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Why Worms In the Toilet Might Be a Good Idea

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the as-if-it-wasn't-obvious dept.

Canada 124

derekmead writes "Billions worldwide still don't have access to proper sanitation, and those that do still require a ton of water and electricity to keep waste flowing. A French company is offering one solution: Use turd-eating worms to compost waste right at the source. Ecosphere Technologies has developed an outhouse that, rather than relying on chemicals like a port-a-john, relies on about a pound of red wiggler worms. A new installation in Quebec uses imported worms, placed inside of a mixture of dung and straw underneath to toilet, to devour feces delivered to them by a conveyor belt system. (When someone uses the toilet, pee filters through sand to wash away, while a pedal allows the user to transport their poo to the worm space.) The whole system uses no water or electricity, and a series of passive vents allegedly keeps the toilet smelling great. The company claims it can be used 10,000 times without servicing, which is far better than what a port-a-potty can boast, although with a current price tag of $40k for the worm system, port-a-potties are still a lot cheaper."

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first worm! (4, Funny)

ehack (115197) | about 2 years ago | (#41564123)

first worm!

Re:first worm! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565531)

Early bird you are.

Re:first worm! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566931)

A less expensive design from USAID
http://ebookbrowse.com/usaid-ny-designing-compost-toilets-pdf-d80233262 (link points to the USAID Technical Note SAN 1.D.6 Designing Composting Toilets)

http://www.sswm.info/category/implementation-tools/water-use/hardware/toilet-systems/composting-toilets

This is a technology that can be very inexpensive (read local materials and labor) or as classy as you want.

worm a potty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41564127)

worm a potty sounds so gross!

I'd make a joke... (1)

DWMorse (1816016) | about 2 years ago | (#41564143)

But the last thing the world needs is more toilet humor.

It's a fascinating science idea, but there's no way I can see it marketed to take off. Starting with the fact that people have reasonable levels of phobias of living things where they poo; see prevalent folk tales of squirrels and snakes in toilets, etc.

It's just simply more economical to dig a hole in the ground, and provide hand sanitizer.

Re:I'd make a joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41564223)

But the last thing the world needs is more toilet humor.

Correct, but the first thing the world needs more are more butt jokes
Hi, I'm butty-mc-butt-in-butt, I comb the interwebs searching for potty posts to add my butt jokes too

don't worry, I'll post plenty here as AC,...

Re:I'd make a joke... (3, Interesting)

milkmage (795746) | about 2 years ago | (#41564673)

more toilet humor ... you mean potty talk? /sorry

"It's just simply more economical to dig a hole in the ground"
until the next guy digs one up.. seriously. had the same problem in my yard with the dog. burying it worked for a while, but eventually ran out of new places to dig. buried shit stays around for a while. eventually had to get one of these: http://www.energystead.com/doogies-dooley-pet-waste-composter-2000/ [energystead.com]

"people have reasonable levels of phobias'
it's not like they have signs advertising worms. looks like any other campsite throne.
http://phys.org/news/2012-10-turd-eating-worms-air-canadian-toilets.html [phys.org]

Re:I'd make a joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567071)

Potty talk? This looks like Silly Potty to me ...

Ahead of the curve (2)

larry bagina (561269) | about 2 years ago | (#41564169)

I already have worms in my poop.

Re:Ahead of the curve (2)

raydobbs (99133) | about 2 years ago | (#41564219)

We have to get you dewormed -again-?

Re:Ahead of the curve (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41564291)

We'll take care of that next week while we're getting you neutered.

Then who eats all the worm poo? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41564183)

It doesn't just vanish, you know?

Re:Then who eats all the worm poo? (4, Funny)

dreadlord76 (562584) | about 2 years ago | (#41564339)

Next week, they will sell you an Aquaponics system, with worm shit eating plant, and worm eating fish, for $60K. The first time you take out a fish and eat it, you complete the cycle. For $100K.

Re:Then who eats all the worm poo? (3, Interesting)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41564961)

Earthworm castings (earthworm shit) are worth about 1.50 a dry pound retail.

I'd also just point out that earthworms eat the shit in outhouse pits when the uses don't dump a ton of lime into it. All the outhouses need is solar powered positive pit ventilation.

