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This article provides information about waterless & low water septic systems, waterless toilets, chemical toilets,
incinerating toilets, holding tanks, disinfection septic systems, & greywater systems.
This document also has links to septic design engineers, advanced septic system products and books. Guide to choices among chemical toilets, composting toilets, low water toilets, no-water toilets, electric toilets, & incinerating toilets as components of alternative septic systems - Toilet product sources & product comparisons
Buyers' Guide to Waterless Toilets, No-water toilets, Low Water Toilets & Greywater Toilet Flush Systems
Waterless toilets, low-water toilets, holding tanks, and graywater systems are
alternative designs for sites where a septic system can't be installed or where
water is in limited supply or not available at all.
Photo at left: this water-reusing toilet shown above combines a sink for hand-washing with the toilet flush tank. Water used to wash one's hands is directly recycled into the toilet flush tank for the next toilet use. This Stilfor  toilet uses 1.6 gallons of recycled water per flush.
A similar toilet lid conversion accessory from SinkPositive can be used to convert any tank type toilet lid into a hand-washing sink.
[Click to enlarge any image]
Examples of advanced septic designs which may need to employ waterless or low-water usage toilets include aerobic septic systems, chemical, composting, incinerating & waterless toilets, evaporation-transpiration (ET) septic systems, septic media filters, greywater systems, holding tank septic systems, mound septics, raised bed septics, pressure dosing septic systems, sand bed filters, peat beds, constructed wetlands,
and septic disinfection systems.
Alternative onsite wastewater disposal systems can reduce the soil absorption area or leach field size requirement
substantially and can in fact in some cases reduce the needed area to zero. For problem sites where space or soil conditions make
it difficult to install a conventional leach field these designs are very important alternatives.
Alternative Septic System Designs for wet sites, steep sites, rocky sites, limited space, and other difficult site conditions.
Consultants in this field can be listed at our alternative septic designers page at no charge by contacting me.
Also see The Septic System Information Website.
Massachusetts Title 5 Licensed Septic System Inspector, & New York State H.I. License # 16000005303 (inception to 2008). Technical reviewers welcomed and are listed at Reviewers.
Each of the links below presents an InspectAPedia article providing more in-depth information about each of these
alternative toilet designs and wastewater disposal methods.
CAMPING & EMERGENCY USE TOILETS - for camping, or for emergency home use we discuss a variety of temporary, portable and camping toilets. Camping toilets typically store wastewater in a reservoir for later dumping into an approved dumping station or septic system. Simple camping and emergency toilets typically use a plastic bag to contain solid waste for later pack-out and disposal.
CHEMICAL TOILETS: use a
chemically treated reservoir located directly
below the toilet seat. The chemicals reduce odors and perform partial (incomplete) disinfection of the waste.
While RV chemical toilets may store large quantities of wastewater, portable chemical toilets have limited storage capacity and must be emptied manually or pumped and periodically cleaned by a septic
Similar to simple chemical toilets but more sophisticated in design are recirculating toilets which
separate the waste from the chemical and then re circulate the fluid through the toilet tank. Chemical treatments stabilize the waste both for safety (avoiding a methane gas explosion), sanitation, and odor control. There may be concerns with over-use of stabilizing chemical treatments if you are emptying larger RV chemical toilets into a private septic tank.
COMPOSTING TOILETS: may be used where the water supply is
limited or not available at all, or where a building owner for other reasons wishes to conserve water use.
Other wastewater treatment will still be required for handling graywater from sinks and showers. Composting toilets, properly maintained and used, can produce treated waste that can be used as fertilizer.
DISINFECTION SEPTIC SYSTEMS: use chlorination
or ultraviolet light (UV) to disinfect wastewater effluent before it is discharged to the environment.
DRIP DISPERSAL SEPTIC EFFLUENT SYSTEMS - (Jantrania/Gross wastewater system type III or if treated to level 2 or better effluent, Jantrania/Gross wastewater system type VII). Drip dispersal systems may include pressure dosing or systems that dispose of effluent using only gravity.
