Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sewer disposal when the SHTF

Here is a TEST for you.  After this test, the importance of this topic will be obvious. 

Go 7 days without toilet paper or flushing your toilet.  How long before it is intolerable?

Or try to bring in water from a creek or swimming pool in a 5 gal pail for every toilet flush you do.

Now suppose that every time you go out for a pail of water, that your life is in danger from Looters.

Consider the rule:  when it is brown, flush it down; if it is yellow, let it mellow.

For many, it may be difficult to imagine how dark and violent the world can become.  City Survival could become dangerous, especially without a Neighborhood Watch Program.

But our focus here is on waste disposal, which is an often overlooked consideration.  Imagine what the neighborhood will be like when everyone starts dumping their poop in different places.  Is there a vacant lot, or empty space away from everyone and water sources for dumping waste? Perhaps a business dumpster, or even an abandoned business.

Burning some waste and burying the rest (got shovels?) in 8" deep catholes could be a solution, although the smoke from burning could draw undesirable attention to you, putting your life in danger especially if you don't have Security &/or Intruder Detection.  Even if you detect intruders, do your people have  Shooting Training, or even Gun Safety Training?

The US Department of Conservation offers the following:

Shallow holes for human waste

Dig a shallow hole for human waste; but not just any hole, anywhere. Choose an appropriate place to dig the hole.
How to do it:
  • Keep human waste well away from waterways. Dig shallow holes at least 50 m from water, tracks and campsites.
  • Select a site where other people are not likely to walk or camp, such as next to thick undergrowth or near fallen timber. If possible also dig your hole where it will receive plenty of sunlight. Heat from the sun helps decomposition.
  • Use a trowel to dig a hole 150 - 200 mm deep (about the length of the trowel blade) and 100 -150 mm wide. Deposit your solid human waste. Then back fill the hole with dirt and disguise it with leaf litter or other natural materials.
  • If camping in an area for more than one night, or if camping with a large group, agree on a single toilet place and dig a hole deep enough for the group for the length of your stay.

Toilet paper

  • If you have to use paper, use only plain, unbleached, non-perfumed types.
  • Use toilet paper sparingly.
  • Do not burn toilet paper, as this can result in wildfires. Bury paper in your shallow hole or carry it out with you in a plastic bag. 
  • Try using natural materials such as bark or leaf vegetation (non-prickly!) or snow instead. Natural ‘toilet paper’ is as sanitary as processed toilet paper and blends back easily into the environment.
While a topic of debate, using human waste, a.k.a. bio solids or night soil for fertilizer, has been done for centuries.  In the absence of commercial fertilizer (and pesticides), it may be necessary to use anything possible.  Human urine is sterile and contains Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium which are essential plant nutrients.

Your Neighborhood Watch Program could help organize a safe, sanitary latrine location a minimum of 200 feet away from water, trails, and campsites, in organic soil.  Your latrine should be about 12" deep and one foot long for each person that will be using it each day.  Then as the first one foot is used, the waste is covered and then the next foot is used.

By the middle of the 1800's cities, life in big cities was hazardous to your health.  The air was polluted, the streams were open sewers and the streets were covered in horse manure.  This led to disease and the death of many people.  We must manage waste to prevent this from reoccurring and a small amount of planning can help achieve this.

For additional information, see the following links:
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