In Paul's latest podcast, the subject of men peeing in the sink was brought up, with a view to saving water as I recall...
I'd like to give a woman's opinion on some downsides to the practice!!!
In my experience, men who pee (or tip their pee bottles) down the sink, don't tip it straight down the plughole - they tip it down the sides of the sink first. They also decide to economise on water to the extent that they make no attempt whatsoever to rinse the pee off. This means that before long, like a few minutes as the water evaporates and the urea becomes concentrated, - YOUR SINK WILL STINK!!! And, as the sink always seems to be the one you want to brush your teeth in, this means that your first task in the morning is to scrub out the sink else half way through brushing your teeth you will suddenly feel rather ill and probably throw up down said sink, which will then need an even more thorough clean. But the sponge you scrub the sink out with will then need to be hidden from the rest of the family who will otherwise attempt to wash either themselves or the tea-cups with it. Our sink is a pretty basic one with a straight tube draining the waste water away, but if you have one with a u-tube thingie fitted, it will always retain some pee no matter how much water you use in a futile attempt to rinse it out, and every time you approach the sink your stomach will clench in fear of the stench that will rise from the plug hole as you reach for your toothbrush.
So please, if you men must pee in the sink, DON'T TIP IT DOWN THE SIDE OF THE SINK, AND RINSE IT AFTERWARDS!!!
I'm not pee-phobic - I happily collect buckets of pee to compost, and fit sheath catheters, and use my she-wee to make donations to my compost heap, and I'm a hard-core humanure composter, but pee in the sink is more than I can deal with!!
The other place that men like to pee that didn't work out so good was a pee bale. I happily add pee to compost heaps, and pour it onto strawmulch to keep the hares away from my cabbages. But the one time we tried a pee bale for my wwoofer, when the time came for me to open up the bale and spread it as mulch, I nearly threw up. The smell was unbelievable! Handling clean straw and then pouring pee on it is fine, but handling pissy straw, even from the far end of a hay fork, was gross. And the bale was heavy, too, so I couldn't just pick it up on the end of the fork and throw it onto the compost.
For me, pee is best collected in lidded buckets, where the smell is contained, and then tipped on the compost. Or added direct to mulch around the garden. Or draining into gallon containers from catheters.
Agreed. And I'm a guy. I don't pee in sinks. It's disgusting, for the reasons you mentioned.
I don't get it. Emptying 5-gallon buckets of one's own poo & pee + sawdust into a dedicated outside compost bin once or twice a month is major ick, but pissing down the sink to smell it hours and days later is okey-dokey?
Not for me. The smell of emptying sawdust toilets lasts only a few minutes, a mild unpleasantness that quickly dissipates. Once the cover material is in place, the smell stops. Who wants to wash or drink from a sink that stinks of tink?
For my own daily use, I have a sawdust urinal in the garage. It's simply a 5-gallon bucket half full of sawdust/woodchip. Lift the lid, pee, replace lid. If the contents start smelling too pissy, or it's too wet, add more sawdust/woodchip. When 3/4 full, empty the bucket into a compost pile. Clean as needed.
Re the pee bale, from my limited experience with straw bale gardening, I think several bales would be needed for a season. Straw bales can hold an enormous amount of liquid, but it doesn't take much pee to make a big stink. Once they start stinking, pee bales should probably be busted up, heaped with greens and dirt, and composted in place, imo.
After reading my professor's (Philip Ackerman-Leist) book (Up Tunket Road) I became intrigued by the best possible methods for waste disposal two things I wll always remember from it are: 1. feces and urine must be separated and 2. the water in toilets does not just wash down waste, it actually creates a scowering action that washes free urine salts that can otherwise build up and clog plumbing lines. this is referring directly to the composting toilet designs which have a pee hole in the front to separate. Well what Philip found out was that without water scowering the pipes, the urine salts almost completely backed out the main draianage pipe (he caught it about 2 inches from the top). If anything this will encourage an idea like the one given above. A person (I dont know who) once said that the solution to pollution is dillution and theres a great deal of truth to that when it comes to pee. Getting the pee do a point where it can be easily disposed requires sawdust or straw or direct disposal like the OP (original poster) stated.
Interesting points. I hadn't thought about the u-shaped pipes retaining pee. As far as I am aware, the men in my house don't pee in the sink, but we practiced elimination communication with our second child and I did occasionally hold her over the sink to pee, or empty her little potty into the sink. We never had any trouble with smells or clogging, but I imagine a little baby doesn't produce as much pee as a grown man.
Foundsailor - you're right about the urine salts clogging up pipework. Occasionally I have deal with the old man's tube from his sheath catheter when it decides to clog up with salts, and I'm going to leave it to your wildest imagination to picture the scenario of me attempting to avert disaster when the thing fills up like a balloon and attempting to change the tube while not allowing the balloon to spill it's load all over everything. I'm not sure of the best way of cleaning the salt out, but I find caustic soda solution works reasonably well at getting the tubes usable again, but even so I end up having to buy new ones quite frequently. Flushing the tubes with water just doesn't seem to shift them once they have started to build up.
With pee buckets, the deposits do tend to build up but I find that if I rinse them and leave them out in the sun until they are bone dry I can then bash the buckets on the ground and the layer will crack and flake off. I usually add the flakes to the compost heap.
Burra Maluca wrote: I'm not sure of the best way of cleaning the salt out, but I find caustic soda solution works reasonably well at getting the tubes usable again, the compost heap.
Burra, If you haven't done it already, you may want to try a vinegar solution. The salts tend to be heavy in calcium, but I think they vary a bit depending on each person's physiology and diet. I have used vinegar with good success... but... the fumes make me wheeze.
As a former plumber of sort,(sometimes it's part of the HVAC job); I've acid cleaned and replaced many urnials that were plugged with urniary salts. Lack of water to flush and proper house keeping keep me in business.