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Posted: 11/22/2007 7:58:19 AM EDT
Got to thinking about sanitation this morning for some reason.
I know that in a bug in situation that living rural like I do the toilet will still work as long as I can get water to flush with. I have a river close by so I am assured of water when I need it.
Those living in the city or small communities my have a tougher time of it with a city water supply or apartment living. The septic wont fill up and quit working but the sewer piping in the city would most likely get plugged sooner or later due to the fact of the sewage treatment plant not having electrical power.

I do live on a community water system but as long as the genny works for the backup we'll have water , then it's off to the river.
Some might say that the river would not be good to use for drinking until treated with the usual methods are used for safety reasons and I would agree in most cases.

Garbage is another story. In the city garbage would pile up quickly if the services are totally gone. We've seen garbage strikes and it takes less than a week to have a unsafe condition. With tons of garbage comes disease and rats. Not in any particular order. Living in a rural area people would be able to set up a incinerator and burn it to keep a more sanitary living environment.

Manuals from the .mil would be a good guide for the survival library. I have the basic field manual for "Military Sanitation and First aid" FM21-10 , published in 1940.
You may think that it's old but that's when our troops didn't have KBR and other contractors to take care of the small stuff ,( that's not so small ).
It's a pretty good book in that it shows how to construct various things like latrines , garbage pits and incinerators , sanitary wash areas and even how to rid your camp of unwanted pests and bugs that will infest people , food and water.

So think about your situation and what you would have to do in a bug in or bug out situation to keep yourself and your family healthy and safe. Being stocked up isn't the only thing that we have to consider.
Link Posted: 11/22/2007 8:09:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2007 8:09:43 AM EDT by die-tryin]
Jus look at WWII and the Warsaw district. Famine and rats and plague were real issues. In the city during SHTF, I think this will be a major make it or break it issue. Add that on top of looting, gang violence and jus trying to survive. It sux for sure.
Link Posted: 11/22/2007 11:15:10 AM EDT
Yeah , some people are going to be surprised at the outcome if it ever happens. Bad enough that people die in the winter when the power goes out wait till there's no water and the rats are thick.
Link Posted: 11/22/2007 11:52:21 AM EDT
I have a beautiful mountain stream on the edge of my property about 50 yards from my house. I can use that to flush into the septic system. So 'human' waste is not an issue.

Water could be a problem. I have the same stream as a source of drinking water once treated. I have a well but still haven't gotten a generator to power it during an outage. I do keep jugs of water on hand for the short term.
Link Posted: 11/22/2007 12:29:28 PM EDT
We have a septic system so that isn't a real problem. I'm having either a well or cistern system installed in the spring to back up the city water supply. If trash pickup stops I have plans to compost all garbage (already have a compost in the back yard), seperate burnables from non and pile all metals/plastics for re-use if possible.
Link Posted: 11/22/2007 1:57:48 PM EDT
Yup definitely reuse most containers. Compost is a good thing too.
Link Posted: 11/22/2007 4:36:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/22/2007 5:47:31 PM EDT
Yes you have good points. Seems to me that Eastern streams move a lot slower. My imagination maybe. I live on the Skagit River , second largest in WA state next to the Columbia. This water moves at a constant 8mph in the slow places and a lot faster in others. With a average temp year round of about 48deg. Its cold and clear as a bell unless it's flooding. Ground water is pure. This little town still has untreated water system although that will change due to the new sewage treatment plant. I don't know when the old one was built but all it was is a pond and aerator.
Water for us here is not going to be a problem until things get contaminated and that's where the unseen threat lye's. When you notice it it's to late and cities will be affected quickly. Then there are the rats and with them comes the bad stuff.
Link Posted: 11/23/2007 1:51:57 AM EDT
I always stock a few of those plastic dishpans they sell next to the dishdrainers
at the store with some plastic pitchers, to use in case I cant use the indoor
plumbing anymore. We have plenty of surface and groundwater springs in my area.
Link Posted: 11/23/2007 2:27:26 AM EDT
i saw a couple boxes of "Rid" or "lice-ex" or something @ wallyworld a while back on clearence. they were like $2.50 or something, and saw that normally they go for $20 or better. they had no easilly discernable use by date, an i got to thinking that in the event that TS did HTF, critters like this could be a real problem so between that and the possibility of having kids eventully and actully needing the stuff and seeing how much more it normally retails for i picked up a couple boxes...