GREYWATER TOILETS & SEPTICS aka GREYWATER SYSTEMS: refer to systems which reduce
the liquid effluent load on a septic system by separating greywater (or graywater) from sinks and showers from
blackwater (black water) from toilets. When we inspect a home which uses a separate drywell to handle greywater
we presume that the owners discovered that their septic system, or at least its leach field, was of limited capacity
HOLDING TANK SEPTIC SYSTEMS: use a sealed
tank to hold household waste and wastewater until the tank can be pumped out by a septic pumping company. Most
jurisdictions do not permit septic holding tanks as a permanent wastewater handling method for full-time occupied
residences, but holding tanks may be permitted during new home construction and in other special cases.
In New York
State we've seen holding tank systems in use on small-lot properties located along the Hudson River. Generally such systems
will not be acceptable for full time occupied residences as even a large tank of several thousand gallons will require
frequent and costly pumping and disposal.
INCINERATOR TOILET SYSTEMS: incinerator
toilets use electricity or gas to burn the waste placed into these systems. Like chemical toilets and holding tanks they have
limited capacity, are used where water is not available or must be conserved, and they do not address the handling
of remaining graywater from sinks and showers.
My favorite of this type was the "Destroylet" incinerator toilet which
was electric/propane fueled and which is no longer on the market. Each flush resulted in a more than 10-minute
burn cycle which produced a pretty smelly exhaust.
OUTHOUSES & LATRINES - Outhouses, or latrines or simple trench systems, useful in remote and impoverished areas to improve sanitation and thus the quality of drinking water and other special, extremely low-cost waste handling, wastewater treatment systems are ignored by most modern texts on onsite wastewater treatment, excepting perhaps military manuals which address field toilets and sanitation for military operations. This topic needs considerably more attention as a step in assisting rural, poor areas in developing nations.
TOILET TANK LID LAV-SINKS - combine the provision of a lav for hand washing, space-savings in small bathrooms, and direct re-use of hand-washing graywater in the toilet flush tank. Several companies produce a toilet top sink that replaces the conventional toilet tank lid; some are more accessible than others, all conserve both space and water.
Toilet tank based hand washing sink shown at left: Stilfo, installed in Guanajuato, Mexico 
Caroma products, with offices worldwide including Caroma National, Tel: 1-300-227-662, Australia, include the Profile Smart 305 sink/toilet that includes a toilet top sink fixture, Website http://www.caromausa.com/ - contact information at the company's website does not clearly indicate a company or corporate address. Canada tel: 800-460-7019 x2; Caroma USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone + 1800 605 4218, Australia Tel: 1300-CAROMA, New Zealand: Caroma Auckland
17 Allens Road, East Tamaki, Phone 64 9 279 2700
Auckland,New Zealand 2013 Fax 0800 423 825
Coroflot displays the Eco toilet designed by Jang Woo-seouk, incorporating a toilet top mounted sink that looks more easily accessible than the toilet tank sink we show in the little bathroom in our photo at left. Website: http://www.coroflot.com - contact information for the product is unclear
SinkPositive, 4716 Hilltop Rd., Greensboro NC 27407, USA, Tel: Email: Deven@Sinkpositive.com ,
Quoting: SinkPositive is a retrofit for your toilet lid that turns it into a sink, delivering a clean, environmentally friendly, and touch-free hand wash with every flush
Smeg, an Italian company produces both sink top over a clothes washer and a sink top over a refrigerator! Smeg S.p.A
Via Leonardo da Vinci, 4
42016 Guastalla (RE), ITALY
Tel. +39 0522 821 1 Fax +39 0522 821 452
email@example.com, Website http://www.smeg.com
TOILETS, WATERLESS ALTERNATIVES (this article) and GREYWATER SYSTEMS: provides a detailed discussion of each toilet type,
see the various toilet types and greywater/graywater links shown above on this page and re-listed below.
(Jantrania/Gross consider this septic design option "Wastewater System Type IV").
