Tree Bogs and shit management

Let’s talk about shit. Literally. Where does it go, why do we give it away and what use is it? I was listening to a recent podcast by Paul Wheaton, Episode 175, and I was reminded of all the plans I have to test out various Permaculture and Resiliency principals once we begin setting up our homestead. For instance, I know when we build I want the house plumbed to separate grey and black water. So, all the toilet and kitchen stuff goes one direction, laundry, sink and bath water goes another. The black water I hope will be able to go to a methane digester. There, anaerobic bacteria will transform it into free methane gas, useful for cooking, power generation and anything else you can use propane for. The grey water will feed into a grey water reclamation system. This is a system of open air ponds, settling tanks and bogs which reclaim nutrients, provide compost and clean the water for further use in irrigation.
The tree bogs they discover are not really part of this system. They are most useful in areas that receive heavy but temporary use. Since I want to put about 5 acres of the land we eventually buy into a primitive campground/teaching area this would be perfect. A bog, taking into account propensity for flooding and drainage, is put in with fast growing, nutrient robbing plants, such as willow. You build an outhouse over the bog. Users dump a scoop of sawdust or lime in with their donation and done. The natural cycle does the rest. Since you are drawing poop from a variety of unknown sources this does not generate mulch. There are too many unknown biologic hazards involved. But, the willow and other plants are perfectly safe to harvest for other purposes. The willow can be coppiced to provide withes for basket or furniture making, woven into gates and fences for livestock, charcoaled for some of the purest charcoal anywhere, there is even a specific species that is the very valuable source for charcoal for artist charcoal pencils. It can be green mulched, adding fertility to soil in other areas. For a sight such as I envision, it seems the perfect solution.
Here are some more resources, the first 2 from the lady Paul was interviewing.
A Loo With A View

WET systems for waste purification and resource production
DIY Treebog


About cptcaveman

An Army Major, my family and I are in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. We enjoy photography, cooking, reading and outdoor sports like hunting, fishing and trapping.
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