Well, for the first time ever, the family farm has running water to the living quarters. The contractors are still working, but as of Tuesday evening the kitchen taps were functional. No more filling pails for indoor use, no more carrying them to the house from the old pump all through winter. Part of the 20th century, and it only took to the end of the first decade of the 21st century.
Soon, if it isn't done by now, the plumber will work on the toilet. I am happy about all but this.
Flushing toilets are perhaps the most bothersome aspect of modern civilization. Indeed, higher population concentrations have always had troubles dealing with their own bodily wastes. In an effort to inhibit pathogens from continuing to cause death (an obviously worthy endeavor) we have harnessed yet another limited resource, perhaps the most vital... naturally occurring fresh water.
As most of us now know, flushing our toilets is the largest use of fresh water in our homes. Such use commits this water to long periods of time in toxic conditions and introduces these toxins back into the water table before there has been time to remove them naturally. As well, in order to reduce the amount of water sitting in holding lagoons, this water is processed out of the lagoons, sterilized by harsh chemicals, and then sent back into the drinking water supply to be re-used.
Mmmmm chlorine water....
If we only had a balanced outlook on our own wastes, much of this situation could be fixed. Composting toilets DO require a bit more effort and care, but the reward is huge. We could re-engineer our water and sewage infrastructure in a far more sustainable and healthy manner, as well as properly reintroduce vital nutrients and healthy soil building matter to our environment. Humanure (a word coined by a dude whose name I cannot remember just now and which I don't have time to find again), once composted (preferably vermi-composted), is one of the finest fertilizers around. If there is a concern about remaining pathogens, it can be used for non-fruit or nut bearing trees, although properly composted humanure is toxin and pathogen free.
I can't believe we used to dig all those damn outhouse holes, when all we really needed was a bucket chamber and carbon material such as peat moss (which is all over the bottom of the lake/slough), chopped straw (which we always had plenty of), or wood shavings/sawdust (which we also had plenty of due to two wood stoves). In that case, ignorance WASN'T bliss, it was harder work, more dangerous.
So in closing,
Don't hide from your shit!!*
*Note: This is good advice for more than just bodily waste.
2 weeks ago