Envirolet Low Water Remote Composting Toilet System (120v Electric) The Envirolet Low Water Remote (120VAC Electric) Composting System has the highest capacity of all the Low Water Remote Systems and allows for up to three toilets to be connected to the composting unit. Each Low Water Toilet flushes with as little as one pint. Included with system purchase: 1. Envirolet Low Water Remote (120VAC Electric) Composting Unit, 2. Premix Starter Kit, 3. Envirolet Compost Accelerator (8oz), 4. 4" Wind Turbine, 5. 2-Stage Pre-Sediment Filter Drain Kit (Filter Tray, 5' Nylon Drain Line Quick Connect Breather "T"), 6. Luxury Low Water Toilet (White), 7. Vent/ Drain Kit (3' x 3" Flex Drain Duct, 4' x 4" Flex Vent Duct, Gear Clamps, Water Supply, Floor Flange, Coupling, Silicone, and Rubber Roof Flashing)
Envirolet Waterless Toilet (Black Granite), This toilet is easy and sanitary to clean with its removable bowl. Used with Envirolet Waterless Remote Composting Toilet Systems, but can also be used with existing outhouse or other composting toilets -- not that anyone would choose anything other than an Envirolet! This toilet is 16.5" W x 22.5" L x 20.5" H (15" height to seat). Waterless toilet (black granite), toilet seat (oak), rubber floor gasket and hardware included
Envirolet Waterless Remote Composting Toilet System (120v Electric) The Envirolet Waterless Remote System (120VAC Electric) is ideal when you have space directly below your bathroom either in a basement or outside. The Waterless Toilet goes in your bathroom and is connected to the Waterless Remote System (shown above). The highest capacity Envirolet System available. This System was feature in the Field & Stream "Dream Cabin" magazine! Included with system purchase: 1. Envirolet Waterless Remote (120VAC Electric) Composting Unit 2. Waterless Toilet (White) 3. Premix Starter Kit 4. Envirolet Compost Accelerator (8oz) 5. 4" Wind Turbine 6. Vent/ Drain Kit (Includes: 2' x 8" Flexible Drain Duct, 8" Gear Clamp, 4' x 4" Flexible Vent Duct, 4" Coupling, 4" Gear Clamp, Silicone, and Rubber Roof Flashing.
Nature-Loo composting toilet is an Australian product includes ceramic and plastic models
Nature's Head is a U.S. made stainless-steel composting toilet, designed originally for the marine environment (use on boats). This is a portable, self contained, urine separating dry toilet that can be used where electricity is not available.
The liquid waste compartment can store 2.2 U.S. gal. which the manufacturer recommends disposing of in a public restroom. Liquid urine waste is automatically separated from the solids. Solid waste that has composted (decomposed) for 3 months or more can be used as plant fertilizer; solid waste that has not composted that long can be bagged and disposed-of in a dumpster. The base product cost is about $850.00 U.S.
The manufacturer notes that the toilet system does not produce the odors associated with holding tank toilet systems. It is suitable for cabins, cabanas, boat houses, hunting camps, RVs, basements, semi-trucks, and even pick-up trucks. The unit is vented to outside a venting kit chosen depending on the installation requirements. A 12-V fan is used to operate the ventilation system, powered by battery or a solar vent with backup solar-charged battery pack.The composting system is primed with damp, crumbly peat moss. Telephone: 251-295-3043 email: Sales@NaturesHead.net
Phoenix Composting Toilet from Advanced Composting Systems (Montana), requires 5 watts of electric power. Hand pump to remove excess liquid; rotating tines to move compost to the removal area. DC fan; can run on photovoltaics. Composting Toilet Prices: $4100. to $6100.
* SunMar provides low water and no-water composting toilets, and stand alone toilets as well as equipment to provide central composting supporting multiple toilets. (Their website says there are 20 models of low water or no water toilets.)
SunMar uses a rotating drum to mix the compost. Sun-Mar is described by some vendors as not a true composting toilet but as a "dry toilet", smaller than true composting toilets, and using supplemental heat, air, and mixing to assure waste decomposition. Waste is kept on an outside compost pile for six months before spreading on soils.