Hell most of Africa just needs an adult in the village to enforce outhouse digging. Avoid having the outhouse being the commons.

Re:Then who eats all the worm poo? (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | about 2 years ago | (#41565257)

I think that urine is bad for them as well. That is why this system has the fancy poo-conveyor. So that they can separate out the urine.

Re:Then who eats all the worm poo? (4, Insightful)

vivian (156520) | about 2 years ago | (#41565433)

It's bad enough when the waste pump on a boat toilet needs fixing - at least that thing's mostly a small sealed unit with just a couple of hoses clamped on. That's one conveyor belt that you'd want to make sure was damned reliable and never ever needed repairs rr maintenance on - it's going to be one hell of a nasty job if it gets so crusted up it can't move or the bearings go or something like that.

Re:Then who eats all the worm poo? (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | about 2 years ago | (#41565565)

That was actually my first thought as well. Also, from what I understand it is just a composting toilet which are not all that complicated or expensive. The only innovative thing seems to be the poo-conveyor. Maybe that is why it is so expensive... $35k for the super fuckin' reliable conveyor, $5k for the rest.

Re:Then who eats all the worm poo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565885)

Solution to the urine-separating conveyor? Pee in one hole, Poo in another. Problem solved. Yes, I realize this may require some potty re-training.

Re:Then who eats all the worm poo? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#41567419)

...fancy poo-conveyor.

iPoo - crap differently

Legal: iPoo employs patented "pinch" gesture innovations.

A toilet with pedals? (3, Funny)

hardie (716254) | about 2 years ago | (#41564199)

Do the kids get training wheels?

$40K for 10,000 uses? (0, Troll)

dreadlord76 (562584) | about 2 years ago | (#41564229)

4$ per flush. That's pretty steep!
And $40K for a pound of warms, sand, and a conveyer system? Must be the new Millionaire tax that France is enacting that is raising the prices.

Re:$40K for 10,000 uses? (1)

hardie (716254) | about 2 years ago | (#41564253)

It's a DARPA project.

Re:$40K for 10,000 uses? (3, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#41564301)

4$ per flush. That's pretty steep!

Have you ever priced out the cost of your civilized flush?
If you start with the cost of pipes in the ground and end with water treatment plants, it adds up fairly quickly,
though the infrastructure can be amortized across tens or hundreds of thousands of users and tens of years.

Taxes are what we use to buy civilization.

Re:$40K for 10,000 uses? (4, Interesting)

dreadlord76 (562584) | about 2 years ago | (#41564327)

$40K can put in a pretty big septic system, with cistern and rain catchment to provide the liquid for flushing. You can probably get a grey water pond out of it as well if you plan it right. Still, a lot of money for a pound of worms.

Re:$40K for 10,000 uses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566955)

THIS. Holy hell, $40k is seriously over-priced.

1) toilet frame (hell, can even be a hole in the ground, essentially free)
2) anti-sticking slope leading to...
3) container with the little wrigglies and crap
4) optional liquid container for flushing the slope every so often for the occasional times where things do stick. (recycle urine for this use, no reason not putting urine separate, it is useful)

That isn't even $500. Where is my funding to help solve all these problems? Nails, hammers, wood. the worms and the anti-sticking slope are the most expensive things there, everything else is essentially free.
Then helping them to deal with the containers materials afterwards, creating an infrastructure and go from there.
This stuff ain't rocket surgery.

Re:$40K for 10,000 uses? (3)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#41564559)

I'm not trying to be anti-government here, but...

At least around here, the developer ends up paying for all of the new infrastructure and then the sewer authority or township sanitation department charges you per hookup or based on your water usage. In other words, it's a usage fee that maintains the infrastructure, not a tax.

On the other hand, it is compulsory, so maybe I'm being pedantic.

In any event, the sewers should last - at the least - 40 years. So that is amortized over a loooooong time. There is no way I pay anything approaching $4 per flush.

Re:$40K for 10,000 uses? (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#41566215)

On the other hand, it is compulsory, so maybe I'm being pedantic.

