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PostPosted: Dec 13th, '07, 20:52 
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TimC wrote:
I will ask you this... where do you you get YOUR drinking water? Where does your food come from?

What ever you consume is in your waste, that waste is then accumulating into your soils. You can't fight these chemicals that are everywhere. I would rather risk a very slow heavy metals buildup than a disease contracted through improper waste disposal.
Tim, I don't disagree with you at all in regard to recycling (if I understand your post rightly)! I am personally happy to drink clean water, wherever that comes from. But we can 'fight' chemical imbalance in soils and ecosystems.

If we get all het up about the plastics in growbeds and pipes potentially leeching nasties over time, then all substances we use should be properly scrutinised.

Btw, I disagree about risking a heavy metal poisioning in preference to other diseases available in human waste...most of them are curable, or at least controlable...check out the lurvley symptoms of mercury or lead poisioning!!! The best one is dying.

We are not having to choose between ways of contaminating ourselves here. There are ways of minimising harm, and ap is a great concept that has minimal damage to the biological systems that keep us and the planet going.

I've been nursing for 30+ years, and seen many unpleasant ways to die...none of them appeal to me.

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PostPosted: Dec 13th, '07, 22:59 
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I think there needs to be a clear distinction here that we're talking about urine, not feces. People think that since their toilets accept both and mix them that the issues with fecal contamination are the same as you would have with urine. The experiment is a urine-ponics setup, not a sewage-ponics setup.

The emotions of people would come up too if you happened to use aluminum in your setup and someone had issues with aluminum being in it (or PVC or plastics, etc). If I were trying to sell produce as a business then other people's hangups would matter. For my own use if I look at the latest evidence and see that it doesn't appear to be a safety issue then why not.

What is in the fish food that I'm giving them now? Wheat middlings with pesticides and herbicides on it, fish meal with who knows what building up in it...

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PostPosted: Dec 13th, '07, 23:12 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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If people are worried about such a thread as this being taken the wrong way, perhaps the site admin could tag it as experimental or move it to an appropriate place, I would hate to see the experiment quashed for fear of people's misinformed opinions.

This is just an experiment to see if/how well this method would work. If I find that it does work well to grow plants, we can then look into testing for "bad" things being taken up by the plants.

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PostPosted: Dec 13th, '07, 23:17 
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My arguments were not clear...... (not that this is any better).....

There are 100's of possible infections, viruses, parasites that one could obtain from using human wastes as fertilizers. Yes, it works, we all agree but the risks are too high. Some of those are very nasty illnesses. I was saying that you are more LIKELY to become sick through indirectly consuming your bodies wastes than through the extra minute levels of heavy metals/nasties in the alternatives....

As far as reducing chemical impact on our ecosystems, we are looking at a huge task:

-Choosing food safe plastics and pipes is one thing... we can do this...
-Choosing Organic food to feed the fish is a possibility...
-Drinking filtered rainwater instead or tap water... easy
-Using environment safe soaps, shampoos and conditioners... easy

-NOT using drugs, painkillers, any steroids, vaccinations and other necessary chemicals is unavoidable in the modern day in order to live a quality standard of living.
-Combustion engines are polluting the environment... Most cases it is unavoidable.
-Try NOT buying non-recyclable packaged goods... it is hard.
-Try avoiding throw away products... it is hard.
-A neighboring farm sprays pesticides or herbicides onto his garden, the wind blows the poisons into our water and onto our own properties...unavoidable.

We are essentially at the top of the food chain. We need to take care of the bottom to completely control the levels of chemicals we consume. In modern day suburbia, it is nearly impossible to completely close the loop for the vast majority of the population. We still require the staples like milk, grains, red meats and medicines. To think that we can completely stop the intake of potentially life threatening chemicals is futile.

We can all do our small part to reduce the chemical impact on this world, but sadly unless the whole world follows suit we will never rid our lives of harmful chemicals which are everywhere. In the mean time, your standard of living may not have a dramatic improvement, but we pray that in the future our children and grandchildren will have better live because of our changes now....


