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Gary350
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Toilet in the garden.

I replaced our old bathroom toilet with a new moden elongated low water volume toilet. The old toilet is still go so I am thinking I might use it to water plants. If I run a section of PVC pipe from the toilet down a row with a 1/4" hole at each plant all I need to do is flush the toilet and all the plants will get watered. I will need to do some math to make sure the water volume in the PVC pipe is equal to the water volume in the toilet tank so it all flushes down. With holes on the bottom side of the PVC pipe the water should rush in pushing out all the air then it will take about 1 minute for all the water to drain out and water all the plants. I need to calculate how much water each plant needs to determine he length and diameter of the PVC pipe. This will be a time saver for watering plants it only takes 2 seconds to flush a toilet. Then the toilet refills and waits for me to flush it tomorrow.

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Handsomeryan
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Are you familiar with the phrase, "Buying an airplane to get free peanuts."

It's not that I don't think that what you are proposing could be built but I think for the time/work/money involved it isn't a great solution. Most toilets only use a couple gallons of water to flush and depending on the size of your garden you'll have a hard time evenly dividing that 2-3 gallons of water between plants. Also you'll have to bring the whole thing in every winter because the garden-potty won't hold up to freeze-thaw cycles of winter.

The rule of thumb for watering a garden is 1 inch of water per week. If your plants have a drip-line equal to a 18"x18" square (probably not far off from a mature tomato or pepper plant) you'd need 324 cubic inches of water per plant per week (18"x18"x1"). Assuming your toilet flushes 3 gallons every time you push the handle you'll be flushing 693 cubic inches of water per day.

693ci per flush x 7 flushes per week = 4851ci of water per week

4851ci of water weekly / 324ci each plant needs per week = roughly 14 plants assuming you can distribute the water equally between plants.

So- 14 plants watered with one push of the button each day, not bad right?

There is another factor though... To water correctly- you need to water deeply to encourage a fuller root system and minimize losses from evaporation.

That 693ci of water daily divided by 14 plants comes to a mere 49.5ci of water per plant per day. Divide that over the 18"x18" drip line we are trying to water and you are only watering to a depth of 0.15 inches. Obviously the water doesn't distribute itself evenly across an 18"x18" plane so the water will be deeper by the water outlet and shallower as it radiates out but I think this example still demonstrates my point that either: A) the system can only support a very small # of plants or B) the system can superficially water a larger number of plants but will not encourage proper root development and the plants will likely lack drought tolerance.

For all that work- $30-50 can buy you a complete drip irrigation kit and for another $30 you can get a digital timer to make it automatic.

I respect your ingenuity but I don't see this as a fruitful endeavor.
Gardening is mostly an issue of your enthusiasm holding up until you get used to the work.

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tomf
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Ryan gave good advice. I use a drip system, it works real well.

I hope you do not mind me saying this but your post had me laughing. :lol:

DoubleDogFarm
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:?
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

gumbo2176
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I currently have 2 old toilets that were removed from the house and were replaced with new, taller commodes. Both are on a slab near my garage with potting soil in them along with plants.


One is now growing what is commonly called "Mother-in-laws tongue"---I thought it appropriate considering my mother-in-law, and the other has some small carnations in it. It is just the bowl that is used and not the tanks. For the life of me I can't remember what happened to the tanks when I removed the toilets. I wish I had them with some nice hanging Ivy growing out of them.

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Gary350
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It is an old style toilet that holds 5 gallons of water. I have a good size pile of PVC pipe already so I don't need to buy anything. It is not very practical but I thought it might be a fun experement. The pipe would be hard to hoe around and it will have to be removed to till the garden next spring. It might be more practical as irrigation for a few plants.

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Handsomeryan
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If you decide to build it; I demand pictures.
Gardening is mostly an issue of your enthusiasm holding up until you get used to the work.

BP
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I'd like to see a video of this working.

DoubleDogFarm
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I think they should legalize Grey Water Systems.