Only somewhat pedantic.
The difference is worth being mentioned, but the outcome is exactly the same.

In any event, the sewers should last - at the least - 40 years. So that is amortized over a loooooong time. There is no way I pay anything approaching $4 per flush.

It's not really possible to calculate the long term cost of this system without more information.
If we knew how much the servicing cost and the expected lifespan & replacement cost of components,
we could compare it to the cost of a normal 20~40 year municipal waste bond.

There's also an issue of scale.
Infrastructure is one of those things that, if scaled correctly, can usually be brought down to a reasonable price/person.
Toilets out in the middle of nowhere do not fit that criteria. So in a sense, it's not an equal comparison.

My main goal was to point out that your water & sewer bill at the end of the month doesn't begin to reflect all the money that goes into the average person's 7 flushes per day.

Re:$40K for 10,000 uses? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565323)

Have you ever priced out the cost of your civilized flush?
If you start with the cost of pipes in the ground and end with water treatment plants, it adds up fairly quickly,
though the infrastructure can be amortized across tens or hundreds of thousands of users and tens of years.

So do you have a number?

Re:$40K for 10,000 uses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565387)

And taxes are what are being used to destroy civilization.

Funny how that works.

Re:$40K for 10,000 uses? (2)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41565847)

Taxes are what we use to buy civilization.

It doesn't take a lot of taxes to make a sanitation system that works. It does take a lot of taxes to get my cronies a piece of the action.

Re:$40K for 10,000 uses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566991)

4$ per flush. That's pretty steep!

Have you ever priced out the cost of your civilized flush?
If you start with the cost of pipes in the ground and end with water treatment plants, it adds up fairly quickly,
though the infrastructure can be amortized across tens or hundreds of thousands of users and tens of years.

Taxes are what we use to buy civilization.

Can you really put a price on not dying from cholera?

Re:$40K for 10,000 uses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41564497)

May be it would be useful on space missions?

Re:$40K for 10,000 uses? (4, Informative)

digitig (1056110) | about 2 years ago | (#41564881)

10,000 uses was before servicing, not before complete replacement.

Mutant giant worm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41564239)

...and it's just a matter of time before mutant giant worms will devour unsuspecting toilet visitors!

Wormholes DO Exist! (4, Funny)

Lefo (2746339) | about 2 years ago | (#41564243)

Surprised that wasn't said first. I signed up just for this bad pun. Well, not a lurker any more. :-)

Re:Wormholes DO Exist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567193)

> Surprised that wasn't said first. I signed up just for this bad pun.

You must be new here.

Other sanitation applications? (2, Insightful)

raydobbs (99133) | about 2 years ago | (#41564251)

Perhaps this is too expensive to replace the portable restrooms in developing countries, but perhaps this could be used in larger-scale applications to help deal with the solid waste in waste treatment facilities? Instead of using harsher chemicals, we could augment it with more biological processes such as this to increase the efficiency of the treatment. Just a thought anyway.

Re:Other sanitation applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565245)

Two major challenges with that are that there is a bunch of toxic shit in the waste stream. People use random shit to clean, and companies use not so random amazing shit to clean. The second is that in many systems, the storm water isn't separated from the sanitary sewer, so rainstorm screw up your shit chemistry.

On a serious note, though, red wiggler worms, released after fishing trips, have screwed up the soil of a lot of north american forests. They drag the duff underground to consume it, where as north american earthworms live in the duff, and that has significantly affected many forests.

Bubba & Hank -- Worms & Fishing (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41564259)

Bubba: Hey, where you goin'?
Hank: I'm goin' fishin'.
Bubba: Got worms?
Hank: Yeah, but I'm goin' anyway.

"...and the worms, ate, in, to, his brain."

gosh?? (0)

pbjones (315127) | about 2 years ago | (#41564293)

were is the news? the news is that a small portion of the world flushes their waste away with drinking quality water and that there are billions of others that don't. There are many systems that don't require a 'flushing toilet', the post is about just one, so it's more like an advert than a story, oh, crap.

Re:gosh?? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#41564599)

Before you come down from your high horse, maybe you could use the view to find a country with potable water that does not use it to flush their toilets? Water - even drinkable water - is very cheap in a lot of places.

