integrated recycling is highly profitable and turns three life threatening problems, water shortage, water pollution and imported oil into one sustainable, environmentally positive and economically beneficial solution.Water based sewer systems unnecessarily wastes and pollutes our most valuable resource, clean water. There is only one water supply for the entire earth.

We share this single resource with 6.5 billion other humans and with all living organisms. Water should be regarded as our most important natural resource and shared birthright. Water is the first thing mankind must agree to share according to the highest collective principle. Water is the tie that binds us together, for better or for worse. Water is the blood of the earth and a true sacrament, something we all share, something that is absolutely necessary for life. We should not pollute the water supply with chemicals, insecticides or human disposables that can and should be recycled to insure a healthy and sustainable future.Modern, water based sewer systems could be the worst idea mankind has ever adopted. Common sense informs us not to defecate in the drinking water but that is exactly what we currently do in every city of the land. We do it without thinking. That is the problem. We are not thinking right. It is possible, conceivable, that the water crisis could be THE reason people begin to think of ourselves as truly united with everyone else on the planet, known and unknown, united in our fears, hopes and desires.

6.5 billion separate destinies have become one destiny for us all. – Timedonkey

THANKS, Timedonkey


My latest comment on sanitation in Philadelphia, published in Modern Farmer:

It’s true about Syn’agro (accent on the first syllable). They handle LMW (Liquid Municipal Waste) right here in Philadelphia and elsewhere & produce fertilizer pellets from it. That’s a good thing.

But there’s a world of difference between that and Joseph Jenkins’ humanure. Why dump the whole city’s waste into your water & then have to take it out again?

Yes, that’s the way it’s being done wherever there are sewer systems.

Somebody makes money both going and coming, so it’s not easy to break out of the rat-race.

Back in 2012 the Gates Foundation had a contest for new toilet designs to save the water supply in places that DON’T have sewer systems. …

What about us?

There’s also SMW (Solid Municipal Waste). So far as I can tell, ALL of that from Philadelphia is going into LANDFILLS. ALL of it could be recycled. We, individually, could be producing our own manure and not fouling our future water supply. ..

That’s my refrain


Rob Dunn’s



Felice Jacka’s


On the other side we have


by Steven Johnson

Here’s a dude that showed us how millions of people have been saved for the past 100 years because scientists discovered that “germs” cause disease and started public health measures that stopped those diseases.

So, yes, while we welcome microbes (“good germs”) we still need protection like clean water, sanitation and vaccines.

There’s a balance to be maintained while we try to progress step-by-step, like Philadelphia, struggling with the overwhelming load of the city’s refuse.

Steven Johnson emphasizes the need to protect ourselves from the bad germs. He does, however, notice that in some ways we’ve gone too far:

Johnson p239 “Overprescription and the adoption of antibiotics in industrial livestock diets has led to a troubling resistance in recent years, as bacteria evolve new strategies for evading or counteracting these former miracle drugs (His reference: Richtel, Matt. An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives, NY: Wm Morrow 2020, p248)

Johnson hopes that [AI] “may …  enable us to engineer new compounds at a rate faster than the bacteria can evolve resistance.” but “Big Pharma has lost interest”

Well, let’s hope it’s not an arms race!

Johnson p227 “waterborne illnesses have the biggest impact on overall life expectancy.  In communities lacking the resources for building large-scale waste removal infrascructure, like Bazalgette’s sewers, the most tantalizing new approach involves

reinventing the toilet itself  (see below)

Well, yes, but not just for the developing world, please


I’m still after more information about the 20 DIFFERENT DESIGNS included in the Gates Foundation project “REINVENT THE TOILET”

For pictures of the toilets from the Gates Foundation, click here

For now, here’s some information from 2015 Inhabitat mag

It’s hard to imagine, but 40% of the world’s population still lives without access to toilets. In many developing countries, the installation of sewage systems is impossible, and the resulting improper waste disposal spreads devastating waterborne diseases that afflict millions. As many as 7,500 people die daily due to lack of sanitation, and 5,000 of those are children under the age of five. Today, more people die from poor sanitation than from the measles, malaria and HIV/AIDS combined. Developing hygienic, low-water using toilets that are not connected to a sewer system is critical to saving countless lives and improving the economy, access to education and dignity for countless more. Below are [some] promising toilet designs that aim to address the dire sanitation problems in developing countries.

Eco-Urinal for Kampala because they have only 1 toilet for 1000 people. The urinal funnel attaches to locally available plastic jerrycans.
“Collects urine, stores it in a sanitary way, and turns it into a high-quality fertilizer. It costs only $3.” by Design without Borders, with Sarah Kell 2013 Index Award

Loowatt Toilet

The Loowatt is a waterless toilet system that transforms human waste into biofuel. The composting toilet is molded from 90% horse dung and features a biodegradable lining that stores excrement in a sealed, odor-free container. Once the toilet is full, the user takes the package of poo to an outdoor biodigester, which in exchange, provides a free source of biofuel for cooking. Designed by Virginia Gardiner, the Loowatt received an honorable mention from the AIGA Design Challenge and was a finalist in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge.