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PostPosted: Dec 14th, '07, 04:30 
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Wow, such an interesting topic. I've only just started reading it. There have been many posts that I'd like to reply to, but now they're so old I'd just be going OT again. BTW SNAG: Sorry Poowoomba wasn't a goer ;-)
An interesting point regarding introduction of medicines to the system. I would not have considered that.
Combustion engine - buy a Prius, still combustion, but 4.5l/100k is achievable, not just rated mileage. My boss has one and I reckon it's great. And your old rellos wont borrow it cos it freaks them out, silent drive, plus all the drive by wire stuff :-)
Are natural animal fat soaps enviro friendly? I use these cos I like em, but it'd be great if they were enviro.
I don't use drugs except in very nasty cases, and I agree Vaccinations are unavoidable.
Re Recyclable/reuseable stuff. Does anybody know of a general store or grocery where you can buy unpackaged stuff, and bring your own boxes/bags? Eg bring a tub and have it filled with rice or flour by the scoop? Like the old days?
Damn those ppl who use nasty chemical sprays... it takes too long to know it's bad, and by then the damage is done. Recall DDT?
Is rabbit a red meat? I'm going to set up a small breeding system, for furs and tucker. Perhaps mince the unused bits and feed them to my fish? Or at least Chloe, she loves bunny.

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PostPosted: Dec 14th, '07, 05:00 
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Quote:
There are 100's of possible infections, viruses, parasites that one could obtain from using human wastes as fertilizers.


From urine? Remember we're talking about urine, not feces.

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PostPosted: Dec 14th, '07, 17:24 
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Dave Donley wrote:
Quote:
There are 100's of possible infections, viruses, parasites that one could obtain from using human wastes as fertilizers.


From urine? Remember we're talking about urine, not feces.
DD, there are quite a few, but the nastier ones are more likely found in higher abundance in developing countries. Hepatitis a,b,c...f etc are quite possible in any population, but only through urine/skin/mucus membrane (mouth, eyes, etc) contamination. Time is also a limiting factor with viral type disease. Parasites and cysts such as hydatids are easily found in faeces and decaying bodies. I was diagnosed with hydatid cysts after visiting my sister's sheep property and throwing old, dry sheep skulls for the dogs to chase. Fortunately, I was only exposed to the proteins in the cyst shell, and not the hydatids.

I guess I just want a general heads up re the risks of using any human waste as ap systems are not complex enough (in my opinion, at least at present) in bioload diversity to adequately neutralise all the things we may unknowingly add. If adequate knowledge is available, and risks are minimized, great. I am not against recycling at all, rather I am keen to learn and minimize harm in the process. This thread may be the very catalyst for significant knowledge gathering and system development using waste products (pet poo for example). Great!!! Let's carefully and wisely proceed.

Tim, I agree wholeheartedly with your post, well said.
I work in a field where every day I see people suffering with disease. Some avoidable, some not. Life is a risky business and we need to use our intellect and cunning to avoid damaging the only body we have. While it may seem inevitable that chemicals (remember we are made of chemicals) of all sorts will be present in our food and air, we can still take steps to minimize harm. As you say, perhaps we will not live long enough to see a measurable change through recycling and green energy (to name a couple of strategies) but change is inevitable, either through motivation and desire for a healthier life, or through dire, life-threatening necessity. I pray it is not the latter.

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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '07, 00:26 
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Cat poo -- toxoplasmosis and various worms. No thanks. For many years, I got my husband to change the litter box on the grounds of toxoplasmosis alone. Now that he is immuno-suppressed, I get to do the litter box. Yippee. :roll: (Actually, a small concession for the vast convenience of him having a functioning pancreas.)

I figure any health care worker is well aware of the disease than can be transmitted via bodily fluids (or feces). I gained some appreciation of them when we traveled to China to adopt our daughters. We were warned to get our shots (especially Heps) up to date as we might well be in a remote corner of China caring for a sick baby. Upon return, one of the earliest things you do is run full blood work to check the baby for any Hep, AIDS, sexual diseases transmitted at birth, and more mundane things like lead poisoning. Fortunately, the majority of babies adopted from China are healthy, but it's important to know if there are precautions you need to take, and what to do to help your child.

Maybe a heat pre-treatment to sanitize the wastes? "Honey, can I borrow the big stock pot to boil up another batch of pee? And where's the roaster? I need to sanitize some poo, too." Hmmm....maybe not.

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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '07, 04:49 
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What you need is a bio-digester. These come in two forms, anaerobic and aerobic. They're not complex, but are very important. Some of the greenwaste composting plants I have been working on use 10% treated human effluent in their mixes. This is basically the sludge from the bottom of a septic tank - after processing.
However, compost is for the garden - we don't eat it directly, so I'm still with SNAG - it's dangerous. Urine also. However, I don't take ANY drugs (excepting vaccinations, alcohol and caffeine) and I have no diseases, So I'm hapy to pee on my plants to get them to grow (lemons primarily). But if I were to pee in my AP system, I'd not be harvesting fish for at least a month after. :-)

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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '07, 07:26 
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Remember again, we are talking about Pee. Generally quite sterile at least when fresh. We are not talking about trying to use pee that has been in a bucket with the poo.

If you do wish to talk about completely closing the nutrient cycle using poo and the safety of that, here is a wonderful resource.
Read the Humanure Handbook online
Or you can go toHumanure web site where there is a message board with discussions about Humanure composting and the related issues. The humanure handbook message board would be the appropriate forum for discussing the use of human manure. There are also discussions there about pet poo.

Again, here we are talking about pee. Urine is only going to have pathogens in it if there is an active urinary tract infection going on. I know I can tell when I have one of those. If anyone knows about other pathogenic issues with urine specifically, please share resources so we can look into it.

The other types of contents of pee, like chemicals, drugs, medicines, and such are probably the biggest true concern of trying something like this. If it really is a closed system, then there is probably not too much worry about building up toxic amounts of anything. Where the danger comes is if some one regularly drinks or ingests something that has a dangerous component that is passed in urine used in the system. Then they happen to grow plants for food that concentrate that particular dangerous component. If they continue ingesting the substance from an outside source and eating plants that concentrate the passed substance, it is possible that an overdose could happen. This is quite theoretical since I don't know of any particular substance like this that would be concentrated by plants to get to a toxic level. If some one knows of specific examples, please share.

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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '07, 07:57 
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http://weblife.org/humanure/chapter7_2.html#table_7_1
describes the (more common?) pathogens that can exist in urine.

The Humanure site talks about "carefully managed thermophilic composting", not peeing in your AP system. Two -entirely- different things imho. From the website:

Quote:
On the other hand, "worms and disease" are not spread by properly prepared compost, nor by healthy people. There is no reason to believe that the manure of a healthy person is dangerous unless left to accumulate, pollute water with intestinal bacteria, or breed flies and/or rats, all of which are the results of negligence or bad customary habits. It should be understood that the breath one exhales can also be the carrier of dangerous pathogens, as can one's saliva and sputum. The issue is confused by the notion that if something is potentially dangerous, then it is always dangerous, which is not true. Furthermore, it is generally not understood that the carefully managed thermophilic composting of humanure converts it into a sanitized agricultural resource. No other system of fecal material and urine recycling or disposal can achieve this without the use of dangerous chemical poisons or a high level of technology and energy consumption.

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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '07, 10:16 
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Well said Janet.


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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '07, 16:14 
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Janet, correct me if i'm wrong, but doesnt that table refer to the urine from a person that currently has a UTI?

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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '07, 20:21 
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That's not how I'm reading it, Steve. The paragraph above the chart is strangely written, but consider each sentence independently:

Quote:
Healthy urine on its way out of the human body may contain up to 1,000 bacteria, of several types, per milliliter. More than 100,000 bacteria of a single type per milliliter signals a urinary tract infection. Infected individuals will pass pathogens in the urine that may include:


My interpretation:
There's bacteria in healthy urine, and anything less than 100,000 of a single type of bacteria per liter is not a urinary infection, even though there is bacteria present. Regardless of whether an individual has a urinary tract infection, an individual infected with a particular disease will pass pathogens in their urine.

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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '07, 20:53 
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if they have that disease.

personally if i was going into pee ponics i prolly wouldn't invite all my friends that come over to take a slash

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