Will your septic tank and the waste water pipes in your house require to be changed completely in about 30 years time? This is a new domestic treatment system that recycles phosphorus from urine to provide sustainable fertilizer for kitchen gardens

The need to separate and recycle phosphorus will become the most urgent waste water treatment goal over the next 30 to 100 years. Over the coming decades as the finite phosphorus rock resources of the world become more alarmingly scarce, every domestic or single house system that is not connected to a centralized sewage treatment works will be required to recover and recycle Nitrogen and Phosphorus. At present we discharge all of the waste water that passes through our domestic septic tanks. We then percolate or waste the phosphorus into the ground. Because phosphorus rock is a finite scarce resource this way of wasting it must come to an end.

How can Nitrogen and Phosphorus from domestic waste water be separated and recycled?

Click to enlarge diagram

This single house system illustrates the simplicity of a very natural and botanically based system that will remove phosphorus and other pollutants from human urine. Human urine contributes a very large proportion of the phosphorus and nitrogen in domestic waste water. Its removal will significantly reduce the waste water pollution from your home.

The photograph below shows the size of the mature 3 or 4 year old plants that have absorbed the nitrogen and phosphorus from human urine in a glasshouse situation prior to being harvested as a fertilizer for the kitchen garden.

Installing a urine separating system for phosphorus and nitrogen recycling is the first step that your family can do in you home to ensure that you have enough fertilizer for a vegetable garden over the coming period of rising food costs.


Greenhouse Gases are absorbed
This system absorbs greenhouse gases, in contrast to centralized sewage treatment systems that generate greenhouse gases. This Herr system requires sunshine to operate not large amounts of electric or fossil fuel energy.

No chemicals are required or added

This natural growing plant based system requires no use of chemicals, in contrast to other chemical precipitation systems. There will be no cost for chemicals.

Safe from harmful faecal viruses and bacteria
Human urine on its own is safe to use as long as there is no faecal contact or contamination.
Removing pharmaceuticals from waste water Further composting of the cut leaves will over 2 to 3 years is recommended if pharmaceuticals have been ingested. This gives a much longer period for these pharmaceuticals to break down naturally before returning the compost to the vegetable patch.

Ideal for home gardeners
This system is best for families with a strong interest in gardening and making

Very low energy demand
Very low pump running costs. Unlike so many other systems on the market the operational and running costs for a home owner for this natural system is very little indeed. The energy used in the pump is tiny.

An option to sustainably fertilize a sub-urban kitchen garden

Given the likely projection that food prices will become increasingly more expensive world wide – it would be prudent to plan your new house to be able to recycle Nitrogen and Phosphorus by composting food waste and by composting the harvested leaves that were grown from human urine

Why should we be making these changes?
Have you heard about resource depletion and how it might cause problems for our future food security? “The six natural resources most drained by our 7 billion people”

For a more recent example of food price inflation: “Global Phosphorus Fertilizer Market and National Policies: A Case Study Revisiting the 2008 Price Peak” This analysis of the world food price spike in 2008 is attributable to price fixing by key suppliers and growing world demand for phosphorus.

In addition, based on the known world reserves of phosphorus rock; supplies from USA and China is likely to be depleted to in about 30 to 40 year’s time. These two countries will no longer be exporting phosphorus rock but instead will be competing with Europe in importing what will be left of the world’s remaining dwindling
phosphate supplies. The remaining phosphorus reserves will also be contaminated with ever higher levels of toxic metals such as cadmium or radioactive isotopes. The ever growing world market will increase the demand for a dwindling resource and it will also become more expensive to remove the toxins or to transport. Low cost oil or
natural gas to make the ammonia; the other important fraction of fertilizer will also gradually become less available and therefore more expensive.

Yes, assuming further world population growth, the growing continuation of world phosphorus consumption, the increasing world demand of meat and dairy based foods, assuming that Irish planning regulation fails to change and fails to reduce the wastage of phosphorus by septic tank percolation in the soil, or imagine if we fail to make regulations to adequately recycle phosphorus; then our future food security in Ireland is certainly in question.

Will our collective knowledge of the Famine in Ireland in 1845 be at all helpful in awakening the Irish to the possibility of another famine? Will there ever be enough political will in Ireland to regulate our wastage of phosphorus and our need to recycle phosphorus? I’m quoting two leading experts on the matter of Peak Phosphorus: Dana Cordell and Stuart White from their paper entitled:
“Peak Phosphorus: Clarifying the Key Issues of a Vigorous Debate about Long-Term Phosphorus Security”
The authors state as follows:
“If no action is taken decades before the anticipated peak, a hard-landing response to peak phosphorus is likely to result in a situation of:

  •  increased energy and raw material consumption;
  • increased production, processing and transport costs;
  • increased generation of waste and pollution;
  • further short-term price spikes;
  • long-term trend of increased mineral phosphate prices;
  • increased geopolitical tensions;
  • reduced farmer access to fertilizer markets;
  • reduced global crop yields; and
  • increased global hunger”

Let me repeat by telling you that phosphorus rock is vitally important to our present food supply because it cannot be substituted by any other element. There are no other alternatives. Fertilizer for the crops that is without phosphorus will simply not grow enough food. Remember also that there are now about 7 billion people on planet earth. Irish food prices, because we are in such an open global economy, will begin to fluctuate and will eventually become very expensive and then possibly too expensive for a very large portion of Ireland’s population.
Given the very great reluctance of present Irish Government to make progressive regulations to protect the environment or to conserve scarce resources – I’m suggesting that you should be prudent and take matters into your own hands. Provide for the long term interests of your own family by installing your own phosphorus
recycling system.

Approximate cost for sales in Ireland
Subject to sale conditions, system design and delivery cost considerations
– 3 pipes with 21 juvenile plants – €2,922 + vat
– 6 pipes with 42 juvenile plants – €4,834 + vat
– 9 pipes with 63 juvenile plants – €6,746 + vat

Please note that the removal and recovery rates of phosphorus and nitrogen is dependent on the levels of exposure to the sun, the ambient temperature that the plants are exposed to, the maturity of the plants and having enough plants in the first place to bio absorb the urine volumes being generated in the house.

For further information contact
Herr Ltd
00353 42 9377689 Land line
00353 86 1700569 Mobile