Bar-T Mountainside Camp
Urbana, MD

BarT Camp provides 350 kids per day with both “a great time” and environmental education. The camp sits on 150 acres and includes ball fields, courts, classrooms, a pool and showerhouse, an amphitheater, high and low ropes courses, a streambed “laboratory”, and active agriculture.
The original design was for a drip irrigation sewage system that would have consumed 5 acres of land, provided very little benefit to the land, and cost about $1 million. Instead, a nutrient recycling system was installed with all nutrients and organic matter used to benefit the landscape and agriculture, at half the cost (including basement spaces). Bar-T Camp was able to save money and demonstrate their environmental mission.

Composters under all toilets

Clivus Multrum composting toilets are in basement spaces under all toilets. Compost tea (composted urine) is stored for periodic agricultural use. Compost is removed annually for landscape use.

Compost tea used in agriculture
A nutrient management plan provided by the local Agricultural Extension Service governs the spreading of the compost tea (composted urine) on a farm field. This nutrient recycling procedure has no nutrient pollution, builds soil fertility, and reduces the use of chemical fertilizers.
Graywater wildflower meadow
Graywater from all sinks and showers is dosed to the root zone of this 8,000 square foot wildflower meadow without any pretreatment or septic tanks. Mechanical distributing valves direct a small aerobic dose to each of 20 zones, in sequence. Graywater design flow was 50% of the sewage design flow; actual graywater flow is 10% of graywater design flow.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Annapolis, Md (overlooking the Chesapeake Bay)

The new CBF Headquarters (The Philip Merrill Environmental Center) received the U.S. Green Building Council’s Platinum Award (the highest possible) for it’s many state-of-the-art technologies. Water conservation goals were achieved with the use of Clivus waterless, composting toilets.
Three large capacity Clivus composting systems serve the 100 employees of this green office building. CBF uses Clivus composters at four additional educational outposts: Meredith Creek Outpost near Annapolis; Karen Noonan Center near Bishop’s Head; Fox Island Outpost near Crisfield; and Port Isobel Island Outpost near Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay.
There are 10 toilets and 2 urinals, all are waterless and odor free due to negative air pressure from the system fan. The Clivus systems are an important component of the frequent tours of this innovative green building.

ThorpeWood Retreat

Thurmont, Maryland

ThorpeWood is a contemporary, rustic, lodge-style retreat center located in the Catoctin Mountains of Western Maryland. The NutriCycle System is consistent with their strong environmental mission that includes enhancing the landscape, not degrading it. Restrooms are odor-free due to constant negative air flow down the toilets. There are 6 toilets and 2 urinals.
Two high capacity Clivus composters are located in a utility room behind the main lecture hall. About 4 wheelbarrow loads of compost are removed each year. Compost is transported by truck for recycling to vegetation around the building (nutrient recycling).
Clivus liquid fertilizer (liquid from composted urine and decomposing food scraps) accumulates in this 600-gallon storage tank. A keyed switch and discharge port on the side of the building makes liquid transfer easy.
A pick-up truck tank is used for transport to the nutrient recycling area. Clivus liquid fertilizer is spread in the Chestnut Plantation (nutrient recycling) with the aid of a special pump. Spreading can be manual (shown) or by an impulse sprinkler.
The ThorpeWood Graywater Flowerbed uses irrigation troughs with slate lids that form walkways. The Cabin at ThorpeWood, home of ThorpeWood’s Director, also uses a NutriCycle System. Graywater irrigation troughs are incorporated into the area to the left, terraced with natural stone.

Sugarloaf Citizens Association

Dickerson, Maryland

The Montgomery County (Maryland) government renovated this Gothic Dairy Barn (Linden Farm) and leases it to the Sugarloaf Citizens Association. Both the County and the Association agreed that the NutriCycle System was consistent with their environmental health goals, and that the alternative, a mound septic system, was not. The Clivus accommodates 2 toilets and 1 urinal, and can easily handle heavy usage from large meetings or picnics. About 2 bushels of compost are generated per year. The compost is recycled to shrubbery around the building.
The negative air pressure in the toilets keeps the restrooms odor-free. The liquid fertilizer (composted urine) is stored as it accumulates in this 300-gallon tank.
Liquid fertilizer is spread on grassed areas (nutrient recycling) once a year by way of a mobile tank and a bumper drip line. In this Graywater Flowerbed, the nutrients in graywater are recycled to the vegetation, and clean water is returned to the groundwater. Irrigation troughs with slate lids that double as walkways are used.

Public Facility

White Clay Creek State Park

Newark, Delaware

This composting restroom serves both the Nature Center for White Clay Creek State Park and the general public taking advantage of the hiking, biking, and jogging opportunities. Installed in 1988, the early model composters are performing well, even as Park usage increases.