i keep that stuff along with lots of extra liquid and bars of soap, more bleach, wound sanitiser(extra rubbing alcohol, povidone iodine, and peroxide, that won't fit in my FAK tool boxes/mechanics chest), the industrial/restraunt type rolls of TP, lots of toothpaste, extra toothbrushes, etc. in a rubbermaid tote.
bug spray bombs, mouse and rat traps, sticky traps, extra clorox and other cleaning/ antipest supplies, etc. in another tote make up the other half of my dedicated, postSHTF hygene supplies.
Link Posted: 11/23/2007 10:14:08 AM EDT
One of the posts in the recent katrina thread mentioned trash disposal and how they were close to having to figure out other options than waiting for the truck to come and get it.

I think a composting outhouse should be researched by folks so they have some clue on how to dispose of waste when the toilet won't work because either septic died or the city sewers are full.

My biggest concerns these days are the mice and bugs that will come from others not handling their trash well.
Link Posted: 11/23/2007 11:42:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/23/2007 12:04:59 PM EDT by douglasmorris99]
TJ as usual has hit the nail on the head...

on the ranch,,next to NOTHING goes to waste
trash is seperated
garbage that isnt fed to the live stock goes into the compost pile
glass jars and such are reused for a varity of things in addition to adding to the weapons cache,
paper and cardboard in SHTF is gonna be a premium..fire starter, writing letters, insulation, nesting material as you increase your livestock,
easy to reprocess into "New paper"

"tin cans" can be smelted for other use,,but generally, as our ancestors, buried for land fill..after flattening of course..
we today are pretty much a disposable society..think wear it out, mend it wear it out again, turn it into something else then wear that out a few times as well..


for toilet nesscities,, a plastic bag liner after water has been used up or a 5 gal pail with a converted toilet seat on top of it..
Link Posted: 11/23/2007 1:12:42 PM EDT
While it's certainly added to the expence of living where I do, the city has never pushed sewers out to our area due to a very large section of rock that would need to be blasted to get the lines in and the rather large lift pump that would need to be built to move the sewage over the ridge line. My new septic system/leach field ran me almost $30k when the 30 year old one died. The huge plus side is that the lack of city sewer lines will prevent the back up of raw sewage and overflowing of sewage manholes that TJ mentioned. All of my neighbors have had new systems installed in the last 4-5 years so we're in good shape for a while.

The town may or may not want to give me a permit for adding a well on the property. That's a whole seperate issue that I'll need to deal with in the Spring. If they won't, I'll look into a large cistern system.
Link Posted: 11/23/2007 1:17:44 PM EDT
Good thread. I think that there is a tendancy to locate things like septic systems or outhouses, landfills and middens, and graveyards too close to home. This becomes especially true when hunger becomes an issue and it becomes difficult to carry things a distance.

Out west here, bubonic plague is still endemic in prairie dogs and occasionally a human gets it. You definitely don't want to experience that without medical support. I'm not a big fan of feral animals, but a few barn cats would help keep rats out of your home and food.

I also suggest that you always disinfect drinking water, no matter the source. Cholera, dysentery and giardia can spread unexpectedly into water supplies. My home town found that out when beaver brought giardia to the surface reservoirs it used in the 1980's... and don't be tempted to irrigate with grey water. Viruses are very hardy critters.
Link Posted: 11/24/2007 12:17:21 AM EDT
This is a good time to invest $140 or so in a reverse osmosis system connected for use in survival mode.

You want to be able to have clean water w/o chemicals and organisms incl viri w/o having to spend a lot of effort boiling or otherwise treating it.

You might want to add a little chlorine to the water before running it thru a RO system or get a cheap UV attachment to kill the infinitestimal amount of bad stuff that could possibly get thru the RO filter.

The RO system and UV filter can be used in other ways than the conventional hook it up under the sink, feed it pressurized water at 50psi, etc, etc. Ask if interested.
Link Posted: 11/24/2007 7:03:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/24/2007 7:03:17 PM EDT by foxherb53]

Originally Posted By EXPY37:
This is a good time to invest $140 or so in a reverse osmosis system connected for use in survival mode.