Eric

orgoveg
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While I agree with what everyone else said, I have to say, "go for it". It would be quite a conversation piece when you have folks over for a barbeque. If somebody uses it, you have fertilizer :lol:

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stella1751
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I think it's a fun and innovative idea! You might just be the first person to make Better Homes and Gardens magazine to have both home and garden, all in one spot :lol:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

gardenvt
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If you are going to put this water on your veggies, make sure that you have thoroughly sanitized that toilet. Personally, it sounds gross and after reading the e-coli thread, it just doesn't sound like a "healthy" idea.

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tomf
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Handsomeryan started this thread.
[url]https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=36511[/url]

I first thought this was going to be about putting in an out door toilet. I will do that someday myself just to save having to go inside. After I put in a pool I plan to put in an out side shower and a toilet .

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Sounds pretty redneck to me.
Do all the people in your town have the same DNA. LOL
If a disease doesn't kill them and a bug doesn't eat them there may be something left for you.
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stella1751
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johnny123 wrote:Sounds pretty redneck to me.
Do all the people in your town have the same DNA. LOL
Decades ago, as a hip on-the-town young adult and before I or most people had even heard of Jeff Foxworthy (sp), I kindly told my parents that they were rednecks. They actually had to have me define the term; that's how redneck they were. Please. I thought it was important they be brought up to speed, lest they continue their redneck ways, unchecked by necessary awareness.

Within a week, I received a present from them, one of Foxworthy's first publications, perhaps the first, You Know You're a Redneck When . . . For fun, and with no small amount of condescension, I read the book. I was only halfway through when it hit me. 'Twas I who was the redneck, not them.

I still remember the entry that clued me in: "You know you're a redneck when your deck collapses, injuring two or more dogs." I had a deck and three dogs at the time.

I guess that's probably why I like Gary350's idea of a toilet in the garden. Were it me, I'd embellish it a bit, adding a crooked, hand-lettered sign: FDA Headquarters.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

garden5
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Hmmm, I'd be worried about ecoli, though.
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johnny123
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The above post originally posted by Johnny123.
It had to clear customs.
If a disease doesn't kill them and a bug doesn't eat them there may be something left for you.
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donworden
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Marlingardener wrote:Gary honey, here in Texas there would be some bubba that would USE that toilet, and probably forget to flush.
There are innovative solutions to problems, but this may not be one of them!
Now... you have hurt me....lol :) I lived in Texas for a bit, and here in Michigan I happen to be a bubba, and I use a right proper outhouse..... :D
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cynthia_h
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1) I replied to the concern about E. coli last night and now it's gone. In its place is a (to me) offensive post using demeaning terminology about people who are perceived by some to be "less" sophisticated / educated / politically astute than those who use said demeaning term. (Of course, this is true of most derogatory names people call one another.) I do not now and have not ever had much tolerance for being around name-calling, whether hearing it, seeing it, or being targeted by it.

I did not post the image or the sentiment which appear with my name earlier in this thread.

2) I cannot find the exact information which I posted last night about E. coli in this thread, but the gist of it was that my understanding of the use of the toilet by the OP was as a water-distribution device *only.* Toilets are plumbed in our homes the way they are, and their connections must remain leak-tight, because the primary function of those toilets is to move wastes safely to the sanitary treatment facility. ==> the very important treatment facility <== which is the reason that most sanitation-related diseases have become rare in countries with modern plumbing in every home. Let's do what we can to keep it that way: either use the fully plumbed toilet *or* fully compost any wastes that do not make it to the treatment facility.

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stella1751
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cynthia_h wrote: . . . post using demeaning terminology about people who are perceived by some to be "less" sophisticated / educated / politically astute than those who use said demeaning term.
Not being argumentative :roll: but this term has completely different connotations up here. It means people who are extremely conservative. The term literally means outdoors people--farmers, cowboys, and the like--with their necks red from long days in the sun. Yes, they might be lacking in sophistication, though that is by no means a given, but many are well-educated and quite astute politically. Thought I should set the record straight, given my post about my parents and myself :shock:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

cynthia_h
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That was indeed its literal origin, from people who worked outdoors all day exposed to the sun (well, light-colored people whose exposure to the sun was evident by turning red). But the associations which have grown up around the more general use of the term in prob. the last decade to two decades have seemed to coalesce around the criteria I listed earlier.

