So…I have decided when I get to switch to a new RV (hopefully by March 2018). I am going to go with a composting toilet and a GREYWATER IRRIGATION system for my nearest Fruit trees. By then most likely 20-30 trees. I am wondering if anyone has had any experience with any of these systems also I have intentions of routing the urine from the toilet( It has a separating system) To the Greywater system and using it as a very light fertilizer. I twill be a drip irrigation system so in my thinking it will be a beneficial way to get some nutrients to my fruit trees year round. I have exactly ZERO experience with this and will welcome with open arms any suggestions, thoughts or recommendations you all may have
Is your site subject to building code? If so, check out what your local code says first. Next, read and watch everything that Brad Lancaster has online. He’s the dude for rainwater and graywater.
Most consider urine to belong with blackwater, even though healthy fresh urine doesn’t have an pathogen load. I would also be concerned that it would have too much nitrogen for fruit trees, depending on your soil.
Our system is super simple. We don’t need a lot of irrigation here, so the system reflects that. All sinks, tub and washer runs into a pipe at the top of our orchard hill (house is at the very top). The pipe drains into a series of perforated pipe in gravel. Pretty much like a septic leach field but shallower and in series rather than parallel. Our current fruit trees (2years old) are planted between the first and second lines, . The idea is that the moisture will disperse through the soil, but excess will drain downslope.
It works for us, based on our site and needs. Your milage may vary.
Who wants fruit irrigated with detergents and poo water? Irrigating and fertilizing with untreated human waste spreads disease. Read up on things like hookworm. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7BwgpYexMjk
gross? Grow up!
The original poster never said anything about irrigating with “poo water”
Read the post before you comment please. He is talking about irrigating with water from a toilet. I don’t care if you filter out the solids, that’s poo water. I chanange you to call your local health department and ask them if it’s a good idea.
Lifecycle of a hook worm:
Actually, there’s no “poo filtering” going on. Those composting toilets have different receptacles for urine and feces. The two never meet.
Correct. I can also just put the urine in a seperate tank and dispose of it. What i was wondering is if it is ok to just hook to the irrigation line and dispose of it through irrigation. Thanks Scott. No poo involved. Well, thats a whole other thread about human compost but im not there yet:dizzy_face:
I wouldn’t put urine through an irrigation system. I’m a big fan of just adding urine to the compost pile.
Judging from the brown spots where my dog does his business, urine needs to be a heavily diluted, but maybe these systems do that already.
Some reading for the naysayers
Plenty more out there, just google or bing “using human urine as fertilizer”
You should grab a copy of the book “Humanure” and read it. The author is an expert and consultant on “re-using” human waste.
In short, you need to be VERY careful with solid waste and using it on food supplies. It can be done safely but it requires careful monitoring and making sure the compost heats up to the point of killing pathogens for the required amount of time. Most private folks just use it on ornamentals to avoid potential problems.
Reusing pee is also covered in the book, and we have talked about it here too. As long as none of the “donors” have any urinary track infection, it is safe from the pathogen POV. Rule of thumb is that it should be diluted 10:1 with water before being put on plants. I’d be concerned that your direct plumbing system may not do the right dilution and/or may over fertilize some plants. But it should be safe.
Those who fertilize with urine usually recommend diluting it 1:10 with water. Depending on how rich your soil is, it may still be too much nitrogen for fruit trees, especially late in the season.
Rereading the first post, I notice that the OP wants to use a drip emitter system. That will require a fine filter to keep from clogging, especially if using shower or laundry water (lint and hair).
People seem to have the most success with very simple systems. Laundry-to-landscape is popular. You run a pipe from the washer to a basin of mulch around a tree. The mulch filters and slows the water, and you move the pipe.end from tree to tree. Nothing to clog.
Of course, using appropriate cleaning agents is important. If you are in a dry area, salt buildup can be very harmful.
The following varieties would be a good match for this type of irrigation:
Cox Orange Peeon
and of course, any type of Pissimmon
I tried using piss water via a gallon milk jug. I diluted it about 4:1 and I couldn’t get past the smell. If it sat longer than a day it was just too stinky.