Re:gosh?? (2)

Spaseboy (185521) | about 2 years ago | (#41564769)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_supply_and_sanitation_in_Japan [wikipedia.org]

3.2 Sanitation

In 2002 about 75 million people were connected to sewers and 35 million people had their waste water treated through small-scale waste water treatment devices called jÅkasÅs. They are common in areas not connected to sewers, but also exist in areas connected to sewers. There is even a specific jÅkasÅ law that regulates their construction, installation, inspection and desludging. JÅkasÅs use different technologies and serve different sizes of buildings from single-family homes to high-rise buildings, public or commercial buildings. Treated water can be easily reused for various purposes such as toilet flushing, watering gardens or car washing. Sludge from jÅkasÅs can be used as fertilizer

Re:gosh?? (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#41565957)

It seems that a Jokaso is a type of septic system with some additional technology [fujiclean.co.jp] . While I'm sure that water from it can be reused, I'm not finding any indication that this is the typical usage. I'm also not finding any common usage of the sludge being used as a fertilizer (at least not by the homeowner). It looks like there are services that haul the sludge away; if you look at these pictures [fujiclean.co.jp] , you'd clearly have to be very brave to retrieve it yourself!

In other words, it is used the same way that we evil, wasteful Westerners use our water.

Re:gosh?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41564873)

The other complaint remains. There are many other toilet designs that do not require water or $4/flush worms; why is this newsworthy? It's a novel idea, perhaps, but only a novelty.

And where does worms poop go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41564315)

they flush

Carnivorous Worms... (2)

Schlopper (413780) | about 2 years ago | (#41564321)

Just a matter of time before the worms feed on enough blood-infested stool from anal fissures and hemorrhoids to turn carnivorous. Queue real-life Ghoulies II re-enactment..

Re:Carnivorous Worms... (1)

hardie (716254) | about 2 years ago | (#41564695)

Zombie worms!

Re:Carnivorous Worms... (1)

jsh1972 (1095519) | about 2 years ago | (#41565553)

Get a bunch of gorillas. Wait for the gorillas to eat the worms, then when winter comes, the gorillas will all freeze to death. Problem solved.

Foreign critters (4, Insightful)

Migraineman (632203) | about 2 years ago | (#41564357)

The article referenced [phys.org] by TFA says the worms are "... Eisenia fetida or red wiggler worms native to Europe imported from France and raised locally by Helene Beaumont ..." I'm currently being invaded by stink bugs imported from China, so I'm not particularly fond of folks proposing solutions that require importing non-native critters. Can't they find an indigenous turd-eating worm?

Re:Foreign critters (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41564407)

These worms have been trained in the tur-de-france. They are much better at re-cycling.

Re:Foreign critters (1)

NoMaster (142776) | about 2 years ago | (#41565399)

"Can't they find an indigenous turd-eating worm?"

Yes, but he's [wikipedia.org] already got a job...

Re:Foreign critters (4, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | about 2 years ago | (#41566243)

The worms aren't necessary, and neither is the $40k price tag. There are already composting toilets [wikipedia.org] available commercially in the $500-$2000 range. And even that's overpriced because they're relatively new. I've heard of people making their own with a 5 gallon bucket (cheapest way to test for yourself how well they work). All you need is a handful of peat moss or coconut husk, and a spoonful of microbes to get the process started.

And before you ask, no they don't stink. The stinky smell comes from anerobic bacteria breaking down fecal matter. When you immerse feces in water, it cuts off the oxygen supply which kills the aerobic bacteria, and the stinky anerobic bacteria flourish. Because a composting toilet channels liquids away from the solids reservoir (the 5 gallon bucket works better for men), the aerobic bacteria dominate and break down the feces without causing the stink. Think about how much biomass there is outdoors in wild animals. If all their feces stank that badly as a sewage treatment plant, we'd never want to go outside.

They're starting to become popular aboard boats, where dumping laws require toilets flush into holding tanks which can to be pumped out back at the harbor. These holding tanks and their plumbing tend to leak and stink up the boat after some years.

