Commercial Case Studies
If you’ve been wondering what it’s like to have a composting toilet in your home, read through our range of different domestic case studies. These accounts will let you know our customers’ thoughts about having a composting toilet in their home – from a holiday retreat that’s off the grid through to a family that passed our systems through their stringent ‘sniff test’ and have enjoyed over ten years of trouble free operation.
Water management in architecture and design
Incurring no electricity, sewage or water bills seems like an unattainable dream, but that was the brief to Strine Design for Krawarree House.
Designed for a young family, the brief was to create a warm, sunny and modest holiday retreat for extended stays. Minimal energy requirements and a house operating off the grid were highly sought after initiatives.
Central to the house’s energy and resource efficiency is the need for effective utilisation of water and integral to this is a waterless composting toilet from Clivus Multrum, a CM8.
The Blackwater system is suitable for remote locations, and only requires a moving fan powered by solar energy. The system is aerobic, as opposed to anaerobic, and the fan ensures that fresh oxygen is always moving through to facilitate optimum composting and minimal odour.
Waste is collected in the composting chamber along with carbon rich material, such as wood shavings and garden waste. Here, the materials gradually decompose in the ventilated environment.
Baffles and air channels in the tank distribute air flow, helping to aerate the pile. This promotes the aerobic composting process. A small electric fan in the vent pipe also creates airflow within the system and ensures that the toilet room is always kept clear of any odours.
This rural retreat is completely off the grid and a waterless toilet helps to ensure a minimal energy footprint.
The toilet helps owners save up to 60,000 litres of water each year that would be required for a conventional flushing toilet.
An EcoLet makes the grade in a permanent home
Joan lives in the Mount Alford area in the heart of the Scenic Rim of south-east Queensland, just 15kms from Boonah and 100kms from Brisbane. Joan wanted a Council approved toilet for her home but it is surrounded by large trees and planted gardens so the space available in her backyard could not accommodate a septic tank. As she lives alone, Joan didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a toilet.
Joan had heard about waterless toilets, so after doing her research and speaking to a Clivus Multrum representative she settled on an EcoLet Automatic which is ideal for 3 people full time. This means when Joan has visitors her EcoLet is not overloaded and it only has to be emptied once a month.
With the help of a friend Joan installed the toilet herself and has maintained it ever since. The EcoLet Automatic contains an electric heater and fan to aid the composting process by evaporating excess liquids, regulating the temperature, and providing additional air flow to the compost mixture. After each use the toilet automatically mixes and aerates waste.
- The toilet was easy to install – Joan did it herself!
- It is easy to maintain – Joan only has to empty it once every month
- It is aesthetically pleasing – Joan thinks it is neat and tidy and goes well with the rest of her bathroom
Odourless, waterless toilets that contribute to affordable and sustainable homes
Owen and his wife live at Clear Mountain, Cashmere outside Brisbane. As a building designer, with a focus on sustainability, Owen was keen to design a home for his family that was sustainable but didn’t cost a fortune. Their site is not sewered and they rely on tank water so Owen wanted a waterless composting toilet because it costs a lot less than a septic system and doesn’t use any water. In fact, Owen estimates that on average families flush about 30,000 litres down the toilet every year which is expensive if you aren’t connected to a water supply. However, Owen’s wife was sceptical and needed convincing.
Mrs Batchelor and her girlfriends went on a ‘sniff tour’ visiting installed Clivus Multrum toilets. Satisfied with what they’d seen and smelt, the Batchelors installed a CM8, but on the proviso that if it didn’t work out that they would switch to a regular toilet.
The CM8 is suitable for up to five people full time. It has a small 12V fan in the vent pipe which creates airflow within the system and ensures that the toilet room is always kept clear of any odours. Waste is collected in the composting chamber along with material, such as wood shavings. Baffles and air channels in the tank distribute air flow which promotes the aerobic composting process.
The Batchelors have now had 10 years of trouble free operation and have found the CM8 to be low maintenance, easy to clean and odourless. In fact Owen thinks it might even be better than a regular toilet because the vent pipe literally sucks all of the odours out of the bathroom. 10 years on, for Mrs Batchelor to wholeheartedly endorse the toilet, you can be sure it is good.
User friendly and inexpensive solution for limited water supply area.
Mrs Marshall had moved onto acreage outside Goondiwindi to be with her son and his young family. The area is more than 10km outside the town limits and as such is not connected to sewage and also has a low annual rainfall so saving water is a priority. Initially Mrs Marshall used a porta potty but she wanted a more permanent yet inexpensive solution.
Having read about waterless toilets in Blues Magazines, Mrs Marshall settled on an EcoLet Manual which is ideal for 2 people full time.
Her son installed the toilet in her granny flat and she has maintained it ever since. Every morning she switches on the fan and heater which came with the toilet. These aid the composting process by evaporating excess liquids, regulating the temperature, and providing additional air flow to the compost mixture. After each use Mrs Marshall simply turns the T-handle at the top of the toilet a couple of times to mix and aerate the waste.
- Easy to maintain – Mrs Marshall changes the compost bins over herself and uses the compost in her garden
- It doesn’t smell – Mrs Marshall turns the fan on every morning to aid the composting process and has had no trouble with smells in the 6 years she has had the toilet
To find out more go to www.ecolet.com.au