Sabine Schober Toilet

The Sabine Schober toilet uses the Terra Preta Sanitation technology, which treats pee and poo by mixing it with charcoal to produce highly fertile soil for reforestation. It is also unique because it can be used in both the sitting and the squatting position. The toilet can be built using three robust components made of sanitary ceramic on the outside and a plastic container on the inside that collects pee and poo for only about $70. The design allows for a water sprayer for cleansing, which can be attached to the side of the toilet. The treated excrement, which can be used as compost, can be removed from the back of the toilet. Designed by industrial designer Sabine Schober, this toilet design was the winner of the 2013 World Toilet Organization Design Award. (4) The CRAPPER stands for Compact Rotating Aerobic Pollution Prevention Excreta Reducer. It is a self-contained, horizontally mounted, rotatable bio-drum based compost toilet that costs about $100/unit. It maximizes aerobic degradation to dramatically reduce waste volumes and is odorless. The drum housing is designed to allow for safe, sanitary and easy access for the removal of excess compost when the chamber becomes full. The private composting toilet is designed to be located near a family’s home, providing safe access for family members and guests. The CRAPPER was created by Toilets for People. (5) The Caltech Toilet is a solar-powered, self-cleaning toilet that converts urine and waste into hydrogen and fertilizer. The toilet features a solar panel that powers an electrochemical reactor, which in turn, breaks down waste into sanitized solids and hydrogen that can be stored in fuel cells to power the reactor on cloudy days. A pump sends treated water to a reservoir on the top of the toilet, where it can be used for irrigation or other purposes. The toilet was developed by the California Institute of Technology, with Michael Hoffman as the team leader and won the $100,000 first prize at the Gates Foundation Reinvent the Toilet Challenge last year. This toilet comes with a hefty price tag of $2,200/unit though!

Eawag Toilet

The Diversion Toilet
The Diversion Toilet collects source separated urine and feces for further treatment while recycling used water on site. It is a modern squatting toilet that can function without water or a sewer connection and can be operated for as little as 5 cents per person. It is designed to be a shared toilet for four families separating bodily waster at the source, then transporting undiluted urine and dry feces to a resource recovery plant. The waste can be converted into fertilizer or biogas. The Diversion Toilet was developed by Eawag Aquatic Institute in collaboration with EOOS Design Studio, with Dr. Tove Larsen as the team leader, and won the $40,000 award for outstanding design of a toilet user interface at the Gates Foundation Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. GatesNotes comment Diversion for safe sanitation
Participating organizations: Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology; EOOS, Switzerland
A functional model of a urine-diverting toilet that recovers water for flushing. The urine and feces will be safely transported to a decentralized processing center. The water used for cleaning will be recycled by a gravity-driven biological membrane.

The Toronto Toilet
The Toronto Toilet uses a sand filled and UV-ray disinfecting chamber to process liquid waste and a smolder chamber, similar to a charcoal barbecue, to incinerate solid waste that has been flattened and dried in a roller/belt assembly. The toilet is sustainable, easy to use and one that processes waste while protecting the community from contamination. The equipment and processes are designed to be easily repaired and managed in a remote community by people with limited resources and training. The Toronto Toilet was developed by the University of Toronto with Yu-Ling Chen as the team leader and won the $40,000 third prize at the Gates Foundation Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. GatesNotes comment : A toilet that sanitizes feces and urine to recover resources and energy
University of Toronto, Canada A technology for treating solid waste streams through mechanical dehydration and smoldering (low-temperature, flameless combustion) that will sanitize feces within 24 hours. Urine will be passed through a sand filter and disinfected with ultra-violet light.

Sol-Char Toilet University of Colorado Info HERE

TIGER TOILETS More than 4,000 Tiger Toilets have been deployed in rural areas of India since 2015. Similar in design to a traditional pit toilet, they cost about $350 to install. The difference is that their pit contains tiger worms (Eisenia fetida), a species that feeds on mammalian waste. The worm castings are 99 percent pathogen-free, which is better than a septic tank, and weigh only 15 percent as much as the original waste. The castings are usable as fertilizer. Or they will be, when the tank is eventually cleaned out. The first Tiger Toilets are approaching five years old, and have not required maintenance yet.

Note: the Tiger Toilets use vermiculture composting!

A toilet that converts human waste to fuel gas
Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
A toilet system that applies microwave technology to transform human waste into electricity. The waste will be gasified using a microwave-induced plasma. This process will yield synthesis gas (syngas), a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The syngas will then be fed to a solid oxide fuel-cell to generate electricity.

A toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water
Loughborough University, United Kingdom
A toilet that transforms feces into a biological charcoal (biochar) through hydrothermal carbonization (decomposition at high temperatures without oxygen and in water) of fecal sludge. The proposed system will be powered from heat generated by combusting the produced biochar and will be designed to recover water and salts from feces and urine.

A urine-diverting combustion toilet
National University of Singapore, Singapore
A toilet that uses biological charcoal (biochar) to dry and combust feces. The heat generated will be used to extract water from urine by boiling it under pressure. The system can be fitted with activated carbon and exchange resin to recover highly purified water.

A community bathroom block that recovers clean water, nutrients, and energy
University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
A toilet system that can safely dispose of pollutants and recover materials such as water and carbon dioxide from urine in community bathroom blocks. The system will separate the urine from the feces and extrude the feces into thin strands for faster drying and stabilization.

Thanks to any and all who took the time to read this for your kind attention. RLG