Re:Foreign critters (2)

slashmojo (818930) | about 2 years ago | (#41566577)

Yes exactly, compost toilets have been a fairly common choice amongst boaters for a while now and not much more expensive than the usual boaty alternatives plus they require less holes in the hull which is always a bonus on a boat. Of course you still need somewhere to dump the compost as marinas are not generally very green and tend to frown upon compost heaps springing up around the pontoons.

http://www.natureshead.net/information.html [natureshead.net]

Depends on how they got there (2)

Tarlus (1000874) | about 2 years ago | (#41564361)

Worms that are there for the purpose of sanitation? Good idea.

Worms that are there because of something you ate? See a doctor...

Eat the worm! (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about 2 years ago | (#41564369)

Oops. Wrong worm.

In Soviet Russia (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about 2 years ago | (#41564473)

... worm poop on YOU!

Composting toilet (3, Informative)

Dhrakar (32366) | about 2 years ago | (#41564487)

There are actually several models of these out already. Some of the folks up here have them instead of an outhouse. http://www.envirolet.com/ [envirolet.com] The funny part is that you have to turn a handle on the toilet to mix the, uh, contents around after you go. I think you can put other wastes in them (like kitchen scraps) and they will be composted as well...

That's slashdot for you! (4, Funny)

eudaemon (320983) | about 2 years ago | (#41564501)

I wish this joke was original with me... Slashdot: News for turds, Stuff that splatters. Saw it when we were last fascinated with Japanese toilets.

Poop and pee? (2)

addie (470476) | about 2 years ago | (#41564517)

Really? Poop and pee?

Urine and feces. There, I said it. Or excrement if you like. Take your pick, but I don't see why we can't just try to use adult words.

Imagine a summary talking about "nuts cancer".

Re:Poop and pee? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41564869)

I prefer the term "furry seed-sacks".

Possible Delicacy (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#41564689)

The Romans loved something called "lickerfish", probably a catfish, that hung out at the Rome sewer outflows into the Tiber river. In other words, these fish got fat eating human shit, and the Romans considered them a delicacy.

Re:Possible Delicacy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41564913)

In other words, these fish got fat eating human shit, and the Romans considered them a delicacy.

Do you know what manure is? Ever eat any vegetables?

Re:Possible Delicacy (3, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41565051)

The Romans also put fermented fish guts (guram IIRC) on just about everything. Like American rednecks and Ketchup or Japanese and Soy sauce. Roman's diets were weird.

Also many third world countries are raising Talapia in their sewer treatment systems. Lack of control on imported Talapia is a good reason to avoid this fish (also it's 'sustainable', screw that, get me some swordfish steaks, Ahi Tuna and an Abalone. And some good prime beef, none of that grass fed crap.)

Re:Possible Delicacy (2)

arkane1234 (457605) | about 2 years ago | (#41566257)

You realize that the grass fed beef is actually tastier, right?

Re:Possible Delicacy (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | about 2 years ago | (#41566251)

Eating something doesn't mean their made of it... or are you a grease ridden cheeseburger?

Don't we already have good composting toilets? (4, Interesting)

dov_0 (1438253) | about 2 years ago | (#41564747)

In Australia we already use composting toilets on country roads for rest stops etc. They don't smell and are cheap to produce and maintain and the ventilation fan runs off a solar cell on the roof. Why should someone pay 40k for old tech?

Re:Don't we already have good composting toilets? (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41565095)

Yes, we do. Here in Florida, there is an organic farm where the owner built a standing compost toilet. You're not supposed to piss in it, and if you can manage not to, its idle state is unnoticeable and the output is nearly indistinguishable from normal soil -- no foul odors at all. I've always thought large condominiums could benefit from something similar. I am no engineer, but I can imagine such a system being used for gasification, or fertilizer for landscaping, etc. We already use a wretched product called "Sludge" as a fertilizer, so I guess it would be simply removing the 'middle man'. By "Sludge", I refer to the exquisite results of all that swirls minging downward between the voluptuous basin walls of Florida's commodes, i.e., the actual product "Sludge".
I am not a fanatic over H2O shortages, but I do suspect the future forbids the continuation of current practices. Innovation shouldn't require critical mass.