More frequent emptying and smaller capacity than "true composters" this toilet may be a best fit for a low-use remote cabin. SunMar offers a variety of composting toilets including a self-contained composting marine toilet model, the SunMar Mobile, certified by the U.S. Coast Guard ($1,489.00). Shown here is the SunMar Excel ne composting toilet [Click image for larger photo]. SunMar composting toilets are described below.
Thetford Corporation 7101 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, Phone: 1-800-543-1219, 734-769-6000, Fax: 734-769-2023; Thetford produces a wide range of permanent and portable alternative toilet designs. Quoting:
Our [toilet] products are easy to use at bedside and indispensable for the physically challenged, the aged, and small children.
Thetford's list of toilet products suitable for home or bedside health care are listed at
LetsgoGreen is not a toilet manufacturer but rather a Canadian supplier of SunMar and other electric and non-electric versions of composting toilets (Ontario, Canada).
The toilet shown here is the Centrex 2000 A/F central-flush waterless air flow composting toilet which uses a below-floor composting drum (110V, Composting Capacity: 4-6 Residential, 6-8 Weekend/Vacation Use, cost $1,795.00). Other self-contained composting toilet models are available.
Product submissions are welcome Contact Us. to list your product or service here - if you are a manufacturer of waterless toilets, no-water toilets, low-water consuming toilets or other alternative wastewater treatment system equipment your product may be listed at no fee. Website content critique, additions, and suggestions are also invited. No conflicts of interest: We have no financial business relationship nor any other economic relationship with any product or service discussed at this website.
General Categories of Onsite Residential Wastewater Treatment Systems
Because various texts provide so many different views of categorizing wastewater systems, we have made this simple list which groups wastewater treatment systems into a few major categories:
(1) Conventional septic tank and drainfields using native soils for effluent absorption and treatment
(2) Raised bed and septic mound systems which take a similar approach but have to bring in fill to treat effluent
(3) Septic filter systems: various types of advanced material media filtration systems (sand beds, filter beds, synthetic
textile filters, foam media filters including above-ground self-contained systems)
(4) AEROBIC SEPTIC SYSTEMS which insert additional oxygen into and agitate sewage in the primary treatment tank
(5) Waterless and low-water and greywater-separation systems, which may not really treat effluent, may not
discharge anything into the environment, but which form another set of alternative designs where water supply or
land use restrictions mean that a conventional system is not permitted.
Adding to the complexity of what to call various septic systems, there are also categories of methods of septic effluent dispersal such as gravity-fed, trickle-down, pressure dispersal,
sprinkler dispersal, and intermittent effluent dosing systems which use gravity or pressure.
In case this is not enough, there are also various levels of degree of treatment of septic effluent achieved
by different versions of these systems. So you may read about more than one type of pressure-dosing filter bed
system which look a lot alike but which achieve different degrees of effluent treatment.
Keeping these general categories in mind when reviewing various off-the-shelf packaged systems or
wastewater treatment systems with interesting but non-descriptive names (like the "magic bullet treatment box")
will help you to understand the general approach which has been taken. Further reading will be needed to understand
the installation cost, maintenance cost, and level of management required of each type of septic system.
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Mark Cramer Inspection Services Mark Cramer, Tampa Florida, Mr. Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator. Mr. Cramer serves on the ASHI Home Inspection Standards. Contact Mark Cramer at: 727-595-4211 mark@BestTampaInspector.com
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Hankey and Brown home inspectors, Eden Prairie, MN, technical review by Roger Hankey, prior chairman, Standards Committee, American Society of Home Inspectors - ASHI. 952 829-0044 - hankeyandbrown.com 11/06
Arlene Puentes, a licensed home inspector, educator, and building failures researcher in Kingston, NY. 11/29/06
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
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Advanced Onsite Wastewater Systems Technologies, Anish R. Jantrania, Mark A. Gross. Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., P.E., M.B.A., is a Consulting Engineer, in Mechanicsville VA, 804-550-0389 (2006). Outstanding technical reference especially on alternative septic system design alternatives. Written for designers and engineers, this book is not at all easy going for homeowners but is a text I recommend for professionals--DF.