You want to be able to have clean water w/o chemicals and organisms incl viri w/o having to spend a lot of effort boiling or otherwise treating it.

You might want to add a little chlorine to the water before running it thru a RO system or get a cheap UV attachment to kill the infinitestimal amount of bad stuff that could possibly get thru the RO filter.

The RO system and UV filter can be used in other ways than the conventional hook it up under the sink, feed it pressurized water at 50psi, etc, etc. Ask if interested.


You have a link for a system like that?

Can that be assembled from parts from the local H D or other stores?
Link Posted: 11/24/2007 7:18:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/24/2007 7:20:45 PM EDT by EXPY37]

Originally Posted By foxherb53:

Originally Posted By EXPY37:
This is a good time to invest $140 or so in a reverse osmosis system connected for use in survival mode.

You want to be able to have clean water w/o chemicals and organisms incl viri w/o having to spend a lot of effort boiling or otherwise treating it.

You might want to add a little chlorine to the water before running it thru a RO system or get a cheap UV attachment to kill the infinitestimal amount of bad stuff that could possibly get thru the RO filter.

The RO system and UV filter can be used in other ways than the conventional hook it up under the sink, feed it pressurized water at 50psi, etc, etc. Ask if interested.


You have a link for a system like that?

Can that be assembled from parts from the local H D or other stores?


Here you go,

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=17&t=577038

Sure can, but eBay is a lot less expensive. The links in my OP are old, just search reverse osmosis on eBay and you will learn a lot.

HD et al have the 1/4 inch tubing, fittings and valves that press together/come apart with finger pressure and are cheap. It's a lot of fun playing w/ them.

I think they are called Guest fittings.

www.johnguest.com/



I don't know why the black circle is shown around the tubing. It's just plain cut off.


search.ebay.com/reverse-osmosis
Link Posted: 11/27/2007 11:07:03 AM EDT
Ahhh sanitation. Not a glamorous subject, but if ignored will get a bunch of folks sick or dead real fast.

Probably the cheapest - most effective way of dealing with human waste is heavy duty plastic trash bags and lime for those who plan for a bug in.
Of course if the subject is in a high rise, there is always the "French Option"
Link Posted: 11/27/2007 5:06:22 PM EDT
I am looking at using a hunanure type toilet and composting the waste. Here is a link to an interesting book on it:

http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/humanure.html

Not sure I would use the compost on human foods but would certainly use it on animal food.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 9:03:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mecoastie:
I am looking at using a hunanure type toilet and composting the waste. Here is a link to an interesting book on it:

http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/humanure.html

Not sure I would use the compost on human foods but would certainly use it on animal food.




Here is something that people may be intrested IN
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 8:52:54 PM EDT
I've said this before, but for "normal" city or suburban residents who rely on city sewers, the old poop thing really could become a problem if the SHTF. Our house is on a hill so we can probably "cheat" by pouring pee and dishwater into the toilet on top of the poop, and it will hopefully go away, but that's not exactly an ideal solution. Especially if you live in an area at lower elevations...

My plan, such as it is, involves a 5-gallon bucket with a toilet seat, lots of plastic garbage bags, and 100 pounds or so of lime and RV toilet disinfectant stuff that also helps to break down the poop. The lime is $5 per 50# bag and I should get more. In the summer, dig holes or trenches in the backyard and add the goodies with judicious backfilling to prevent flies. In the winter, throw the bags outside where they'll freeze and deal with them in the Spring.

It's not a great plan, but it's better than nothing.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 10:06:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 10:28:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/1/2007 10:31:33 PM EDT by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 6:24:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:

[snip]

Almost all systems are gravity until they go down into a low area then a pump station is used to pump it up until it can gravity feed again. Its really key if you are on a city system to know where these pump stations are. When they're not working, they act almost like closed valve shutting the flow off. It will back the sewage up till it finds a spot to overflow. It has so much force it will flat throw those heavy cast manhole covers right off flooding the streets.

Its typically no more than a couple manholes back from the pump station. Pump stations are usually located at the lowest spot. I haven't ever seen a it back up into a house but theoretically if your house is between the pump station and say the second manhole and lower than that manhole cover, it could.

