While we’re getting the new site posted….

September 23rd, 2011

Here’s a video of installing a Villa 110-volt ecotoilet. It’s been on the site for awhile, but some folks told us they couldn’t open it easily.

As always, call or write Ecovita with any questions about installing our toilet solutions.


Watch online: Separett Villa 110-volt ecotoilet installation

Installing a waterless trap-less urinal

August 30th, 2010

(This is also part 2 of “What to do with a leaking (other brand) composting toilet.)

A few years back, Ecovita started carrying very simple waterless urinals for our urine-diverting toilet customers.

Villa Listed in Top 10 Green Products: Read about it!

July 9th, 2009

Sustainable Industries

Villa_croppedSustainable Industries magazine’s piece on its Top Green Building Products for 2009 is now on its Web site: [click here]
(The report is 22 pages and might take awhile to download)

Eco-toilets for boats: A liveaboard nautical engineer’s report

July 8th, 2009

NaturesHead-openWondering about using a composting toilet on a boat?

Customer Chris Melo wrote a report for us on the advantages of living with a urine-diverting composting toilet on his boat. Chris lives year-round (except when he’s captaining schooners in the Caribbean) on his 35-foot Alberg sailboat. Other than the bathroom at his office on land, his composting toilet is his only toilet. 

Download this report on his experience: [NaturesheadOnBoat]

Additive container

July 7th, 2009

At the local Ace Hardware store today, we saw this ice bucket on sale for $9.99:

Compost additive containerAlthough a little small, this enamel-painted bucket with handy scoop would be a great container for keeping composting toilet additive next to the toilet.

Composting toilet additive isn’t critical for urine-diverting toilets, but many owner-operators use it.
More later on our favorite composting toilet additives.

How to fix a leaking (other brand) composting toilet: Pt. 1 of 5

July 7th, 2009

Many who call us at Ecovita report they have composting toilets that aren’t keeping up with liquids. After dealing with a swampy composting toilet, these callers see the value of diverting urine from the composter.

Here, we will detail ways to deal with a too-wet composting toilet, using a real-life example:

Humus toiletEva was given an older but never-used Humus 90 composting toilet to use as a toilet for a few workers and visitors to at her gardens. For the past two years, the toilet has leaked brown liquid. (We call this leachate.)

This toilet actually worked pretty well when I first saw it in 2006. The Humus 90 was a decent model in its day: Nice and large, with a strong heater and fan. (The Humus 90 later changed designs and was ultimately renamed “Biolet”–aka “Mulltoa” in Europe and another name in Canada.)

Many of our customers replace their composting toilets with a urine-diverting composting toilet from Ecovita. However, although we at Ecovita love to sell our toilets, we hate to see a big piece of plastic wasted. 

Here’s what to do if you are in the same situation:

1. Check to see if the fan and heater are working.
If you can’t hear a fan, place a burning incense stick or smoking match in the toilet and check to see that the smoke goes up Continue reading »

How to: Avoid build-up

July 3rd, 2009

ThoseNastyRings2Villa owner Mark Tillack asks how to avoid the build-up of urine sediments around the drain. He has a 2002-era Villa. He attaches this photo. 

Answer: Pour water–preferably hot–with some vinegar down your urine drain periodically to break up any urine sludge that builds up. Urine sludge is common even in urinals. It is the minerals in your urine adhering to the walls of the pipe. 

The best way to avoid it is to:

1. Make sure your urine drain is sloped as much as possible.

2. Flush the urine drain periodically with water and vinegar. The vinegar’s acid will break the bonds of the salts and minerals. 

Continue reading »

Growaway Gardens manage urine

July 1st, 2009

Urine garden 
Wondering what to do with urine if you’re not interested in collecting it for direct application?

A Growaway Garden is a garden specially engineered to growaway urine’s nitrogen ecologically and in a contained planter, so no nitrogen discharges to the ground.  A system like this, especially if it is lined with plastic, can help you get permits for your system.

Ecovita will feature free plans here on the Web site soon.

Do-It-Yourself Privy Kit plans updated

July 1st, 2009

Pat and Privy Kit

We conducted another composting toilet workshop, so we updated our free online plans for making your own very simple composting toilet with a Privy Kit. Go to the Privy Kit page or download Privy Kit Baja Box Directions.

We call it the Baja Box, because it was designed for one of Ecowaters’ first workshops in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

The workshop was hosted by Pat Keaney (of Green Grease Monkeys), who installed a Baja Box toilet in his basement after our talk at his permaculture workshop in his home last year. Pat and his eco-toilet are shown above.

