ECHOcommunity Conversations

Urine Collection Designs

Anyone has experience with designing a system for collecting urine for use as fertilizer at a school or community? I am working with a community in Northern Ghana, and they would like to construct such a system with a huge poly tank.
Any successful designs out there? What safety precautions should be taken, especially as kids as young as 5 might be using these urinals?
Videos and pictures would be much appreciated.

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This book is a highly recommend resource on this topic. I downloaded the Kindle version. It is a low cost, local resource that can increase vegetable production if done correctly and safely.
Title: [The Humanure Handbook, 4th Edition: Shit in a Nutshell]

Ten years ago an intern at ECHO did a 30 min evening lecturee on it.
In the end, he asked if anyone had done it and a 100 lb Nun in Ethiopia said they ran their whole farm on the urine of 38 Nun’s! She should have done the lecture
I’d be careful to collect too long. Too much,
I collect three urinals from conference center and a standing four place urinal outside into 5 gallons and float PVC insulation on top
By cutting surface area, you cut transpirationi to ammonia, that ammonia is what you want, If you smell it, you’re losing it.

I want to add something here also to these excellent responses.
This books is “premium”. I have 2 copies and it documents the results of using urine but plenty of documentation on the internet. This is about the only fertilizer I use here in South Sudan and it is a subject covered in every training. This “liquid gold” keeps me from having to do any compost turning or production. I don’t need to spend time on composting because when I dig a hole and put any type of organic matter in the hole and start adding my “liquid gold” little by little the material composts in the hole and becomes more and more fertile and so I feed the microbes breaking down the organic matter and the plant about as much as they can use. Don’t worry if the leaves or organic matter has not broken down at all unless you are in northern cold latitudes because warm soil and liquid gold will do the job. A little soil on top of the organic matter and you are good to plant and you don’t need to fill the hole up completely but you can leave a divet that you can find and reuse year after year. Also keep in mind that you can not put “liquid gold” on transplants that are taken bareroot and soil cube/cell grown transplants are less sensitive. Don’t learn the “loss” way but give them a couple weeks before you nudge their growth with urine. Seeds are not as sensitive as transplants and you can take a little if you place a few drops along the edge of where you have put your organic matter. The close you apply the urine the less you can use. I usually circle the dripping of the urine (undiluted) around the plant or on the edge of the trench. I just use soda bottles and unscrew the cap a little and tilt and you are applying. I can put these in a bag and take them to the garden during a rain event (rain is my signal to apply urine) and there is no smell and generally no one around to see what I am doing. Urine generally does not have disease but since it is possible to carry a disease you just hold it for a month or solarize it for a day in a clear container.

I collect my own urine in coke bottles but I saw a system in Colombia where there was a urinal made out of jerry can cut away and it drained down into a container below. You can use flip flops for sealing both sides and a coke bottle top and a hose pushed up into the coke bottle and wired to the coke bottle.