Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Reasons for a failure of the water system are numerous. It could be the middle of winter and the pipes are frozen. There could be a water main failure somewhere in the community system that cuts off water to your house. An earthquake, hurricane, tornado, flood or landslide could disable the municipal water network. A power outage could shut down the city’s water system pumps. A drought could cause water shortage. An act of terrorism targeting the water supply could shut it all down.
It could be a lot of things.
So, what will you do when you’ve just completed the final flush of your toilet? Are you going to dig cat-hole latrines all over your back yard, run for the nearest treeline and squat in the bushes, dance in the hall and hope the system comes back up before nature calls again?
Personally, we don’t ever want to have to face that situation. Frankly, we don’t want to have to brave a dark and stormy night trudging to a makeshift outhouse…or worse. And it’s totally unnecessary, if we take steps to prepare.
To make sure that we are prepared with an alternative to the traditional water-hog of a toilet, we put together a system that can be immediately installed inside the house to serve as an emergency toilet right in the comfort of our normal bathroom.
Our solution is to use a composting toilet that requires no water, no plumbing, and exudes no foul odor. Our choice of composting toilet is the Nature’s Head (www.natureshead.net). We chose this unit because of its durable construction quality, simplicity of operation, comfortable seat configuration, and waste-holding capacity.
We knew in advance that we wanted a Nature’s Head for emergency use in the house because we’ve been using one for several years on our sailboat. I have to say that changing over from a chemical toilet to the Nature’s Head on our boat was one of the best modifications we ever made. Now there are no chemicals to deal with and no storage of wet sewage that I need to lug to a disposal site every couple days.
If you want to know how a dry composting toilet works, go to the website link I just gave you above, and read all about it. In this space, I’m going to focus on actually installing the unit in our house. It was easier than you might think.
I’ll continue with the description of the installation next time we meet.