Today it’s all about how to deal with human waste when the power goes out. Dealing with human waste after the power has gone out can create more work and prepping on your part, but still very important. Not properly disposing of it can allow flies and even your own pets to get into it.
They will get it all over them and then bring the bacteria back into your home, right onto your meal-prepping area and furniture. Now that we have your attention, here are a few ways that you can safely dispose of waste, even when the power is not up and running.
Tips for Human Waste and No Power
Dealing with human waste and no power isn’t something you may think about on a regular basis. However, here at Food Storage Moms, I want to teach you how to be prepared in all circumstances. Keep reading to discover how to deal with human waste when the power goes out.
Can You Use the Toilet?
The simple answer is, yes. Even after the power has gone out, you will still be able to flush your toilets, in most cases. But only for a short while. After that, you’re going to have to come up with other methods for disposing of your family’s waste. If you have a septic tank, you are one lucky person.
Are You on a City Sewer System?
You want to be very careful about flushing the toilet after the power has gone out if you live in the city. In fact, it’s best not to flush your toilet at all unless you’re confident that your sewage system in your neighborhood all runs downhill. If the system relies on pumping the sewage along its path to the treatment plant then there could be issues.
Those pumps rely on electric power to work, so if the power is out the pumps are dead. If pumps are part of the system then flushing the toilet will mix your line with your neighbors all the way to the pump station, and then a backup starts, and that could bring their waste back up into your plumbing. This includes your sink and bathtub too.
Shutting off Water to the House
Also, if you live in the city and are connected to their sewer system, it might be in your best interest to go ahead and shut off your main water line altogether if you think the cause of the power outage and related issues could affect the quality of the drinking water coming into your house.
If you decide to turn off the culinary water coming into your home you’ll need to locate where the main valve is. Usually, you can find it in the basement, in a utility room, underneath the kitchen sink or laundry sink or out in the garage near your water heater.
There’s also a possibility that it’s in front of the house, close to the street. Go ahead and turn it off until the power is restored.
Have a Supply of Water Set Aside
Filling your bathtub with water, or having gallons of water set aside for “crappy” situations such as this, will be a great option. Pouring the water into the toilet tank and then hitting the flushing lever can help your toilet flush during a power outage.
If you have a big enough bucket, you can pour the water directly into the toilet quickly, and it will automatically flush itself. Hopefully, the power will come back on, before you run out of water.
5 to 6-Gallon Bucket with Double-lined Trash Bags
Another method for dealing with your family’s waste is this. Have a 5 or 6-gallon bucket on-hand and line it with 2 trash bags inside of it. To make sure it holds, use duct tape that will keep them in place.
Next, you could put a toilet seat over it, or two 2 X 4’s across it to have something to sit on. After you’ve finished with your business, put kitty litter or sawdust over it to help cover up the odor. This way you can use the trash bag more than once.
When you’re ready to dispose of it, add quicklime or another disinfectant to seal the whole ordeal. You may want to see how to make your own emergency toilet here.
Do Not Use Human Waste as a Compost or Fertilizer
I know this a debatable topic. You may read that you can use your human waste in your garden as fertilizer after composting it. Using your waste for compost or fertilizer for your garden is not safe.
Human waste typically contains viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Composting human waste at home is a risky business because we can’t heat the compost pile to a high enough temperature to kill the items stated above.
Large commercial companies have ways to get the composting materials to extremely high temperatures and to maintain those high temps steadily and produce a product for agricultural areas. It is then tested to make sure it is safe to use anywhere by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
Build Your Own Trench Latrine
Building your own trench latrine is an effective way of getting rid of waste if you’re without power for an extended amount of time. It’s basically a trough that you dig underground, that catches all your sludge.
This method is doable if you live in a rural area and have the yard to do it in. You’ll want to build it at least 2-foot wide and at least 4-feet deep. Please dig it several hundred feet away from any water or food source.
You’ll also want to build some privacy so you don’t catch any neighbors spying on your business or using it themselves. Placing stakes in the ground and putting a simple tarp or covering over the area hopefully will give your family the privacy you want.
Keep It Sanitary
Remaining sanitary will prove more difficult when dealing with your waste after the power has gone out, but still doable.
Make sure you have extra hand sanitizer, disinfectants, bleach, and disposable gloves that you can use to deal with your waste.
Again, it’s smart to have extra water set aside for situations such as this, to help with flushing your toilets and washing hands.
If you think you can just bag up your garbage and put it out with the weekly trash, you need to think again. More than likely if the power is out and water systems are not functioning, the city waste disposal/garbage truck service probably won’t be either.
You’ll need to plan on holding on to those bags for a while. Do some research and find out if your local landfill will let you bring the bags there for disposal. That’s if the roads to the landfill are usable. Boy, so many issues to think about.
Matt gave me this link: Field Facilities for Human Waste
These are just a few ways that can help you deal with your family’s waste after the power has gone out. If you’ve gone without power for an extended amount of time, what did your family do to get rid of your waste? Please keep prepping. May God bless this world, Linda
Copyright Image: AdobeStock-1522643 by Warren Rosenberg