For the longest time, I wanted to put a composting toilet in the Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH). My reasoning is that, at some point, I think we're going to be forced to compost our waste for food production (*reader rolls eyes at raving hippie communist blogger*). Seriously, once the fossil fuel-based fertilizer is gone, how else will we keep our land fertile?
Joseph Jenkins' book "The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure " is a must-read for people interested in long-term solutions to poo and pee. Composting them uses zero water and turns them into valuable products.
Once we started looking harder at composting toilets, though, we backed off. The reasons:
BRAC (Grey Water)
So, we went with the next best thing - in the MCNZH, we're going to flush our toilets with shower water.
Brac Systems  is a Montreal-based company that sells tanks that collect washing machine and shower water (see picture above). In a new home like the MCNZH, you plumb the showers to drain into a big (300-450 litres) tank (there's an overflow that drains into the regular sewer system for when the tank gets full). Then, you run cold water pipes from the tank to the toilets in the home.
The advantages of this system are:
I'm really excited to stop wasting so much precious drinking water on the toilet. In the climate-changed, water-constrained future, we'll all need to start being wiser with our water.
We'll be purchasing our BRAC system from Trimline Design Centre  (on 6772 - 99th street ). Oh yeah, the systems aren't yet legal in Alberta. A minor detail - we're looking at the big picture here! It's only a matter of time before they become legal. Regardless, we're putting one in.