Why choose a compost toilet?

In a traditional septic tank system, sludge removal will recover only a small portion of the total nitrogen and phosphorus present in raw domestic wastewater. 

     The remaining nutrients are therefore being wasted and lost in the ground. Most of the remaining nitrogen and pharmaceuticals pass easily through the soil and can eventually end up in ground and surface waters nearby, causing pollution.

     Nitrates and phosphates are used at present by farmers as fertilisers. There is growing concern however that there will be future price increases, because of global shortages of mineral phosphorus. The solution for single homeowners is to recover these nutrients by making home-made compost from human excrement and kitchen waste.

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Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. She previously held the same role in an Irish trade publication, before that she worked at the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University in New York and holds an MBA from the Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles in Madrid. France of origin, she now lives in Portarlington, County Laois, where she's taken on the task of renovating a listed building! Email astrid.madsen@selfbuild.ie

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