I had one of the original Clivus Multrum composting toilets for about 30 years. Once a year I’d shovel about a bushel of finished compost out of the bottom of C.M. and top dress my pecan trees. They Loved it. We are nuts to use drinking water to flush toilets.
I had a graywater greenhouse that grew Giant swiss chard during the winter. Never any health problems for me or guests.
I have used my urine for decades for my fruit trees and veg garden. Fruit trees in most soils benefit from quick release N, which urine is, applied in spring. Peaches generally require about twice as much N as apples and the ratio of K to N in urine is about equal, which is perfect for apples.
I save urine over winter in big jugs outside so that I have enough to supply my entire orchard at the time the nutrients, especially N, serve the leaves that serve fruit. Only nectarines receive an additional early summer shot and young trees I’m trying to establish. I use it on vegetables until they are just about mature size.
Commercial fruit growers routinely apply urea to orchards in early spring, sometimes by ground broadcast and sometimes by foliar feed. Urine is an excellent organic alternative.
The only problem is I need to apply it when my wife’s not around. Farmers usually aren’t offended by strong organic odors, but my wife is no farmer.
I have no problem with urine theoretically, but haven’t worked out practical application yet. Closest we get is when we have too many people over, we will send the boys out to water the compost pile! Some are horrified, some come back in and drink more so they can do it again!
Man! I so appreciate all the input. And anything else anyone has I would love to hear. I am noting everything of any consequence and feeling much better about my decision. Not that I have to explain but I would like to if you all will indulge me. I don’t do much of anything on a whim. Most things I do involve common sense and good research. This land is the place I’m going to “hopefully” spend the best years of my life. Fortunately it is a county where restrictions are very few and people are pretty far apart. Just how I like it. About 10 or so of my acres right in the middle of the land are very likely wetlands. They to my knowledge haven’t been formally designated yet but I would bet a dollar to a donut it is. Sooooooo. What set me on this path is the fact of where I would like the septic" if I were to go that route" including leech field would have to be fairly substantial in size . My research has also shown it would cost me well upwards of $10,000 dollars. With a few other considerations and concerns I decided I will most definitely have either a compost or incinerator toilet. I’m 99% convinced the compost toilet really is the better choice. So knowing that and with knowing I will be in an RV I will have grey water tanks regardless so why NOT make good use of it. In reading about grey water irrigation I found you can directly connect the urine side of the toilet to the irrigation holding tanks. I am also going to get some sort of rainwater collection so it too can be tied into the irrigation system and will serve to do around the clock drip irrigation is needed or so desired. So seriously this will serve multiple purposes and solve multiple issues. PLEASE keep the info. Coming. I promise I’m keeping all pertinent info. And even very much enjoying the humor. Some pretty damn funny guys or gals on here. Makes learning that much more fun. Thank you all so much.
One thing you should realize is that nutritional needs of plants are not constant and vary at different stages of the season and, for fruit trees, at different stages of their lives. A young tree establishing may be well served with a high N diet but as it matures and bears fruit you don’t want to encourage excessive vegetative growth- early spring apps feed spur leaves and therefore the fruit, but summer apps encourage growth you may not want. This means you probably don’t want a system that requires distributing your urine equally throughout the season and that storage may be the only way to utilize this resource strategically. It can’t just automatically be mixed with water and used for irrigation in the same way 12 months of the year.
This may be a decent place to remind people that sometimes knowing the flaw in your system can lead to using that flaw as advantage. This isn’t advice for farmers who really know what they are doing to optimize, but backyard growers might have more time to fuss. What I would suggest considering is knowing your irrigation will run hot, and rotate heavy feeding plants under your trees or in between the lines and your trees. You may be able to just plant waves of green leafy plants, even if it’s just harvested as green manure.
I can’t say how well it works, but I personally can’t retrain the dogs to do their business somewhere else in the yard, so I use heavily planted bulbs to try to absorb some of nitrogen. My trees are just reaching bearing size, so we’ll have to see if I can find the right balance.