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Human urine in compost pile

 
Posts: 35
Location: Colbert, WA
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Is it "okay" to urinate directly into a compost pile?
 
Posts: 131
Location: Lemon Grove, CA
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yes!!! Unless you take some heavy medication you don't want to end up in your soil. Otherwise, a great way to add nitrogen = heating up to your pile.
 
Posts: 50
Location: Dallas TX
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This thread contains a lot of good information on urine as a valuable resource:
http://www.permies.com/t/722/organic-sustainable-practices/urine-sterile-but
 
gardener
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Location: Clarkston, MI
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Geoff Lawton reccomends this in his Soils DVD, as human urine can help inocculate your compost with lots of benificial goodies. To avoid being on a sex offenders list I use a jug instead of "directly applying" if you get my drift.
 
Posts: 183
Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
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I pee on my piles every chance I get.
 
Thom Foote
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Location: Colbert, WA
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Thank you all for your quick, helpful replies. I appreciate ur-in-ate sense of sharing.
 
                        
Posts: 66
Location: San Diego
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If you have privacy at your compost pile why not? Otherwise save it in a jug and pour it on. Remember that the nitrogen is present largely as amonia so it's a good idea to use a fork to remove a layer of compost, use the urine and replace the compost on top of it. If you pee only at the surface the amonia will pass into the air before the bacteria and fungi can fix it into the compost.
 
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My dh and I save most of our urine in 2 liter soda bottles then dilute 1:10 with water. It is a fantastic fertilizer! I did an experiment this spring with some Impatiens in pots out front. I fed two pots with the "Magic Elixir" (our pet name for it) and two pots with nothing. All pots were planted up with a high quality mix. With-in one week the two pots that we used the M.E. on were growing like a wildfire while the two pots we used nothing on just sat there. It was amazing and I think made my dh a true blue believer in the wonderful properties of urine.
 
Posts: 484
Location: Englehart, Ontario, Canada
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By all means use urine, see the humanure handbook for any questions. If you have concerns there is too much nitrogen just add more browns, they are rarely in short supply.
 
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I set up a pile in a specific spot and encourage all farm visitors to go urinate on it. The same as I've set up a very nice humanure bucket area for the use of visitors who may not be accustomed to using anything other than porcelain civilization killers. I encourage everyone who shows up to make a "deposit in the soil bank of Ernie". Repeat visitors can take home their earned interest in the form of some fresh veggies.

Some studies have indicated that there is very little nitrogen loss from cattle urine falling into fluffy carbon material such as straw and wood chips.
 
steward
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If the compost will be used to grow food crops for market, I recommend NOT urinating in the compost heap. If word gets out, it will shut you down.
 
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Location: Bosque Village
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I think I have a workable way to use urine in your gardens without wasting any water or creating smell.
It will also reduce the liquid load in your composting toilets.

There certainly is no need to mix fresh water with urine!

Read here:  https://www.quora.com/What-is-a-pee-garden/answer/Brian-Fey

 
Posts: 84
Location: zone 6a, ish
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I've been wondering this for a while--does anyone have a list (even a rough one) of what drugs/ drug metabolites might be bad for a compost pile (or soil in general)?  Probably birth control pills have some effect on the higher organisms, but what about other common classes of drugs like statins or anti-inflammatories?  I'm not currently on anything, but my dad takes blood pressure medication and I wonder if him using my fruit trees as a urinal will have any long-term consequences.  (I've tried googling to no avail, and I don't know enough about medications or the complexities of soil biology to even start researching what concentrations or total accumulation would have to be present to affect anything.)
 
Posts: 78
Location: Athens, GA Zone 8a
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S Tonin wrote:I've been wondering this for a while--does anyone have a list (even a rough one) of what drugs/ drug metabolites might be bad for a compost pile (or soil in general)?  Probably birth control pills have some effect on the higher organisms, but what about other common classes of drugs like statins or anti-inflammatories?  I'm not currently on anything, but my dad takes blood pressure medication and I wonder if him using my fruit trees as a urinal will have any long-term consequences.  (I've tried googling to no avail, and I don't know enough about medications or the complexities of soil biology to even start researching what concentrations or total accumulation would have to be present to affect anything.)



