Letter Re: Sanitation Issues: Understanding Home Septic Systems

Jim: Regarding this letter: Sanitation Issues: Understanding Home Septic Systems, I have  a  few observations: When our family recently took a vacation to South America, we were instructed to throw all toilet paper, wet and dirty, into a waste can – even at the best hotels. By American standards, we found that pretty gross. I read that this is standard in many countries and greatly reduces the need for septic tank pumping – to once every 10 years instead of the recommended four  years. Although pumping is expensive, about $400 when we last had it done, that is a fraction …




Sew and Grow, Save and Recycle Your Way Into Preparedness – Part 1, by S.T.

As a society, we all rely upon a vast amount of manufactured products every day from canning jars and lids to dishes to pots and pans to toothpaste and dental floss. This list goes on and on. However, we can not forget that gasoline and diesel fuel and electricity are the most important manufactured items. Without these there will no longer be any other mass produced manufactured items made or delivered to a store near you. Every disposable item that you can now replace with reusable items will put you well ahead of the sheeple, save you money, and make …




Letter Re: Sanitation: Can You Burn It?

Dear Editors, Regarding the question: “Has anyone tried taking the poo and simply tossing it into a hot outdoor fire?” I can answer that question in the form of a personal reminiscence: When I was serving in Vietnam if someone screwed up our Platoon Sergeant would take the offending person in the morning to old papa-san. Papa-san’s job was to take the cut down 55 gallon drums out of the latrine pour some diesel fuel into them and then burn the contents. Papa-san’s face would light up with a huge grin as the offending troop was delivered to him for …




Letter Re: Sanitation Issues

Dear Hugh Some years ago I severely injured my back and could not access the bathroom, which was on another floor. I took one of those lightweight home hospital potties, put a plastic bag into the bucket part, and put a bag of loose pine sawdust kitty litter next to it. You use the bucket, sprinkle a cup of loose pine litter over it, no smell, no problem. And I do mean no smell. I had to sit right next to it for weeks. Do not use standard clay kitty litter, which is made of bentonite clay. Yes, it will …




Letter Re: Sanitation Considerations

HJL: It’s an interesting topic. I have designed a solution (bad pun), acquired most of the materials but have not gotten to the installation. My plan includes collecting from the gutter down spout barrels that have a tap about two thirds of the way down and on the bottom. A tiny pinch of alum goes in before you drain to the holding tank. Crud goes out the bottom tap. The holding tank from NORESCO has roughly the dimensions of a cabinet, so you can hide it under a work bench. A cap full of bleach goes in the holding tank. …




Letter Re: Sanitation Considerations

Mr. Latimer: Regarding the problem of smelly outhouses– Deuteronomy 23:13 directs us to “cover that which cometh from thee.” This can be done with soil, or with sawdust, straw, or other common materials. If this is done every time the pit privy is used, the foul odor is nearly eliminated, rendering it no worse than a properly-functioning compost pile. This will also help to reduce danger of contaminants leaching out into the water table. It also eliminates most of the fly problems. You will notice that this is the equivalent of a composting toilet, primitive style. However, there is no …




Sanitation Considerations for Long Term Emergency Situations- Part 2, by D.Q.

Latrine Alternatives There are many alternatives to using a latrine, all of which have positive and negative aspects to them. By far and away the best option of all is to have a septic system installed. This kind of system requires a substantial amount of space for its installation, and it can be somewhat costly. However, it is a well understood system that is commonly used throughout rural America. If you live in a house attached to a septic system, then you should have few worries. Portable Latrine. Another alternative is the use of portable latrines. These are typically used …




Letter Re: Grey Water for Toilets

Hugh, I have an idea to provide rain water for toilets when other water is not available. My thought is to place a small broad flatish tank (10 gallons or so) on the rafters in the attic above the bathroom. Then I would modify the vent through the roof to feed the tank and to still provide venting. When the tank is full, the rain would just flow over the “roof drain”. A sort of V shaped channel dam on the roof could divert additional water to the drain into the tank. There are many possible ways to fill the …




Sanitation Considerations for Long Term Emergency Situations- Part 1, by D.Q.

If you go out onto the Internet, whether it is YouTube, one of the many prepper websites, any of the preparedness forums, and so forth, you are always treated to a wealth of interesting and useful information. Information on food storage, bug out bags, fire starting, EDC reviews, and all sorts of other subjects are common, with the issues of food and clean water being the most important. While many would think personal defense is the next most important issue to be discussed, the truth of the matter is that the need to defend yourself is a potential and not …




Letter Re: Maintaining Your Household in the Post-SHTF World- Part 2

Hugh, This was an excellent article from S.T. Sanitation and cleanliness will become a major concern post SHTF. In his writings, JWR has commented on the advantage of having spring water on your property, and we can attest to that. Here’s how it works for us. Our spring is located up at the head of our holler up behind the house. It is piped into to a 500 gallon holding tank and that is piped down to the house. From there it feeds into a wood-fired water stove (hot water and baseboard heat) as well as all the faucets and …




An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure- Part 2, by L.W.

Clean Clothes The first line of defense in protecting the skin is your clothing. Protect the hands by always using gloves appropriate to the task at hand—medical gloves for caring for the sick and injured; heavy duty rubber gloves for washing dishes and a completely different set for bathroom cleaning; garden gloves; and leather work gloves. Beyond the gloves, we also need to use clothing to protect the rest of the body. The better covered the body, the better the defense. Understand that sunscreen will eventually run out or lose its efficacy, so protecting the skin from sunburn (and the …




An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure- Part 1, by L.W.

In 2007 the British Medical Journal polled doctors about what they considered to be the most important medical advance in modern history. While not necessarily a medical advance, clean water and sanitation—the number one answer in the survey—have undoubtedly prevented more early deaths than any other single advancement. The question for us is: What do we do to ensure we have clean water and to promote sanitation when TEOTWAWKI hits? The black plague killed over 75 million Europeans. Why? Rats and their fleas were the major source of spreading Yersinia Pestis– the cause of the black plague. Why were rats …




Letter Re: Shaving Problem/Solution

HJL, As we have been reminded this year in the Northwest and elsewhere, power outages can occur at any time for a variety of reasons (fires, floods, wind storms, snow, ice). As the utilities shutdown, electricity goes off. If we have been diligent, we have been getting ready to the best of our ability and means for at least short-term self sustainment. We have food, several gallons of water, and various supplies on hand. As I was updating the health and hygiene portion of being prepared I discovered that shaving could become a real problem for me. I have stocked …




A Beginners Guide to Practical Prepping: Lessons From a True Story of Disaster, by R.L.

It was September 1989, a time in history that is forever burned into my memory. I was working as a firefighter in a small town outside Columbia, South Carolina. Hurricane Hugo had developed in the Atlantic, it was ripping apart the Carribean islands and it was headed our way. All the news on television and radio were inundated with updates on this killer storm; we were tuned into the Weather Channel at the firehouse carefully watching and waiting. The original forecast was that the Category 4 hurricane would turn north and only threaten the North Carolina coast. It was assumed …




Reality Checks for a Grid Down Scenario, By Blueleader

I sometimes hear misguided individuals who repeat the statement going around that if the grid goes down we will be thrown back to the days before electricity: The 1880s. The prevalent thought is that folks back then did fine so it wouldn’t be so bad for us to simply revert to that level of technology. Well, what if we examine your day in a post grid failure scenario? Here is a reality check for you to consider: Let us say you get up ‘the day after’ and you’re cold. Bummer. Well, in the 1880s if you got up and you …