Builder's Guide to Wells and Septic Systems, Woodson, R. Dodge: $ 24.95; MCGRAW HILL B; TP;
Quoting from Amazon's description: For the homebuilder, one mistake in estimating or installing wells and septic systems can cost thousands of dollars. This comprehensive guide filled with case studies can prevent that. Master plumber R. Dodge Woodson packs this reader-friendly guide with guidance and information, including details on new techniques and materials that can economize and expedite jobs and advice on how to avoid mistakes in both estimating and construction. Chapters cover virtually every aspect of wells and septic systems, including on-site evaluations; site limitations; bidding; soil studies, septic designs, and code-related issues; drilled and dug wells, gravel and pipe, chamber-type, and gravity septic systems; pump stations; common problems with well installation; and remedies for poor septic situations. Woodson also discusses ways to increase profits by avoiding cost overruns.
Country Plumbing: Living with a Septic System, Hartigan, Gerry: $ 9.95; ALAN C HOOD & TP;
Quoting an Amazon reviewer's comment, with which we agree--DF:This book is informative as far as it goes and might be most useful for someone with an older system. But it was written in the early 1980s. A lot has changed since then. In particular, the book doesn't cover any of the newer systems that are used more and more nowadays in some parts of the country -- sand mounds, aeration systems, lagoons, etc.
Composting Toilets - Books & References
Composting Toilet System Book: A Practical Guide to Choosing, Planning and Maintaining Composting Toilet Systems, David Del Porto, Carol Steinfeld. Quoting an Amazon review: Del Porto's book is the definitive composting toilet book at this time. There is nothing even close. His book covers all aspects of composting toilet systems and touches on graywater issues as well. He treats the composting toilet as part of the home system. If a person is seriously interested in installing/having a composting toilet, this book can save him/her all of the mistakes people usually make. He even (carefully) explodes some of the advertising myths that the purveyors of composting toilets would have us believe. The book covers ready-made systems as well as home built systems. As trite as this sounds, the book truly is a must for someone considering installing composting toilet.
The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, 3rd Ed.,
Joseph C. Jenkins. Quoting part of an Amazon review: The Humanure Handbook provides a wealth of thoroughly researched, hands-on experience and scientific data that demonstrates that after a natural process called "thermophilic" bacterial digestion, which occurs in a compost bin and where all pathogens are killed, excreta is then converted to a valuable nutrient for agriculture and thereby completing a full-circle life cycle. Most importantly, effluent can then be kept out of our drinking water and not treated or referred to as an undesirable "waste product".
The information is conveyed in a humorous, folksy, down-to-earth easy to understand style along with drawings, charts, tables, photos and a wealth of resource info for further research. Jenkins' website has a forum for sharing more info, experiences and to answer any and all questions in the process of humanuring and constructed wetland gray water treatment.
Thermal composting of fecal matter as treatment and possible disinfection method--laboratory-scale and pilot-scale studies,
B. Vinneras, A. Bjorklund, H. Jonsson. Quoting Amazon review: When using toilets where the urine and faeces are collected separately for reuse as nutrients in agriculture, the collected matter should be disinfected. One way to do this is by thermal composting. Composting of different material mixes was investigated in a laboratory-scale experiment. This showed that the best mixture for dry thermal composting was a mix of faeces, food waste and amendment. The urine was collected separately by use of urine-diverting toilets. A new method was developed to mathematically evaluate and estimate the safety margins of pathogen inactivation during thermal composting. The method is based upon a mathematical calculation of the number of times total inactivation (at least 12log"1"0 reduction) of the organisms is achieved. In a pilot-scale experiment, the disinfection of a faeces/food waste mix was performed with a calculated safety margin of more than 37 times the total die-off of Enteroviruses and some 550 times that of Ascaris. Thus, well functioning composting seems to be
effective for disinfection of faecal matter. To get a high temperature in all of the material, the reactor has to have sufficient insulation. A major disadvantage is the initial need for handling the raw un-disinfected material. The degradation of the organic matter in the compost was almost 75%, resulting in a small final volume that could safely be recycled.
