Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some of the questions people have asked us over the years.
Where can I install my Aquatron Separator and Bio Chamber
- In a basement.
- In a crawl space.
- In a separate shed.
If the installation site is located below the level of the grey water sewer, the pump may need to be installed in order to pump the fluid to the grey water outlet.
The pipe length can be as long as you need as long as you stick to the standard of a 75mm gradient per metre. Existing Enviro Composting Toilet systems have reached up to 65m. Keep in mind that the more connectors you make along the pipe the more chance of build up occurring.
What is a “soakage field”? (Also called a "leach" field)
A soakage field allows the treated fluids to be soaked into the ground, where further treatment occurs.
For more information see: http://www.level.org.nz/water/wastewater/on-site-wastewater-treatment/land-application-disposal-systems/
Where can I get more worms?
Worms are available from Bunnings Warehouse.
Tips for both the Aquatron and Farmstyle composting toilet systems
Important things to keep in mind when you own a composting toilet
Use the right worms
- The best worms for composting toilets are Tiger worms (Eisenia Foetida)
- Worms can be purchased from worm farms or garden centers all around New Zealand. Order 2,000 Tiger worms from your local worm farm or Bunnings Hardware.
- Worms should be placed in the main composting chamber within two weeks of the toilet being used.
- Place 2,000 worms directly into the Bio Chamber.
Check for insects
In the early stage of the composting cycle, tiles (similar to fruit flies) may be found in the composting chamber. This is very unlikely, but there can be sometimes be a small amount of spore in the peat moss. If this occurs, it can be rectified easily with organic insecticide or add some untreated fresh sawdust.
Add kitchen waste
If kitchen garbage (waste) is deposited into the Bio Chamber it will attract flies, as vegetable matter has fruit fly spores (in most cases) on it and they could hatch and flourish in the composting process.
Add inorganic materials
DO NOT put such materials as glass, metals and plastic into the compost chamber.
They will not damage the process but could be hard to retrieve from the compost and could prevent the composting material from moving down the air staircase as it is being processed.
Add sanitary towels or nappies
DO NOT put nappies or sanitary towels into the composting chamber.
Due to their plastic content and their size they will create the same problems as inorganic materials.
Tips for just the Farmstyle compost toilet
Lower the toilet seat
Keep the toilet seat closed when the toilet is not in use.
Add organic material
Placing organic materials, such as weeds, grass and leaves (NOT Oak Leaves) can and will assist with producing good compost and allow variety for the worms.
Place approximately one handful per day.
If no organic materials are available, add untreated wood shavings or untreated saw dust, i.e. one cup per day.
Dispose of cigarette butts
DO NOT put cigarette butts or any other burning objects down the toilet.
This has nothing to do with gases; it is to do with the dry toilet paper catching on fire.
Operating and Maintaining a Farmstyle Compost Toilet
General guidelines for the Farmstyle / Backcountry compost toilet system
Air outlet filter
The filter that is located just under the air outlet flange needs to be checked and cleaned if required each twelve (12) months.
The current fan is single speed and only needs to be “on” or “off” the current draw is only 1 amp at 12v about 1 quarter of the consumption of a 50-watt bulb! It is best to leave it running all the time.
This can be run by a small solar power pack. (currently being researched)
Cleaning the hygienic chute
The hygienic chute can be cleaned in the toilet pan by using a water spray bottle with a mixture of 1-part white vinegar to 6-parts water. Or dish washing liquid. These will not harm the composting process.
The hygienic chute can be removed and washed in a bucket of disinfectant and then washed down with clean water, before replacing the chute.
DO NOT dispose of the disinfectant water down the sink or basin. Dispose of it outside, maybe in the garden.
It is recommended that the compost is removed once every year.
For holiday homes that are only used for 3 months every year, it is recommended that the compost be removed within 3 years.
The compost (humus) is a resource to be used in your garden. We recommend you apply it only to non-food gardens and cover with mulch or soil.
To avoid light shining down into the toilet chute place the toilet room light near the front of the room, as this will cast a shadow on the chute.
Failure of power supply
If the power supply is off for a longer period than 3 days, place GLAD® cling wrap or plastic over the hygienic chute and close the lid over the cover. Remove the wrap/plastic each time the toilet is required for use, repeat this procedure until the power supply is restored. This is to both stop fumes and any harmful air-born bacteria usually dispersed with the fan.
Maintaining the fan
Remove the fan every 3 years and clean off any dust that has built up on the fan blades. This can be achieved with ease with the use of an old toothbrush. Once cleaned, refit the fan.
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