Why the basement? Many renters tell us they want a composting toilet but are unable to change their bathrooms. The basement is often a place with extra space and it has an easy way to vent the toilet: through the small windows near the ceiling.

Villa chosen “Top 10 Green Building Products”

July 1st, 2009

The Separett Villa was chosen as one of Sustainable Industries Magazine’s “Top 10 Green Building Products” for 2009! Read about it here.

We are honored that one of our favorite magazines chose the Villa. Editor Charles Redell told us: “The Villa is certainly a less conventional product compared to the products we chose, but we felt it was something the building industry needs to know about.”

More to come!

Ecovita customer report in The Los Angeles Times!

July 1st, 2009

Ecovita customer Susan Carpenter is a reporter at The Los Angeles Times. Recently, to respond to California’s drought, she purchased a Privy Kit from Ecovita. Taking a cue from our photos of customer installations, she purchased a ready-made wooden box from Orchard Home Supply and inserted the Privy Kit, with a container inside (Susan didn’t have a photo for us…). She writes about her experience here:

THE REALIST IDEALIST: Taking the Plunge with a Composting Toilet

A Villa on the Road

June 15th, 2009

The biodiesel-powered, eco-toilet serving Wander Bus

Justin Fisher of Panda Paddles installed a Villa 12-volt in his biodiesel-powered bus. 

He and his partner drove the bus across the United States, using the Villa as their only toilet on the road. 

Justin spent the winter on the bus and reports that everything froze in the bus but the toilet!

Read about it here.

Pee On Earth Day is June 21!

June 1st, 2009

PeeOnEarth copy Pee on Earth Day is June 21 (and Dec. 21 in the eastern hemisphere). 

(Ecovita’s Carol Steinfeld was interviewed by Dublin’s News Talk radio show!)

Wherever you are, this is a day to put your urine back into the earth to recycle water and nutrients. 
Nourish plants with your urine’s nitrogen and phosphorus. 
Skip using drinking water for flushing!
PEECYCLE either directly or by depositing your contribution in a container you take outside and apply to:
— Fluffy soil, bark mulch or forest floor (not pavement) 
— Your composter or compost pile (makes brown leaves and woodchips compost faster)
— Or, diluted it with 9 parts water to 1 part urine, around plant roots

Dilute and distribute: Lots of urine deposited in one spot on your lawn can result in nitrogen burn,

(And, yes, we’ll have the bumper sticker available soon!)

More mentions in the media

May 30th, 2009

Ecovita recently was noted in several publications and affiliated blogs, including: 

The Lowell Sun, Popular Mechanics, The Christian Science Monitor, and World Changing

New Ecovita office powered by sun and wind

May 19th, 2009

Cotuit SolarAfter two years on historic Fish Island in New Bedford (Mass.), and four years in historic Concord (Mass.) before that, we moved Ecovita again. This time we’re in the solar- and wind-powered building that also houses Cotuit Solar at 3800 Route 28, Cotuit, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.

Moving to Cotuit Solar required moving some boats to make way for our stock of toilets and urinals for 2009. We’re still getting settled, but come visit to see the best selection of urine-diverting eco-toilets in North America. It’s best to call first, as we’re often on the road: 978-318-7033.  We’re right next to Pecks Boats.

Conrad Geyser of Cotuit Solar has long been an advocate of urine-diverting toilets. He even makes them out of wood and fiberglass. Conrad’s set-up, whereby he stores urine and combines it with water to irrigate and fertilize his verdant and very productive gardens, is featured in Liquid Gold: The Lore & Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants.

Traveling along Route 28, you’ll know you’re near our building when you see a wind turbine, usually spinning, in the sky.

Conrad climbs the 100' high wind turbine at Ecovita

Cotuit Wind Turbine in motion

Cape Cod has long had problems with nitrogen pollution of its ponds and bays. Local state representative Matt Patrick has been calling on the state to recognize urine-diverting toilets as a viable way to divert and manage the most easily targeted source of that nitrogen: human urine.

We are setting up at least two demonstration systems at our new offices. More on that later.

Ecovita noted in The New York Times

March 1st, 2009


“Yellow is the New Green” proclaims the headline of an opinion piece by Rose George for The New York Times. Read it here

Writing in recognition of World Water Week, she extolls the value of urine diversion and quotes Ecovita co-founder Carol Steinfeld. 

She is author of The Big Necessity, a compendium of vignettes about the often-hidden world of wastewater.