sewage question : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

i live in a townhome community that is about 5 years old. We called the health department and found out that we have a cap on our sewage pipe that would prevent back-up. Is that enough to prevent methane gas build up? On another thread, someone mentioned the possibility of having your house condemmend because of sewage problems. This is no little thing. We are preparing to stay here. Need some valid answers. Thanks.

-- madeline (, January 03, 1999


I kinda suspect that the Lords of the Manor would be to busy with their own problems re: survival. People can become very inventive when it comes time. Basic common sense and sanitary skills will be prime if the situation turns to the worst case. Consider purchasing some useful survival books such as The Boy Scout Handbook, or go online and search under survival etc. If nothing else happens we will all have a different perspective regarding this Blue Earth and the question might be asked...Should I put so much trust in Government and other nimkompoops?

-- Mark Hillyard (, January 03, 1999.

Have no fear from being ousted from your abode because of no toilet facilities. No sewage for you would most likely mean no sewage for anyone. Where is everyone to go is the guestion, in more ways than one.

Dig *two* pits, each large enough for your family for a year. Use one for the first year and then switch, allowing the first one to age the second year. At the end of second year dig out the first one, now inert fertile compost good for your garden, and switch again.

After each use, spread it around so as not to form a heap. Then cover with straw, sawdust, leaves, or other oxygen containers. Cover anything that smells and do not disturb once in place. This hinders the "burn" action of the composting. Once the burn raises to a certain level in the heap, mixing what is below into the fresher stuff only slows the action down.

Cheap and easy is a porta-potti and (rv type) chemical reduction for storage in a 55 gal drum until its able to be disposed of when (if) things return to normal.

Flushing your toilet with pool or other water would work until the entire downline system filled from by everyone else doing the same. It may not completely fill if there are stand pipes/manholes/etc. at a lower level than you. The people at those levels may have the real problems. In our situation, I see the large trench cut in the land and used by the Thruway as being the lowest point. It might get real slippery on that road. :-)


-- Floyd Baker (, January 03, 1999.

Floyd: That is my point exactly: When people fill up the sewage lines, will there be a danger of your home having methane gas build- up? Another question is, we are looking for a self-contained means of sanitation disposal. We are staying in a surburban area that is pretty populated. Composting toilets are very expensive. Am I the only person hesitant of having to go outside to dump waste?

-- madeline (, January 03, 1999.

Methane probably wouldn't be any more of a problem than it is now. The sewers are always filled with it anyway. As far as the stuff building up a pressure, it should go where it always goes. No doubt out through those stand pipes and man holes. It seems to be the consensus on the forum that solids backing up could be a problem. There is inline reverse flow prevention in homes but the incoming line might also be plugged with a ball device made for the job or perhaps just remove the toilet(s) and put a plate over the pipe opening. I personally am not too concerned about this kind of worry. It seems it would be easy enough to deal with if and when it became necessary. Like I said before, I have bags of concrete in the garage.

I am also in a resedential area. My entire lot it about 60 by 100. In the back yard is a garage and a 20 dia pool with decks on each end. I'll still have a decent garden 3-4 feet in from the fence all along the three sides of the back yard and a coupld of other spots. A portable camp toilet is about $70.00 in Kmart and other stores. I already have the chemicals and the waste barrels if I need them. An RV pack of three small bottles is enough to treat 120 gallons of waste. I think that take some doing to use up but I'm still leaning toward the compost toilet instead.

That would be home built and not too expensive at all. Just dig a hole. Add a bench with a hole and lid and enclose it for privacy. Try and find an area in your yard, perhaps next to a garage, that could be made to look like a small shed. The biggest concern would be to make the covering over the hole air tight so that when the lid was down it wouldn't emit any odors.

I think a post hole digger would be the most effective means to dig such a hole. It really doesn't take much effort to get down four feet and you can just do a bunch of these holes in a small area and then break down the dirt between them. Of course you need to do this before winter sets in. Best in the spring when the ground is the softest.

I'll keep it a low profile project but if needed, my neighbors will all be in the same situation. When I show them what can be done, I'll be a hero. :-)

BTW. Anyone know if wood shavings can be used in place of sawdust? A caring but off center sister-in-law bought us a 2.8 cu. ft. compacted bag of wood shavings for our gerbil to play in. I just recently became glad she did.


-- Floyd Baker (, January 04, 1999.

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