Experiences with a composting toilet article from: Countryside & Small Stock Journal, available as HTML download.
Quoting Amazon review: This digital document is an article from Countryside & Small Stock Journal, published by Countryside Publications Ltd. on May 1, 1994. The length of the article is 1516 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.
From the supplier: A composting toilet is a good alternative to propane burning toilets, but it also has many problems. The worst part is emptying the waste and compost every 4-6 weeks. Other problems are the fan that must be kept running constantly and bug infestation.
US EPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual [online copy, free] Top Reference: US EPA's Design Manual for Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal, 1980, available from the US EPA, the US GPO Superintendent of Documents (Pueblo CO), and from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse. Original source http://www.epa.gov/ORD/NRMRL/Pubs/625R00008/625R00008.htm Onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems,
Richard J Otis, published by the US EPA. Although it's more than 20 years old, this book remains a useful reference for septic system designers.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water Program Operations; Office of Research and Development, Municipal Environmental Research Laboratory; (1980)
"International Private Sewage Disposal Code," 1995, BOCA-708-799-2300, ICBO-310-699-0541, SBCCI 205-591-1853, available from those code associations.
"Manual of Policy, Procedures, and Guidelines for Onsite Sewage Systems," Ontario Reg. 374/81, Part VII of the Environmental
Protection Act (Canada), ISBN 0-7743-7303-2, Ministry of the Environment,135 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto Ontario M4V 1P5 Canada $24. CDN.
Manual of Septic Tank Practice, US Public Health Service's 1959.
Greywater System Books
The New Create an Oasis With Greywater, Art Ludwig; Buy New: $14.25. Ludwig is one of the most thoughtful, prolific, and sometimes controversial writers on gray water systems and alternative designs. We recommend his book as clear, easy-to-understand writing aimed at property owners who want or need to consider a graywater installation to conserve water, recycle water, reduce water use, or to reduce the load on their septic system. This is the latest edition of this Art Ludwig's greywater design book classic.
Builder's Greywater Guide, Art Ludwig; Buy New: $10.17. Installation of Greywater Systems in New Construction & Remodeling; A Supplement to the Book "Create an Oasis With Greywater" (Paperback).
Quoting a review from Amazon: I recommend that you get the 3 companion books on greywater treatment "Create an Oasis", "Branched Drain Greywater Systems" and "Builder's Greywater Guide". The information in these volumes will keep most of us far more informed than most of the regulators, the system builders, and the experts-in-theory. These volumes are real-world gems.
Art Ludwig has cut to the core of wastewater issues. He's obviously done all of his homework, mulled-over the variables, and come up with a common sense, economically reasonable, environmentally responsible approach to wastewater. I expect to save money that I would have spent on a post-septic tank, aerobic unit that would seemingly have been ecologically responsible; but because of the technological overkill, ultimately that system would have defeated my altruistic environmental concerns.
... These books talk the talk and walk the walk better than anything else that I've seen. Buy a set for yourself, a set for your neighbors, and a set for the regulators.
Branched Drain Greywater Systems [superseded by "The New Create an Oasis with Greywater"], Art Ludwig. If you already have this book but are in the process of installing new gray water systems you should take a look at the newer
edition listed first above in this section of our Greywater book recommendations.
You may prefer the newest edition, but there is great information in this older version, perhaps all you need, and these copies are
sold at very low prices - an aid to people of limited means.
Rainwater Catchment Systems for Domestic Supply: Design, Construction and Implementation,
Erik Nissen-Petersen, John Gould. (Mr. Ludwig, while much appreciated, is not the only author providing really useful design guides for graywater systems--DF)
Quoting from an Amazon review: This book reviews the art of roof and ground catchment systems for rainwater. The water collected can be used for household or other purposes. The designs are aimed for individuals with limited access to electricity and/or civic water utilities. The text includes drawings, photographs and step-by-step instructions.
One might say the book is really written for the 'aid worker' since it also considers ethnic and gender issues that would be 'obvious' to the future owners of the the systems.
