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Renewed Interest in Urine Diversion and Eco Toilets

Dan Tritle

Excessive nitrogen from wastewater has significantly degraded our coastal embayment’s, estuaries, and ponds.

Last Summer the MASS Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) created new Nitrogen Sensitive Areas in Barnstable County. As part of those regulations, MassDEP created a voluntary watershed permit program for towns across Cape Cod to demonstrate how they’ll reduce nitrogen pollution.

One of the reasons many communities have been slow to reduce nitrogen pollution are the steep costs of sewering and alternative septic systems. Once on the fringe, Urine Diversion and Eco toilets are seeing renewed interest because of their low costs.

Does the state allow for the adoption of Urine diversion toilets as method to reduce nitrogen? If not, why? And if Urine diversion toilets become part of the wastewater solution, what do we do with all the urine?

We talk wastewater with-
Brian Baumgaertel- Senior Environmental Specialist with the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment, and Director of the Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center.

Bryan Horsley- Project assistant at the Mass Alternative Septic System Test Center. He's currently studying how to use urine collected from no mix toilets.

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