But I missed one that you touched on: the rural aspect. The supposed lack of sophistication / education / whatever in combination with a rural background seems to bring on the derisive hoots faster than...hmm...a hot knife through butter, or something equally swift.

In-group/out-group terms *also* bug me: if it's wrong for X to call Y This Bad Name Over Here, then it's also wrong for X to call a fellow X This Same Bad Name Over Here. At least where anyone who would then feel entitled to use that same term freely might hear such usage.

I'm sure all of us have Bad Names rattling around in our heads right about now, but to me this thread started off with an interesting premise:

Could an otherwise non-useful appliance, perhaps deemed obsolete, find new life distributing water to a garden? If so, second-hand recycling yards all over the country, in urban, suburban, and rural areas may find demand for these appliances rising. All to the good; otherwise, these porcelain fixtures simply take up space, having been booted out of their former homes in favor of newer models.

Let's see if we can't forward the idea of re-engineering the water distribution in a garden via a toilet. I personally have no idea, without recourse to a couple of textbooks, how to calculate initial pressure vs. final pressure, but I'm pretty sure it has everything to do with how many hoses, of what diameter, the gardener tries to hook up (and how...) to the tank outflow.

Cynthia

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donworden
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To be honest, I disremember the site I saw it on, I will have to search for the link again, but I did read an article on how a toilet tank and innards were converted to be used as a water source for hydroponics. Somehow they had made it so a timer went off, flusher used, water added, tank refilled, and cycled all over. If I remember right, the tank was somehow attached to a 55 gallon drum. I will research it again, and post the link.
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Gary350
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donworden wrote:To be honest, I disremember the site I saw it on, I will have to search for the link again, but I did read an article on how a toilet tank and innards were converted to be used as a water source for hydroponics. Somehow they had made it so a timer went off, flusher used, water added, tank refilled, and cycled all over. If I remember right, the tank was somehow attached to a 55 gallon drum. I will research it again, and post the link.
You can buy replacement parts for toilets. Buy the flusher parts and mount them in the bottom of a 55 gallon barrel. Attach a float to the flapper valve with about 3 ft of chain. Place the barrel under your house gutter down spout. When the rain fills the barrel and the water gets about 2" from the top the float pulls open the flapper and the barrel flushes like a toilet. Your garden gets 55 gallons of irregation each time it flushes.

johnny123
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All this reading is making me hungry.
Time to grab my Cool Whip container and go out to the garden and do some picking and have a salad.
If a disease doesn't kill them and a bug doesn't eat them there may be something left for you.
Zone 47 Sector C

johnny123
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When I get upset I go out in the garden and tell my problems to the plants.
The plants don't really care about my problems but It make me feel better.
Try it, you'll feel better.
If a disease doesn't kill them and a bug doesn't eat them there may be something left for you.
Zone 47 Sector C

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donworden
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To be honest, I disremember the site I saw it on, I will have to search for the link again, but I did read an article on how a toilet tank and innards were converted to be used as a water source for hydroponics. Somehow they had made it so a timer went off, flusher used, water added, tank refilled, and cycled all over. If I remember right, the tank was somehow attached to a 55 gallon drum. I will research it again, and post the link.
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Inailum
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Re: Toilet in the garden.

Gary350 wrote:I replaced our old bathroom toilet with a new moden elongated low water volume toilet. The old toilet is still go so I am thinking I might use it to water plants. If I run a section of PVC pipe from the toilet down a row with a 1/4" hole at each plant all I need to do is flush the toilet and all the plants will get watered. I will need to do some math to make sure the water volume in the PVC pipe is equal to the water volume in the toilet tank so it all flushes down. With holes on the bottom side of the PVC pipe the water should rush in pushing out all the air then it will take about 1 minute for all the water to drain out and water all the plants. I need to calculate how much water each plant needs to determine he length and diameter of the PVC pipe. This will be a time saver for watering plants it only takes 2 seconds to flush a toilet. Then the toilet refills and waits for me to flush it tomorrow.
Just put it in your garden and plant a tomato in it. :wink:
Anita

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