Tom and Advanced Systems Composting

Installing the Composter for Composting Toilets

Last week, Glenn Nelson from Advanced Compositing Systems (ACS), made the trek from Whitefish, Montana to Bend, Oregon to deliver and install our blackwater composter. Earning the LBC Water Petal requires that all of the water on the Desert Rain property is collected as well as treated for use again and again. Having a system of composting toilets means that all of the backwater onsite will be treated, making it safe to reuse for landscape irrigation. (see graywater and blackwater permitting)


Tom and Advanced Systems Composting

The Phoenix Composting Toilet

ACS manufactures the Phoenix Composting Toilet out of rotationally molded polyethylene. The polyethylene used in the interior baffles is post-industrial recycled. The Phoenix Composting Toilet

How does the Composter work?

At first, the composting chamber is “charged” with wood shavings, peat moss, and water to provide an environment that will be conducive to biological decomposition. Waste, brought from the residences toilets to the composter via a vacuum system, will gradually build up in the tank and decomposes through the action of aerobic bacteria. The Desert Rain system will include vermicomposting – adding worms to aid the process. Within in the composting unit, there is shaft with tines that is rotated to mix the decomposing waste and ensuring adequate oxygenation.

Blackwater Composter

Closing the Loop

In the immediate future, the traditional water toilets will be replaced with vacuum toilets. We’re looking forward to seeing the first installed in the ADU so we can conduct some initial testing on the system. Then, it’ll be all systems go!

3 replies
  1. Chuck Warren says:

    Having moved from Oregon six months ago to the area near St. George, Utah I continue to refer builders and locals to Desert Rain House and LBC. We are in the process to soon break ground on our home and consider your achievements and trials supremely important. The haunting issue remains that going outside of the box is so costly and time consuming. Thank you for a new vision!

    • Sweet Pea Cole says:

      Thank you, Chuck. We certainly understand the challenges of going outside the box, but believe the end result and the long-term effects are well worth it. Please keep us posted as your project progresses.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Installing the Phoenix composting system was a huge mile stone for us. You can read more about how this component will  compost and treat our blackwater here. […]

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