Guidelines on rainwater catchment systems for Hawaii, (CTAHR resource management publication)
Patricia S. H Macomber. This more technical document may be especially helpful for rainwater collection and recycling systems for climates
where there is heavy rainfall such as demonstrated for Hawaii.
Design for Water: Rainwater Harvesting, Stormwater Catchment, and Alternate Water Reuse, Heather Kinkade-Levario. Quoting from Amazon's review: Design for Water is an accessible and clearly written guide to alternate water collection, with a focus on rainwater harvesting in the urban environment. The book:
Outlines the process of water collection from multiple sources-landscape, residential, commercial, industrial, school, park, and municipal systems
Provides numerous case studies, Details the assembly and actual application of equipment, Includes specific details, schematics, and references.
All aspects of rainwater harvesting are outlined, including passive and active system setup, storage, storm water reuse, distribution, purification, analysis, and filtration. There is even a section on rainwater harvesting for wildlife.
In addition to rainwater, there are several affordable and accessible alternate sources, including cooling tower bleed-off water, air conditioning condensate, gray water, and fog collection. Design for Water is geared to providing those making development decisions and guidelines with the information they need to set up passive harvesting techniques. The book will especially appeal to engineers, landscape architects, municipal decision-makers, developers, and landowners.
Heather Kinkade-Levario is a land-use planner in Arizona and the author of the award-winning Forgotten Rain. She is president of Forgotten Rain L.L.C., a rainwater harvesting and stormwater reuse company.
The Toilet Papers: Designs to Recycle Human Waste and Water : Dry Toilets, Greywater Systems and Urban Sewage (Paperback) Sim Van Der Ryn, Wendell Berry; Quoting from an Amazon review: With a title like "Toilet Papers" and from a distinguished eco-architect like Sim Van der Ryn, I needed no intro or review to buy a copy of this little, but well researched historical over-view of effluent mitigation and current eco-friendly toilet design.
This book is filled with good line drawings and photographs to depict everything from the historical perspective to the current dry toilets and their construction..
Quality issues in harvested rainwater in arid and semi-arid Loess Plateau of northern China,
K. Zhu, L. Zhang, W. Hart, M. Liu, H. Chen (out of print, find by search and deferred order).
Amazon's description may be helpful: Loess soils cover vast areas in the arid and semi-arid regions of northern China. Due to the lack of reliable surface water and ground-water, rainwater harvesting has played a prominent role in farmers' domestic usage and agricultural irrigation. An economical and valid type of water storage cistern with optimum design of components has been introduced to rural areas in the Loess Plateau. Different collection alternatives showed apparent variations in rainwater quality. By using different catchments, such as mortar roofs and cement-paved courtyards, compacted land or road surfaces, rainwater can be effectively collected for storage in cisterns. This study focused mainly on the quality of rainwater harvested from the different catchment systems and stored for different periods of time. By analysis of the water samples stored in these cisterns, it was evident that rainwater quality could be improved significantly by self-purification during the storage. With emphasis on rainwater quality affected by the
different catchment systems, it was found that the measured inorganic compounds in the rainwater harvested from roof-yard catchment systems generally matched the WHO standards for drinking water, while the concentrations of some inorganic compounds in the rainwater collected from land and road surfaces appeared to be higher than the guideline values for drinking water, but generally not beyond the maximum permissible concentrations. However, Fecal Coliform, which is an important bacteriological parameter for the three catchment systems, exceeded the limits of drinking water to a greater extend. Trace amounts of 55 organic pollutants were identified, including aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic compounds and phthalate esters, etc. The analytical results indicated that roof-yard catchments that included the ''first flush'' usually provided safe drinking water with low organic contents, even for rainwater collected immediately after rainfall. In contrast, rainwater harvested from road surfaces had poor quality
with respect to the organic constituents, regardless of stored time.
City eying home water-recycling technology; uses bath and washer water for irrigation., (ReWater Systems' equipment for greywater irrigation):
This is an article from: San Diego Business Journal [HTML] (Digital) available online in digital format. I have not (yet) reviewed it -- DF