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Alternative Sanitation Systems

At the present time, if you are away from a County sewer line, you can install a cesspool or septic tank system depending on your properties location. You can also choose to use composting toilets with a gray water processing system so you can re-use your processed gray water. This costs more than a cesspool or septic tank system, and generally can be put in place when you are building new, because of the need to separate your brown water from gray water plumbing.  Hawaii code states that if you are close to a county sewer system, then you must hook into that system. We are not 100% opposed to that concept so long as there is motivation for people to use new toilets that are pressurized and use much less water, and so long as folks can legally exercise the option to use safe, alternative systems like the ones we recommend. Our system does not put any additional strain whatsoever on the counties sewage system, which is a good thing. It also allows people to use processed “gray water” for watering lawn and plants. With a composting toilet system, the state wastewater division gets involved because of the necessary “gray water” processing system that treats your gray water. (Gray water is waste water that originates from your showers and sinks). It will cost quite a bit of money (about $4500.) to build a gray water processing system that will pass State Wastewater’s inspection. A gray water plan is required from a licensed wastewater engineering Co. Gray water can be used to water your trees and lawn. We think it would be great if people would utilize this system. There would be less stress and strain on the county sewage system, and less spillage during severe rainstorms. That is a good thing.

The Composting Toilet

What the heck is a composting toilet? It is a toilet that is not attached to a county sewer line or to a septic tank. There are flushing and non-flushing models. We prefer the non- flushing model made by Nature’s Head. Their composting toilets are the lowest cost and ironically the best in our opinion. They are not smelly, easy to install and use and cost about $900. each. It works on very simple earthly principles of pet moss to compost the solid waste. Nature’s Head keeps liquids and solids separate which allows the solid composting waste to composte more quickly with much less smells. It is also smaller than the popular sun mar products which are super big and super expensive.There is a vent pipe with a solar fan that helps to evaporate moisture from the unit. It does obviously require a small shift in lifestyle. This incredible sanitation system could be a great boon to people wanting to live on land that has little or no infrastructure, for properties sitting on a lot of solid rock, and for those who want to re-use their gray water instead of throwing it away. Also, non-profit service agencies could use such systems on leased land in areas with minimal infrastructure. Click here to read more.

Gray water processing systems

The State currently requires a fairly expensive and complicated gray water treatment system. It will cost quite a bit of money to build a gray water processing system that will pass State Wastewater’s inspection (about $4500). A gray water plan is required from a licensed wastewater engineering Co. We wish it was not so complicated and costly to do this. It is recommended that you use pure, natural vegetable based soaps, laundry detergents, shampoos etc for best results, and to also not put grease and fats down your drain. Garbage disposals would be out of the question. Again, we are talking about some shifting of lifestyle, but we feel many are enthusiastically ready to be a part of a cleaner and more conscious world. It makes sense to re-use this water for watering your lawn and plants so you don’t need to use county water for this purpose. That would obviously save some water. Folks in rural areas, and in areas not predisposed to conventional or septic tank type sanitation systems could have a much easier go at things. It potentially could also save taxpayers from paying huge sums of tax money to build sewage systems in rural areas, but that would require the government to promote the systems. Don’t hold your breath!