In some low lying housing developments, the entire development could be dependent on a pump station.

I wish I could tell you that all the manhole covers are right there and easy to find but they aren't. In older cities that have not had problems, they could be asphalted over and often the only way to find them is with a metal detector. Heck, it wouldn't surprise me that in many areas most of them are covered with asphalt. Pump stations are little square block buildings typically painted green or gray. Since the entire system is based on gravity, many sewer lines follow creeks or ditches. Its less digging that way when they put them in.

For most people, they will be able to use their commodes during a prolonged power outage event. The treatment plant will not be working and the raw sewage flowing directly into the nearby stream where its treated effluent usually flows. Like I posted earlier, 1960 in less than a week. Worse even since in many areas that have pump stations, the streets will be flooded with raw sewage. Even if you are personally ok, if you are driving around the tires of your car will be a health hazard. Even if you aren't driving, anyone who visits you may have been exposed to raw sewage.

Tj



I think that's exactly right. In a prolonged SHTF it's scary to think of the diseases that would probably be spread by all that raw sewage, via "drinking water," flies, rats and accidental exposure. That's probably part of the reason the oldtimers used to hang flypaper all over their homes, aside from the obvious aesthetic benefit.

Off-topic. but I'd bet flypaper would be a pretty good SHTF barter item in the summer. Never thought about that before.

Around here we call the pump stations "lift stations," and they do fail occasionally even in good times. It isn't the peoiple at the top of the hills that suffer the consequences... I know a guy who had the stuff backup into his basement, twice. (That was one of the better things to happen to him over a couple years period, you don't even want to know the rest.)

Anyway, yeah, definitely best to avoid buying a place in the low-lying areas especially if you're on city sewer.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:02:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By EndGame:

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:

[snip]

Almost all systems are gravity until they go down into a low area then a pump station is used to pump it up until it can gravity feed again. Its really key if you are on a city system to know where these pump stations are. When they're not working, they act almost like closed valve shutting the flow off. It will back the sewage up till it finds a spot to overflow. It has so much force it will flat throw those heavy cast manhole covers right off flooding the streets.

Its typically no more than a couple manholes back from the pump station. Pump stations are usually located at the lowest spot. I haven't ever seen a it back up into a house but theoretically if your house is between the pump station and say the second manhole and lower than that manhole cover, it could.

In some low lying housing developments, the entire development could be dependent on a pump station.

I wish I could tell you that all the manhole covers are right there and easy to find but they aren't. In older cities that have not had problems, they could be asphalted over and often the only way to find them is with a metal detector. Heck, it wouldn't surprise me that in many areas most of them are covered with asphalt. Pump stations are little square block buildings typically painted green or gray. Since the entire system is based on gravity, many sewer lines follow creeks or ditches. Its less digging that way when they put them in.

For most people, they will be able to use their commodes during a prolonged power outage event. The treatment plant will not be working and the raw sewage flowing directly into the nearby stream where its treated effluent usually flows. Like I posted earlier, 1960 in less than a week. Worse even since in many areas that have pump stations, the streets will be flooded with raw sewage. Even if you are personally ok, if you are driving around the tires of your car will be a health hazard. Even if you aren't driving, anyone who visits you may have been exposed to raw sewage.

Tj



I think that's exactly right. In a prolonged SHTF it's scary to think of the diseases that would probably be spread by all that raw sewage, via "drinking water," flies, rats and accidental exposure. That's probably part of the reason the oldtimers used to hang flypaper all over their homes, aside from the obvious aesthetic benefit.

Off-topic. but I'd bet flypaper would be a pretty good SHTF barter item in the summer. Never thought about that before.

Around here we call the pump stations "lift stations," and they do fail occasionally even in good times. It isn't the peoiple at the top of the hills that suffer the consequences... I know a guy who had the stuff backup into his basement, twice. (That was one of the better things to happen to him over a couple years period, you don't even want to know the rest.)

Anyway, yeah, definitely best to avoid buying a place in the low-lying areas especially if you're on city sewer.



The sewer backup can be avoided by using a check valve on your end of the line.
Any city system that is worth a shit would have check valves in the system to avoid that...
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 5:33:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2007 5:36:43 PM EDT by TomJefferson]
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