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3800 Rre. 28, Marstons Mills, MA 02648

24 William Street, New Bedford, MA 02740


Urine-Diverting Toilet
Frequently Asked Questions
Capacity Unpleasant odors Flies Ventilation
Urine waste Maintenance Authorities Other

How often should the toilet be emptied?
If 4 people are using the toilet on a daily basis, then a container will last about 1 month –longer if it is only men using the toilet, shorter if it is only women (using paper each visit).
For a normal summer cottage, 2 or 3 containers will suffice. Additional containers can be purchased if required. If the toilet is being used more frequently during a short period, solid waste bags may prove necessary.

One way to extend the capacity of the container is to dispose of toilet paper in another container.

What are the differences between the different models?
Villa has the most powerful fan and therefore dries solid waste quickest. The Villa fan can also cope with longer venting pipes containing several bends. Three solid waste/compost containers are supplied as standard.
Weekend has a slightly less powerful fan. Two solid waste/compost containers are supplied as standard.
Chalet is a little special, as it has compact external dimensions and has no fan (unless you purchase the optional fan kit or add your own).

The Privy Kit is a low-price alternative.

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Are there unpleasant odors indoors?
No. As long as the venting pipe is properly sealed with silicone, there will be no unpleasant odors in the room.

Are there unpleasant odors outdoors?
Because the urine and feces are not mixed, there is never any latrine-type odor from a urine-diverting toilet. A certain amount of odor may be present, however, when and shortly after the toilet is used. If the venting can be routed to the back of the house, it is usually suffice to just route it straight through the wall. If the venting pipe must be routed through the gables or to the front of the house, it should be extended upwards or routed through the roof.

Are there unpleasant odors from the soakaway?
No. The urine is so diluted that any odors are completely removed.

Must the urine waste pipe contain a U-bend?
Usually not. The faint odor that may come from the urine waste hose is drawn out through the venting pipe with the aid of the fan.

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Are flies a problem with these toilets?
Problems with flies are uncommon with Separett toilets. However, flies may enter the toilet if you leave it for a week or so with the fan switched off and the container still in place. The fan should always be operational. If flies do get in to the toilet, change or empty the container, clean it thoroughly, and use fly spray on the toilet and container several times during the following week to remove any remaining larvae. If you leave and turn off the fan, place a cover on the inner container.

Dusting the feces with a mixture of soil-less growing media (available at all garden stores), diatomaceous earth and/or wood ash will deter flies.

Of all of the waterless composting toilets we have tried in the Ecovita office, we have had the least trouble with Separett toilets (1 fly siting in 1 year!).

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Should the fan operate continually?
Yes. This keeps the housing dry and extends the lifetime of the fan. If the fan is switched off for a longer period, remove the container or place the lid on it. Otherwise, it is easy for flies to enter and lay eggs.

Is the fan noisy?
No, but Villa sounds more than Weekend. If the toilet is to be installed against a bedroom wall, Weekend is the preferred choice.

Which is the best method for routing the venting pipe, through the roof or straight through the wall?
It is always easier to go straight through the wall, although straight vents are preferable. When routing the venting pipe through the roof, the work is more difficult, as is ensuring good seals. Remember not to route the venting pipe to the house entrance or other places where people gather.

How much airflow does the fan create?
There is no simple answer to this question because the airflow is very dependent on the length of the venting pipe and the number of bends it contains.

Does the venting pipe need insulating?
Villa and Weekend have condensation collectors and therefore do not need to be insulated. Chalet – using free-blowing ventilation or a fan – must have insulated venting pipes.

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Is a longer hose available?
Yes, but a pipe is preferable. With a hose, it is difficult to ensure a drop for the entire length. Wastewater pipes with a diameter of 2 inches (50 mm) or 3 inches (75 mm) are a better choice.

Does the urine waste freeze in the winter?
Not under normal circumstances. Urine freezes at about -5 C. Ensure that the urine waste pipe has a drop along its entire length. It may also be a good idea to insulate the piping sections that run outdoors.

How can I make a simple soakaway?
Fill a ditch measuring about 0.5 cubic metres with large stones. Cover the hole with soil.

Am I allowed to connect the urine waste hose to the domestic wastewater system?
The regulations vary within and between states. Contact the relevant local authorities (health, building, environmental, etc.) for details.

How steep a drop must the urine waste pipe have?
It is important that the urine waste pipe drops along its entire length. A steeper downward drop lessens the risk for deposit build-up.

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Do I ever have to add anything?
No. The contents of the container should be left to dry and decompose.

Does the toilet function well for women?
Yes. The urine bowl has been tried and tested by both older and younger women to ensure that the urine is separated into the right place.

Does the toilet function well for small children?
Yes. Urine-diverting child seats are available as an optional extra. Our experience shows that children quickly learn how to sit correctly.

Which type of toilet paper should I use?
You can use normal toilet paper.

Does the toilet function in cold rooms?
Yes. Separett toilets are not temperature dependent.

Can I use decomposable bags?
No. Decomposition begins as soon as the toilet is used.

Can I use bags in the container?
If you'd like. All our toilets are supplied with bags in order to simplify cleaning the container.

Can the toilet tolerate freezing temperatures?
Yes. However, at very low temperatures you need to be extra careful, as the plastic becomes more brittle.

How do I compost the feces?
Add a few shovels of soil to the container. If the content is dry, dampen it with a little water. Allow the container to stand with the lid slightly open for six months. Note, however, that this composting method does not produce ready-to-use soil. What actually happens is that the bacteria in the soil "consume" the fecal bacteria, thereby rendering the compost harmless. Toilet paper can still be seen after six months, but will rapidly disappear when the contents are buried. If you want, you can continue to compost the content in a normal composting bin, a garden compost heap, or a pile of leaves. If the last container becomes full before the first container has stood the full time, the first container can be emptied into a normal composting bin.

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Do I need to obtain permission from the authorities before installing the toilet?
Yes. Unless you don't.
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Can I install the toilet myself?
Yes. There are not usually any problems for the average DIY-interested person.

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