Does anyone have an answer for this? I take an antidepressant. Will that hurt my soil if I pour my pee on it? I don't have to worry about my partner's blood pressure meds and such because I wouldn't dare ask him to pee on the garden. (He thinks I'm weird enough as it is.)

Does anyone with chemistry background have any advice for us on how to determine if a particular drug in our urine might be not so good for the garden?

 
pollinator
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Hi Diane,

Hate to say it, but if your on medication, urine for a surprise. On a more serious note, every compound is different, but it's safe to say: any medications a person is currently taking, will typically end up in their compost and or soil, if that fliud waist is added as fertalizer. Depending on the medication, this may have undesirable effects on soil biology, but more importantly, the potential for build up of those medications into the food crops, being grown with that compost or soil. Depending on how or what those compounds break down into, and how they interact with the plant, means it may have the potential to interact with some plants, as an accumulator.

I mean we all know food is medicine, but under less then ideal circumstances, that could have the potential for serious side effects.

This is of course, for educational purposes only, and isn't intended to treat or diagnose, any illness, disease or condition.

Hope that helps!

 
gardener
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Wow -- this thread is an oldie-goldie.

Yes.  Pee away.  

Human urine has an NKP ratio of 12-1-2 (source unknown).  All that N is perfect for keeping a pile hot and breaking down the carbon therein.
 
Diane Kistner
Posts: 78
Location: Athens, GA Zone 8a
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R. Steele wrote:Hate to say it, but if your on medication, urine for a surprise. On a more serious note, every compound is different, but it's safe to say: any medications a person is currently taking, will typically end up in their compost and or soil, if that fliud waist is added as fertalizer. Depending on the medication, this may have undesirable effects on soil biology, but more importantly, the potential for build up of those medications into the food crops, being grown with that compost or soil. Depending on how or what those compounds break down into, and how they interact with the plant, means it may have the potential to interact with some plants, as an accumulator.



Goodness. Makes me wonder about what's happening with the septic tank, too. We're poisoning the planet....

 
Posts: 203
Location: NNSW Australia
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Data suggests that urban sewerage and unregulated drug production facilities are the main culprits.
And anti-depressants are both so common and powerful that they're affecting the central nervous system of many species of fish.
The concentrations of cocaine in the Rhine and Thames rivers have made a splash in the news in recent years.

But I doubt studying downstream leakage of medicinal compounds from compost/septic/greywater systems has been adequately investigated.

From what we know about a composts ability to denature 99% of unwanted compounds, it is likely one of the best solutions for detoxifying excretions - though it could be improved with a first-pass through a myco-remediation patch which you wouldn't eat from.

-

What is known for sure is that urinary tract infections can be passed through urine (sometimes without noticeable symptoms) and the concentration of nitrogen and salt is highly variable according to hydration and diet.
 
gardener
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Joe lists research on different chemicals reaction to hot compost in the Humanure Handbook. Some meds are greatly reduced or eliminated while others are not.
 
pioneer & author
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Is it "okay" to urinate directly into a compost pile?

from Thom Foote

While I'm hanging out here I thought I would update myself on the current studies related to human urine.   I think it is quite a significant topic for backyard composters.  I know this question has been answered previously but sometimes things change in the light of new research. In this instance there is indeed a small change in accepted knowledge.

The answer to the above question is emphatically YES.  Contemporary studies indicate that human urine is non-toxic.  People in some areas of the world may be culturally averse to urinating directly onto the heap, but it is the best way because the warmth imparted from the human body will encourage composting processes.  

Previously accepted science suggested that human urine was almost 100% sterile but with new methods it was subsequently found that human urine was not sterile but still non-toxic.

 
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