Nature Loo USA

To Divert or Not to Divert

What happens to the urine?

Something that comes up a lot when comparing our toilets to others in the market is the question of urine diversion: is it necessary? Our composting toilets are not urine diverting, as a standard, so let’s explore why.

Many composting loos will claim that not diverting the urine from the waste will cause the compost to become too wet or the chamber to flood wreaking untold havoc on the delicate ecosystem within. And for those designs that may be true, however, ours are designed to compensate for this.

The liquid is an integral part of the composting process; without it, the compost will become too dry and the microbes within can dehydrate and die. While there is a liquid content in the solid waste being deposited, it is not nearly enough and often you’ll have to compensate by adding extra water to ensure it doesn’t become too dry. By choosing not to divert the urine, the compost is getting much-needed hydration directly. The urine is also a source of nitrogen that the bacteria break down as food, giving energy and life to your compost. 

Our systems are designed with double-walled chambers allowing excess liquid to drain away into a false floor and out through an excess-liquid drain. Most liquids that enter the chamber are absorbed immediately, but in the chance that the heap is already too wet (maybe you threw a party and more people than usual had to use the loo or maybe the weather has been especially damp)and liquid that doesn’t become a part of the compost will drain away before it can sit and cause problems. The installation of a fan, as well as keeping away unwanted odours, moves the air through the chamber removing a lot of the moisture particles. These designs help balance the environment within your composting chamber


Why would I want to divert urine away from my composting toilet?

Of course, you may still choose to divert the urine for use as fertilzer. This happens in the bathroom before the waste enters the chamber: we have a special porcelain pedestal that allows the liquid waste to drain to a predetermined outside chamber separate from the composting chamber. Here it can be diluted with water and used as a fertilizer. You will have to compensate for the lack of urine with some extra water now and then so your compost doesn’t dry out. Realistically, this should be the only reason you choose to divert. 

We’re undoubtedly in the camp of not diverting when you don’t need to because we’ve designed our systems so you don’t have to. Not diverting means less to worry about, easier installation, and generally better compost.

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