Re:Don't we already have good composting toilets? (1)

serbanp (139486) | about 2 years ago | (#41565943)

and the output is nearly indistinguishable from normal soil

Unfortunately, if used as fertilizer, there's the ever-present risk of infection caused by contamination from insufficiently composted human feces (think E. coli).

Re:Don't we already have good composting toilets? (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41566129)

The government does it en masse. However, they treat it through a pretty vicious process. I think we can figure it out. But if done old-school "night soil" style, then I agree.

Re:Don't we already have good composting toilets? (1)

bytesex (112972) | about 2 years ago | (#41566565)

You don't use it as fertilizer over plants that have already sprouted; you plow it into the earth.

WKRP (1)

dtmancom (925636) | about 2 years ago | (#41564827)

Red wrigglers? They're the Cadillac of worms.

They really exist! (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 2 years ago | (#41564883)

What do you know: the Cadillac of Worms [wikipedia.org] really exist. Who'd have thunk it?

obligatory Dune quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41564987)

Stilgar, do we have wormsign? Usul, we have wormsign the likes of which even God has never seen!

Comosting toilets (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 years ago | (#41565067)

The alternative to these worms isn't port-a-pots, it's composting toilets, which you might find in remote cabins. They're expensive, but certainly not 40k.

And people have worked-out much cheaper DIY options which do the same thing. You just need a seat, a bucket, a vent (preferably with a small electric exhaust fan) and a handful of microbes to throw in to get started. All of the above are very inexpensive in the 1st world. In the 3rd world, local potters could make all of it, except the microbes, and that's surely much easier to transport than live worms...

  http://www.composting-toilet-store.com/Microbe_Mix_p/microbe_mix.htm [composting...-store.com]

Re:Comosting toilets (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#41565349)

This is why hippies fucking smell so atrocious.

Re:Comosting toilets (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 years ago | (#41565657)

Actually, if you have sufficient ventilation to dry the sewage quickly, there's almost no smell.

:p (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41565107)

Why Worms In the Toilet Might Be a Good Idea

Better out than in, eh?

Bugs (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41565239)

Fuck just use laser beams, dammit!

We've had a worm toilet for a couple of years (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565275)

Actually, a worm septic tank. It seems similar in usage to a normal septic tank, but with worms in it. It does require a pump in order to pump the treated water out, into our lawn (which we never need to water). Apparently the treated water is safe enough to drink but we haven't tried. All our grey and black water feeds into it, and we have a normal toilet. Cost about $12,000 installed. Just like other septic tanks, we have it checked twice a year, but maintenance is essentially nil apart from that. Not allowed to use bleach though!

However, if we go away for a month or two, we would need to ask our neighbours to pop by and feed our worms ... by using the toilet. Easier than feeding the dog I guess.

Re:We've had a worm toilet for a couple of years (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 2 years ago | (#41565631)

Yeah, that could be a problem. Whenever I tell my neighbours I'm going on vacation, they say that they couldn't give a shit.

But seriously: $12K? Couldn't I just flush a few buckets of live bait down the toilet? And, I don't know about yours, but most septic systems get checked every 2-3 years, not twice a year.

Stopped Reading. (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#41565343)

Sorry, I stopped reading the submission at the word "turd-eating".

If you're not going to take yourself (or your publication) seriously, neither am I. Talk like a grown up; not a four year old.

Re:Stopped Reading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565543)

Unfortunately, I also stopped reading your comment at the word "turd-eating".

This is looking suspiciously like a Candlejack meme, though I don't bel

Pshaw, back in the day... (1)

RKBA (622932) | about 2 years ago | (#41565511)

When I was a kid we used an outhouse, you could shine a flashlight down into the stench of the toilet (a very small structure with a wooden bench supported above a hole in the ground about 12 feet deep or so). What you saw, was a writhing mass of brown mass of feces being composted at breakneck speed. After looking at it for awhile (we were kids at the time ;) you realized all the writhing was being done by a massive number of maggots just a few feet beneath the toilet bench where you sat, and they were composting those feces as fast as they could eat. Today the soil underneath that outhouse would probably be almost ideal fertilizer.

