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Re: [pfaf] Re: Humanure

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  • Pat Meadows
    ... We have a septic tank as well; many rural areas in the USA still use them. ... My belief is that the remains of your septic tank are safe for use on your
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 30, 2007
      On Fri, 26 Jan 2007 20:47:15 -0000, you wrote:

      >
      > Dear people,
      >
      > I am a newby at organics, and was surprised to find out
      >about "humanure". The idea that human waste could be composted in an
      >open system "safely" had never occured to me. I myself have a 3
      >stage sceptic tank. The whole house contributes to this tank,
      >toilets,bath, shower, washing machine etc. ( I live in a secluded
      >area on a greek island and am not connected to any sewage mains). I
      >also only use biodegrable cleaning products, soaps, shampoos etc.
      >The tank is anaerobic (no pumping of oxygen into the system). When
      >it is full I pump it out to my olive trees and have seen a large
      >increase in olive oil productivity, but never dared to use it on my
      >vegetable garden nor my cut herb business; only on my fruit trees

      We have a septic tank as well; many rural areas in the USA still use them.

      > My questions are, how safe is "humanure", and is the system I am
      >using a safe one? Never had any problems up till now that I have
      >noticed, but maybe I am damaging the water table. I have a large
      >water well and had the tank built at a 50m distance from my well
      >hoping not to contaminate my water supply, even though it is a
      >closed concrete structure (my concrete is porous). Is this a good
      >distance? Have seen 'bacteria pellets' for tanks, should I use
      >this? I am not squeamish but overly cautious, thats' the virgo in
      >me.

      My belief is that the remains of your septic tank are safe for use on your
      olive trees. The humanure will not be in contact with the fruit of the
      trees (*unless* the olives fall off and lie on the ground - do they?).

      But from what I have read, it is definitely NOT safe for use on a vegetable
      garden. It is not composted; it has not been heated to a temperature
      sufficient to kill bacteria. Maybe you could compost it?

      Pat

      --
      In the Appalachian Mountains in northern Pennsylvania
      Blog: http://www.entire-of-itself.blogspot.com

      'Every one of us can do something to protect and
      care for our planet. We should live in such a way
      that makes a future possible.' - Thich Nhat Hanh
    • Warron
      Pat, ... on your ... of the ... they?). Just about a month before picking the olive trees I stop watering the trees from the septic tank, as we lay nets on the
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 31, 2007
        Pat,
        > My belief is that the remains of your septic tank are safe for use
        on your
        > olive trees. The humanure will not be in contact with the fruit
        of the
        > trees (*unless* the olives fall off and lie on the ground - do
        they?).

        Just about a month before picking the olive trees I stop watering
        the trees from the septic tank, as we lay nets on the ground and I
        am too worried that there is still quite alot of "tank" bacteria in
        the upper soil surface, especially if it hasn't rained.


        > But from what I have read, it is definitely NOT safe for use on a
        vegetable
        > garden. It is not composted; it has not been heated to a
        temperature
        > sufficient to kill bacteria. Maybe you could compost it?

        Agreed! Any idea as how to compost it? The water is reasonably
        clear with a tinge of a brown hue. Maybe soaking straw in it and
        then composting the straw? And what temperature must the composting
        process reach, and for what duration of time at the specific temp?


        Regards
        Warron
        LLLL
      • Pat Meadows
        ... No, I don t know. You re way beyond my knowledge now. Sorry. Have you read The Humanure Handbook ? Maybe that would help. You can read it online:
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 31, 2007
          On Wed, 31 Jan 2007 11:38:14 -0000, you wrote:


          >
          > Agreed! Any idea as how to compost it? The water is reasonably
          >clear with a tinge of a brown hue. Maybe soaking straw in it and
          >then composting the straw? And what temperature must the composting
          >process reach, and for what duration of time at the specific temp?
          >

          No, I don't know. You're way beyond my knowledge now. Sorry.

          Have you read 'The Humanure Handbook'? Maybe that would help.

          You can read it online: http://www.weblife.org/humanure/default.html

          Pat

          --
          In the Appalachian Mountains in northern Pennsylvania
          Blog: http://www.entire-of-itself.blogspot.com

