Is it time to change your toilet system?
For years and years we’ve been using toilets that connect to our sewers system or to septic systems installed to serve entire communities or single properties. But if you’re aware of the impact our ways of disposal have in our home planet, you probably have been thinking of ways to make a few life changes.
On the other hand, sewer connections and septic tanks might increase your overall utilities monthly expenses. Further, if your household is on the larger side of the spectrum, it means there’s more people putting stress over your septic system. Whether it is through numerous toilet flushes and extra large laundry loads or additional dishes for washing after dinner and so on, if you overwork your septic system it is going to fail sooner than later.
One alternative for drastically relieving your septic system -and potentially your pocket– is to change your entire toilet system in favour of a more eco-friendly option.
Yes, this might not seem very cheap from the starting line but if you’re considering this option, you must think about it like a long-term investment. So, what are your options when it comes to alternative and eco-friendly septic systems?
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Well, amongst the most popular eco-friendly alternatives for toilet systems you have, of course, the traditional water-saving system with 2 buttons for washing away solid waste or liquid waste efficiently. However, this system still uses water and if you want to dramatically diminish your water usage for the sake of the environment and your septic system, then you might want to try a waterless model.
Aside from being eco-friendly and practical, composting and incinerating toilets are also economical and although both of these seem pretty similar overall, thanks to their basically odor-free and waterless operation, which is perfect for unheated areas during the colder months; there are still a few differences between the two.
The incinerating model
This model uses electricity to produce heat and burn the waste into bacteria-free ash. In order to accomplish this result an incinerating toilet needs to be connected to a consistent electric power stream. To complete one cycle, the incinerating toilet uses about 1½ to 2 kilowatt hours of electricity. Nevertheless, incinerating toilets are very low maintenance; with a single step on a pedal you can discharge the waste-filled bowl liner and with the single push of a button the fan and electric heating unit activate to incinerate your waste.
Keeping an incinerating toilet clean is extremely easy, since waste never touches the bowl but is captured in the bowl liner instead, keeping things tidy is easy as cake. In a household of 4 or more people, it is advised to empty the tank once a day or when it reaches about 1 cup or a ½ inch of ash. An incinerating toilet will cost you between $1,200 and $4,000 dollars plus the bowl liners that can be purchased for around $18 (200 liners pack).
The composting model
With this model, waste is broken down into nutrient-rich soil through mother’s nature composting process. You can find electric and non-electric composting toilets, including battery and solar-powered units.
Since composting toilets can process organic kitchen waste, you can use them to reduce your daily garbage volume. Further, top of the line composting toilets can separate your liquid and solid waste and are a great choice if you have a garden. You can use the nutrient-rich solid waste and the liquid waste to fertilize your flowers and plants.
Composting toilets are portable and can be easily moved around, some models weigh no more than 28 pounds. However, cleaning can be a bit tedious since waste can smear and stain the bowl surface. Although electric composting are easier when it comes to upkeep, non-electric composting toilets require the use of an external hand crank to stir the solid waste and peat moss after every use. However, emptying is not necessary on a daily basis; depending on the size of the system, it can go up to 6 months without emptying.
As for the cost, a composting toilet ranges between $875 to $3,000 on average.