Naw, forget it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41565581)

When someone uses the toilet, pee filters through sand to wash away, while a pedal allows the user to transport their poo to the worm space.

Awwwww, damn. Who forgot to pedal? Would you look at that! There's no TP in there -- They didn't even wipe!


( $_ ~= s/pedal/flush/ ) == Actually said this last week.

The kid is 18 for fuck's sake. Damn SmartPhones & the ADD teens who use them!

Invasive species (4, Interesting)

caseih (160668) | about 2 years ago | (#41565609)

Most people don't realize it, but the humble, ubiquitous earthworm is an invasive species in North America. Though you might think of it as useful and beneficial to the soil, in the forests of north America, the earthworm is causing a lot of damage. So I get a bit concerned when they start talking about throwing in "imported worms."

it can be used 10,000 times without servicing (1)

fisted (2295862) | about 2 years ago | (#41565781)

Who will feed the worms when on vacation? I suppose they starve, and as of that point, the toilet can be used exactly once more, before servicing ;)

Re:it can be used 10,000 times without servicing (1)

jago25_98 (566531) | about 2 years ago | (#41566701)

Sir, I will!
Yes. For the very low fee of $50 per dump I will feed those worms for you. If you purchase 3 dumps you get a house watching bundle with it free.
Prepay with Bitcoin now while this offer is still valid.

If you want try this yourself you can get the bacteria starter culture from boating supplies. It's a bit pricey at the moment. If you then want to use cleaning fluids there are special ones available from chandlers too.

Earthworms are invasive species (1)

stuporglue (1167677) | about 2 years ago | (#41565909)

Did you know that Minnesota has 15 non-native species of earthworms in its forest?

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialanimals/earthworms/index.html [state.mn.us]

"All of the terrestrial earthworms in Minnesota are non-native...at least seven species are invading our hardwood forests and causing the loss of tree seedlings, wildflowers, and ferns."

I've seen before/after photos of forests where earthworms moved in and the undergrowth just disappeared. I don't think that increasing the use of non-native worms is a good idea.

TFS really has... (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 2 years ago | (#41565961)

...a strong sense of humus.

Seriously Expensive Shit (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 2 years ago | (#41566019)

$40K for a bucket? Wow. Great marketing!

The worms that go in are long and thin, (1)

drumlight (1244276) | about 2 years ago | (#41566093)

The worms that go in are long and thin,
The worms that come out are fat and stout.

Not the best place to ask I imagine but... Does anyone know which Pouges song these lyrics were from? (it might have been more of an intro to the song rather than actual lyrics as they have never come up on a search)

"to compost waste right at the source."` (2)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 years ago | (#41566109)

Errr, the toilet isn't the "source".

Although that would be an innovation worth posting on Slashdot: parasitic intestinal worms engineered to turn faeces into compost in vivo.

Re:"to compost waste right at the source."` (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566435)

Or nanobot worms engineered to utilize 100% of food ingested.

Re:"to compost waste right at the source."` (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41567079)

Or nanobot worms engineered to utilize 100% of food ingested.

how would that work though?? you'd get bigger and bigger every day??

Poo? (1)

Netssansfrontieres (214626) | about 2 years ago | (#41566579)

We're all grownups, many of us are nerds, technically literate and so are completely used to the idea of using reasonably long words for the precision they offer.

Can we please ban "pee" and "poo"? Always and forever.

True source (1)

slasho81 (455509) | about 2 years ago | (#41566649)

Use turd-eating worms to compost waste right at the source.

So why stop at the toilet? Push those worms up our butts and be done with it.

No wonder... (1)

dzfoo (772245) | about 2 years ago | (#41566947)

"Billions worldwide still don't have access to proper sanitation"

No toilets, but they are actively using Facebook?

Stupid language (1)

dzfoo (772245) | about 2 years ago | (#41566951)

Was the submission written by a 6 year-old?

Why is it that in a nerdy site like Slashdot, expressly dedicated to smart people, an article is written with childish words like "pee," "turd," and "poo"?

I'm in no way offended by the language, but by the lazy, crude, and idiotic way of using it. There are so many more intelligent ways to express oneself than using school-yard slang.

          -dZ.

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