          'Every one of us can do something to protect and
          care for our planet. We should live in such a way
          that makes a future possible.' - Thich Nhat Hanh
        • GRACE CRABB
          you can use humanure as compost but if it is wet i.e. mixed with urine you will have to leave it to compost thoroughly for 2 years. This kills all know
          Message 4 of 12 , Feb 4, 2007
            you can use humanure as compost but if it is wet i.e. mixed with urine you will have to leave it to compost thoroughly for 2 years. This kills all know pathogens, especially in a warm country like yours. It is always safer to use humanure on trees, but if composted thoroughly but you can use it on the garden. The best way is to use a dry compost toilet, seperating urine that you can use as fertiliser. The shit should be mixed with a soak material so that it composts as the chamber fills. You can then close that chamber and start on another, leaving that poo and paper or sawdust etc to compost for a year or 2. It is then. Bacteria and invertebrates that live in compost piles are capable of digesting pretty much anything, even heavy metals. Your compost will probably be perfectly safe in a couple of months as the dangerous gut bacteria can not survive outside the gut for long, but it is better to be on the safe side.
            Using the shit wet makes it more likely to carry nasty pathogans for longer as the environment is anoxic and those helpful bacteria can't survive.
            Hope that helps
            Grace

            Warron <pinigardens@...> wrote:
            Dear people,

            I am a newby at organics, and was surprised to find out
            about "humanure". The idea that human waste could be composted in an
            open system "safely" had never occured to me. I myself have a 3
            stage sceptic tank. The whole house contributes to this tank,
            toilets,bath, shower, washing machine etc. ( I live in a secluded
            area on a greek island and am not connected to any sewage mains). I
            also only use biodegrable cleaning products, soaps, shampoos etc.
            The tank is anaerobic (no pumping of oxygen into the system). When
            it is full I pump it out to my olive trees and have seen a large
            increase in olive oil productivity, but never dared to use it on my
            vegetable garden nor my cut herb business; only on my fruit trees.

            My questions are, how safe is "humanure", and is the system I am
            using a safe one? Never had any problems up till now that I have
            noticed, but maybe I am damaging the water table. I have a large
            water well and had the tank built at a 50m distance from my well
            hoping not to contaminate my water supply, even though it is a
            closed concrete structure (my concrete is porous). Is this a good
            distance? Have seen 'bacteria pellets' for tanks, should I use
            this? I am not squeamish but overly cautious, thats' the virgo in
            me.

            p.s. Should I donate some olive oil to speed up their "bowel
            movements" in their attempt to reach the 2 ton goal?! :)

            Light Life Love Liberty. LLLL

            regards,
            Warron

            --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, Rich Morris <mailinglists@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi all,
            > I've just had a call from Mirie one of the organisers of the
            climate
            > change camp, being held at the end of August.
            >
            > They are hoping to collect all their human waste and send it to
            someone
            > who could use it. They are expecting to have about 2 tons.
            >
            > Does anyone know of anyone who could cope with 2 tons of nutrients?
            > If so contant
            > Mirie 0777 498 751 debrirr@...
            >
            > All the best
            >
            > Rich
            > --
            > Plants for a Future: 7000 useful plants
            > Web: http://www.pfaf.org/
            > Post: 1 Lerryn View, Lerryn, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, PL22 0QJ
            > Tel: 01208 872 963
            > Email: webweaver@...
            > PFAF electronic mailing list http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pfaf
            >






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Traveler in Thyme
            We let our humanure pile set for 2 years, and have 3 piles we rotate. The Chinese have been using night soil to fertilise rice paddies for millenium,
            Message 5 of 12 , Feb 12, 2007
              We let our humanure pile set for 2 years, and have 3 piles we rotate. The Chinese have been using "night soil" to fertilise rice paddies for millenium, which just goes to show that you can become immune to almost anything. I, however, do not trust our pile to use on the veggies, but we do spread it under the trees.

              Last year, we both got intestinal crud after spreading the humanure, and I was sure we had killed ourselves. But talking on the phone with my family in Austin, they all had the same crud that week, so I think it was something "going around" and not contamination from the humanure. What a relief...!

              I read in Discover magazine that hogs fed on corn fertilized with hog manure have much lower cholera rates that hogs fed on chemically fertilized corn. Makes sense to me.

              ---Marcia Cash
              Traveler in Thyme
              http://www.travelerinthyme.com


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Cindy
              ... Presumably you d heat the rice enough to kill bacteria and viruses when it s cooked. Prions wouldn t be killed, though, I don t think. I think I d keep it
              Message 6 of 12 , Feb 12, 2007
                --- Traveler in Thyme <marcia@...> wrote:

                > We let our humanure pile set for 2 years, and have 3
                > piles we rotate. The Chinese have been using
                > "night soil" to fertilise rice paddies for
                > millenium, which just goes to show that you can
                > become immune to almost anything. I, however, do
                > not trust our pile to use on the veggies, but we do
                > spread it under the trees.

                Presumably you'd heat the rice enough to kill bacteria
                and viruses when it's cooked. Prions wouldn't be
                killed, though, I don't think.

                I think I'd keep it under the trees too.

                Cindy



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