Dry Compost Toilets
Living in the desert requires that we practice wise use of water as a primary ethic and design directive. Flush toilet systems are extremely wasteful of clean water resources, consequently - we are using dry compost toilet systems.
These systems collect the manure in a collection zone beneath the toilet, and the material is covered with wood chips/sawdust after each use - the "flush" equivalent in our system. Material breaks down into soil over a period of 6-8 months. We have found that leaving gaps in our brick chamber below the toilet also helps to speed decomposition as nearby desert trees get their roots into the composting material to extract moisture and nutrients.
When one side of a toilet is full, it is closed and use switches to the other side - thus the 'double drop' design.
A black chimney pipe acts as a solar chimney, creating an air draw so that opening the toilet is associated with minimal smell for users when the chamber is properly sealed.
We have currently two of these toilets in operation, but only single chamber, so they are closed for a period of 6-8 months when full to allow full decomposition. Our future toilets will be the double drop systems.