CASE STUDY

Installing a Composting Toilet – Or, how do we talk about poo?

By Kristin C., NSW

“I won’t lie to you and say that a composting toilet is a set and forget option for your bathroom, or that it doesn’t require an amount of work to install and maintain. Having a composting toilet does require commitment. However, if you have a commitment to the environment, to lowering your footprint and to living sustainably, the effort is only a small price to pay.”

CUSTOMER

Kristin C., NSW

PRODUCT

Clivus Multrum Low Profile (CM LP)

LOCATION

Wootton, NSW

WHEN

2021
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Photo: Kristine C.
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Photo: Kristine C.
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Photo: Kristine C.
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Composting toilets are also called waterless toilets, which they are and are perfect if water is an issue. Wootton has good rainfall generally but it is not immune to drought.

An out of date model came with the house and so an upgrade was essential for me. I opted to update rather than spend money on a septic system, not just because of the cost, which was far less at $2,399, but for the commitments, I mentioned earlier. The fact it came with a soft close seat and a single roll of toilet paper were incidental incentives. 

I contacted the Australian Eco Shop at Maitland. Joe is super friendly and he came out to help choose the right one and advise on installation.

I chose a Clivus Multrum™ Low Profile (CM LP) with a porcelain toilet. This is a split system, which was essential as I had the experience of carrying a full bucket of you know what through the house, and is something I could never repeat.

My underfloor space wasn’t big enough and so I employed a local handyman to dig out enough room to hold two chambers. One is connected to the toilet up above and is called the “in service” chamber and the other is the out of service chamber, resting and composting before distribution onto the garden.

 

The Clivus Multrum™ is an engineered toilet with a 2020 Good Design Award and has built-in features, which bring the functions of the unit into the 21 Century. One of the main foci at installation is what to do with the wee. The system offers two alternatives and I had the benefit of an already installed holding tank for all my grey water and a pump to distribute it up to a purpose-built reed bed. I was halfway there; all I needed was a trench that took advantage of the gravity feed down to the holding tank. Paul, my builder, and I spent a few days with a datum laser line working out the fall. 

Every situation offers its own solution. Thought and preparation is needed to work out how a system will work in a given locale. An absorption trench is another solution.

The Clivus Multrum™ was installed into a full renovation of an existing bathroom and the contemporary design of the toilet fits beautifully with the clean lines of my new bath. Upstairs it is all clean, hygienic, and designer décor and downstairs it’s all business, muscle and grunt. The CM LP works for two people full time or four people part-time and is changed over every two to three months.

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EXPERIENCES

I had a few issues at the beginning. Within three days, to my horror, a foul smell began to emanate from the bathroom. I was appalled and wanted to dis install the whole thing. But upon investigation, I discovered the ventilation pipes, designed to direct the gases away from the unit had become dislodged from the fan. I pushed them back in and the smell dissipated within ten minutes, proving the effectiveness of the unit. Weekly maintenance is needed to rotate the pile, however gears within the chambers and a leaver make it easy.  

The new model is gorgeous and trouble-free so far and is keeping me fit doing “dunny yoga” as I crouch down to unhook the chamber from its stable. My flowers and fruit trees also love it. I know it’s not for everyone, but there is something strangely satisfying and definitely resilient in not being afraid to take responsibility for one’s own s**t.       

OUR RESELLER

Australian Eco Shop

Address: New England Highway Maitland NSW 2320

PH: 0400 636 256

Contact Joe or Cheryl

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