Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Poopy Problem

  1. #1

    Default Poopy Problem

    When we located our outhouse at our coastal rainforest cabin we lucked into a really nice scenario where the pit partially fills with water with the bigger rain events, then slowly drains out down under ground as the location is on a bit of a knoll with sloping terrain. Never fills up with too much water (only been splashed once I think in 3 years). The system is beautifully self sustaining and purging. Anyway, my better half has been occasionally adding some kind of BIO enzymes which have done a pretty good job of keeping things liquid. This year somewhat of a mound built up as the fluid drained out and OMG do we have a large black fly issue. I won't even mention what I saw when I shined a flashlight down in there - looked like something out of a horror film with giant fly larvae motoring around all over the place. Anyway, we've had a few flies in the past but just raise the lid and they fly out and are gone and no big deal.

    What can I do to mitigate this? Should the priority be to get back to a liquid state, even adding water if necessary to avoid the mound? Should I just get a can of Raid or something and have at it and then worry about reestablishing the friendly bugs after? Hate to introduce something so toxic into the ecosystem there. Is it gonna be get back to liquid and healthy bugs / enzymes and then start hanging fly paper down there? I assume that most out houses have a building mound as normal? How are the flies and larvae normally dealt with?

    Yesterday I though I'd just leave the lid up and the door open and hopefully they'd all just fly out - wow that was a really bad idea - went back some hours later and you couldn't have paid me to have a seat anywhere near the place let alone on the throne itself - especially knowing where everyone of those flies came from.... gag me!!!

    Jack

  2. #2
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,216

    Default

    Dust the pit with anyhydrous lime.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Dust the pit with anyhydrous lime.
    Yup. Every outhouse should have a coffee can full of lime. Doesn't take much, and you don't have to do it every time you 'drop a deuce'.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Southcentral Alaska
    Posts
    567

    Default

    hmm....

    I don't think you are going to find anydrous lime or quick-lime where you live. It's hard to find in Anchorage or Fairbanks. Type-S masonry lime does some similar things, but probably isn't high enough pH to break stuff down and kill the flies. Maybe if you use a lot of it. I think that lime that people use (not quick-lime) generally works by covering stuff up on the surface, not by changing the chemistry and wood ashes work pretty well for that purpose. If you do use quicklime, don't spread it with your bare hand.

    In Fairbanks I felt like adding sawdust did the trick in the summer, but I still used a bunch of wood ashes in the spring because it was nasty after 8 months of winter making a poopsicle. I felt that the wood ashes worked about the same as covering with a little bit of dirt, without adding as much bulk to the pit as dirt would.

  5. #5
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,216

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HikerDan View Post
    hmm....

    I don't think you are going to find anydrous lime or quick-lime where you live. It's hard to find in Anchorage or Fairbanks.
    I've always got mine (anhydrous lime) at Sampson's Hardware. A periodic light dusting works really good, and bag lasts a looooong time (many years).... Soon I'll have to see if they still stock it.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Southcentral Alaska
    Posts
    567

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    I've always got mine (anhydrous lime) at Sampson's Hardware. A periodic light dusting works really good, and bag lasts a looooong time (many years).... Soon I'll have to see if they still stock it.
    Well, yeah... that's because Sampson's is freaking awesome. One of the few examples of a historical store that was excellent at their niche that became even better after changing ownership without losing their niche at all. The ladies who run Samson's now absolutely saved my bacon one year. I ordered $30K of material from them without realizing that my boss ordered the same material from a competitor. It was my bosses fault, but the boss never gets the blame... so - I called the owner like three days after the order, and they fixed everything for me. I'll give a shout out to those guys anytime I get a chance. They were my favorite store in Fairbanks before, and now - they are my only store (if they have it).

    Doesn't surprise me one bit that they carry quick-lime or anything else that was a staple 50 years ago but nowhere to be seen on the floor of big-box-mart.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    Not sure which type of lime I have at my cabin. It isn't in the bag any longer, but in a bucket. Works fine at keeping the odor down and no problems with bugs.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  8. #8

    Default

    So I've done quite a bit of reading up on the issue since my first post. Just to clarify, our outhouse is a one time permanently located structure. In that environment on that impossibly rocky glacial hard pan, it's not an option to to just abandon the site and start over. Plus it's a dang nice outhouse which will even be heated soon when our hydro power project comes to fruition. Am I wrong or is what I'm reading about lime tell me that it stops the smell by stoping the biological break down? For our situation, with surface water constantly slowly purging the system, the last thing we want to do is put anything down there which is either going to negatively effect the enzymatic biological breakdown or add any bulk whatsoever to the system (no TP and we try and avoid #1 in there). I stumbled on one local forum where everyone swears by using Bio-Clean enzymes. Keeps things liquified and biologically breaking down. Even though I have seen zero sign of where our outhouse actually purges back into the ground/surface water, I was still concerned about introducing nasty bugs and bacteria into the ecosystem (i.e. Salmon stream). The Bio-Clean enzymes after they've eaten up all the solids actually produce plant food as the end product so if anything it's positive for the environment. How anything could make it through endless duff into a stream or river would be amazing in and of itself anyway....This is what my better half has been adding in with warm water the past few years but she was traveling and I wasn't paying attention this year so things got away from me. Now maybe just keep up with the Bio-Clean and use flypaper to try and break the fly cycle? Also with the Bio-Clean, obviously there are limitations in terms of season and outside air temp, etc... Also, I would assume that in many situations a "pile" occasionally covered with lime or wood ash might be preferable to a wet/liquid scenario....

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2

    Default

    nmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •