Sanitation at Factor e Farm

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Human waste

We have a humanure bucket.
Quasi-Academic paper on Humanure Systems by J. Jenkins
Article on composting human waste: Mother Earth News. See comments for insight on pharmaceuticals and diet.



  • Two shower stalls in HabLab
  • Three sinks in HabLab
  • Primitive shower in Greenhouse (great on summer nights)


  • Double sink in Kitchen


Water comes from a city line as well as an on-site well.
Propane hot water heater in HabLab

Bacteria and water

Stagnant water with food in it is bad because it helps bacteria grow. Without water, bacteria cannot grow on small amounts of dried food. If there is too much food then the water cannot evaporate fast enough, and bacteria can grow. Eating utensils and containers should be thoroughly licked clean, so that any water left can evaporate quickly so bacteria cannot grow. This also helps reduce wasted food. Dried food can then be scraped and washed away fairly easily.

Not all bacteria is bad, though. In fact, the septic system at HabLab requires a certain amount of bacteria to break down solid waste. Because of this, it is important to avoid using anti-bacterial soap at all drains that lead to the septic tank.