The Nature's Head Composting toilet comes mostly together in it's box when ya buy it - but there were a few things to put together, experience and learn to really understand how this thing works (good and bad!). It's not something that takes alot of thought or requires heavy installation skills - but at the same time a composting toilet does require you to be aware of where your "solids and liquids" will end up... there will come a time when it needs to be emptied and realistically it takes more care & effort then a flush away toilet.
The style of Nature's Head composting potty is much in the light of a simple humanure system, except you got all the fancy look of a regular toilet, a built in system for venting, fan and ease of separating pee from poop. The first step to beginning to use it is to fill the "solid" catch container with peat moss (they say you can use other organic materials such as crushed leaves etc also) ---> So I went ahead and filled it up a few inches with the slightly moist peat moss.This will start the composting process, and according to the company when you empty it you leave behind some of that stuff cause it continues the process from then on. Now, as terrible as it might seem, I went ahead and start pooping in it BEFORE i even vented it... since I live alone and was (mainly) the only one using it I had the luxury of testing it's basic capacity to hold back stink ---> having used a humanure toilet in Big Sandy Mush I wasn't too afraid since I knew regardless that composting process does start and generally it doesn't smell any worse then a typical bathroom.
And honestly, there was virtually no smell coming from this thing... until you lifted the lid, and it still wasn't as rank as say an outhouse or a public bathroom. Pretty mild.For Venting ::: A fairly large hole the size of the tube opening had to be drilled into the wall so that the vent tubing could be attached to an outside vent contraption called a "mushroom vent". I was told the higher up you go with your vent the better smell will be held down, so I gave that thing a good stretch!
This silver thing (in the pic below) on the outside of the house is the "mushroom vent", i think named after it's shape and not because anything freaky will be growing on it. My good friend Noelle helped me install that part cause at first it baffled me.
OK, so all was going well and cool, until something REALLLLLLLY horrible disgusting happened!!!!!!!!!
The lil' urine container is kinda opaque and my bathroom for the time being in kinda dark. You can see slightly into the tank to measure when it's getting full but in the dark corner I had no idea it was topping over. When I finally at a glance saw that it looked 'almost' full I went ahead to dump it out.......
NOT realizing it was more then full & had just hit it's capacity at the top, filling up into the draining part of the toilet - when i took the toilet apart to open the lid and casually pull out the little urine holder the URINE EXPLODED, SPiLLeD out like a waterfall into the bucket that holds the container!!!!! THEN onto the floor! and on my hands!!
BLECh blech bleCh......
If the smell and experience wasn't bad enough....
When i started undoing the bolts to take the secondary container out to for washing off, the freaking bolts would fall off RIGHT into the overspill puddle of urine!! Gawd and Babee Jezuz!!!!
I do not like what Dr. Ruth's Encyclopedia Of Sex calls "water sports", AKA I know with 100% certainty now I have no fetish for my friends or my own urine - and in fact I became the most not tough, grossed out, girl of all time. There was alot of screaming, closing my eyes, and wishing for a coma to hit me during these moments... I mean hey - I was splashed with, washing up, and hands dabbed in mixed bag urine. (See below my most psychotic 'get me outta here' face eva'!)
Anywho, what i did was wash the bajezzus out of the floor and container with apple cider vinegar and baking soda and hot water. That way everything would be clean before it was put back together, cause otherwise there may be the start of a permanent stink anytime moisture would touch it.
I learned my first big lesson for composting toilets ---> MAKE SuRe the urine level doesn't overflow!!! As for the solids in the back container, they are not stinking and doing just rad. There is a cool little handle to turn them around and around (stirring up the contents for better composting) - I do this pretty often and after each time I use it since I have yet to even hook up the inner fan in da' potty! OI!
Would I have my eco toilet choice any other way?