WISER Life Case Study: A composting system that uses standard flush toilets

Project: WISER Life at the Rediscovery Centre
Where: Ballymun, Dublin, Ireland
When: March 2017

While Ireland is being taken to court by the European Commission over its inadequate waste water treatment in over 30 urban areas, the new Rediscovery Centre building in Ballymun has undertaken to treat its own waste water on an independent basis through the WISER Life project.

The WISER (Working with Industrial Spaces to Exemplify Reuse) Life project is deisgned to promote positive behavioural change with regard to resource management and efficiency. In this way the Rediscovery Centre is also playing its part in reducing the water pollution from Dublin’s overloaded waste water treatment system. This is in spite of our planning regulations ban on single houses in urban areas from having waste water treatment or any form of waste water pollution avoidance system.

Click to enlarge

Without any change from using standard flush toilets, the new Rediscovery building has recently installed an innovative toilet solids composting system by Herr Ltd. This system separates the toilet solids from the flush water from 4 WC’s while maintaining aerobic conditions, so that composting can take place without foul odours.

The Herr Aquatron system is being commissioned at present but is already separating and recovering toilet solids which will eventually be composted safely by earth worms.

Unlike standard septic tanks, this system avoids making sewage sludge that would otherwise have to be collected and taken away at expense, by tanker. Since in this situation there will be no diesel truck required to transport sewage sludge over long distances; there will be a considerable avoidance of Greenhouse Gas emissions.

No electricity or energy is required for the toilet solids separation process or for the composting process itself.

Aquatron as seen in Diagram

Furthermore the system is based on natural and ecological principles in that it will be earth worms that will carry out the composting.

Keep a look out for updates in part two!