Lake Shore Athletic Complex Restroom

Lake Shore, Maryland

(Anne Arundel County Department of Parks and Recreation)

When the County planners eliminated the sewage leach field by switching to composting, they were able to add another ball field! With 9 athletic fields, the restroom gets plenty of use. Two large capacity Clivus composters do the work.
This device, carrying a large bucket of compost, can be rolled right up the stairs. Compost is raked into the lawn (nutrient recycling).

White Plains Post Office

White Plains, Maryland

This Post Office is a modern facility with 10 employees. Slow percolating soil and small lot size made making sewage impossible, so a small basement with a Clivus composter was added. This 3-foot by 10-foot graywater flowerbed is all that was needed for graywater from hand washing and a janitor’s sink.
Compost is removed by bucket for spreading in the landscape (nutrient recycling). Liquid fertilizer (composted urine) is spread on the lawn by an impulse sprinkler (nutrient recycling).

Hart-Miller Island State Park

Chesapeake Bay, near Baltimore

Beginning as a small natural island, Hart-Miller Island is now a huge island created with dredge material from the Baltimore Harbor. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has converted most of the island into a State Park to serve the needs of the boating and camping public. Access is only by boat or ferry.
An elaborate boardwalk system moves people from the beach and camping areas to the restrooms. Clivus composting toilet systems are consistent with the DNR’s efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay and preserve the natural beauty of the area for public use.
At the other end of the boardwalk is the Ranger Office Complex, including maintenance, first aid, and the observation tower.
Between the Restrooms and the Office Complex, there are 22 toilet and urinal fixtures, with a combined capacity of 1,000 uses per day. On nice summer days that capacity is easily reached.
As the Island project nears completion, DNR plans to put in more composting restrooms.


The Lewis Mill and Miller’s House

Jefferson, Maryland

Built in 1810 as a water-powered gristmill, The Lewis Mill is a fine example of early American industrial architecture. The owners, John Hanson, Susan Hanson, Bob Hanson, and Carol Ahlum, completed the adaptive-use restoration in 1980. The Old Mill is now the residence of John and Susan Hanson and the home of their businesses, NutriCycle Systems and Catoctin Pottery. Bob and Carol live next door in the miller’s house.

During the restoration, the Hansons installed a nutrient recycling system in order to avoid the health hazards, pollution, and costs of a septic system. Upon also learning that one-way nutrient flows (septic systems and sewers) caused loss of soil fertility and lower food quality, the Hansons realized the need to educate people about nutrient recycling and get more of these systems in use.

In 1984, John Hanson became an authorized representative for the composting toilet manufacturer, Clivus Multrum, and began designing and installing complete nutrient recycling systems that include using the liquid fertilizer (composted urine) and graywater in the landscape. Mr. Hanson chose the name “NutriCycle Systems” in order to emphasize the importance of the concept of nutrient recycling.

The Hansons maintain The Lewis Mill and Miller’s House as a demonstration site so that anyone interested in a NutriCycle System can make an appointment to tour the systems in use.

Features of the NutriCycle System in the Mill:

The Composting Toilet System

  • Composter and liquid fertilizer storage tank in basement
  • Two waterless, odorless toilets (first and second floors)
  • Foam flush toilet (third floor, see photo)
  • A countertop mounted food scrap inlet serving the residence kitchen (see photo)
  • Fan forced ventilation system from tank through roof (no odor)
  • In use since 1980

Nutrient Recycling Activity

  • Compost is removed once a year (about 2 bushels) during composter maintenance and is tilled into the garden.
  • The liquid fertilizer discharge port and on/off switch are located on outside wall of building.
  • When ON, liquid fertilizer is pumped from the storage tank in the basement through the discharge port.
  • Liquid fertilizer is spread as needed by bucket, by hose while walking, by sprinkler (see photo), or by mobile tank with a bumper drip line.
  • Nutrients are recycled in accordance with the Guidelines For Nutrient Recycling.

The Graywater Flowerbed

  • Accepts wash water from all sinks, bathing, and laundry.
  • Graywater dosing station in basement.
  • Elevated and at-grade flowerbeds enhance the landscape.
  • Irrigation trough used for even non-clogging distribution of graywater to the root zone of vegetation.
  • Nutrients recycled to the vegetation with no further owner activity.

Features of the NutriCycle System in the Miller’s House:

Equipment is clustered in the basement. From left to right: graywater pump basin (basin with pumps and controller), liquid fertilizer storage tank, and Clivus composter.
A second small Clivus is installed in a crawl space with access through Bilco doors.
Graywater is dosed to irrigation chambers installed in the lawn. (photo: the chamber is installed and ready to be backfilled)
With this “lawn graywater system”:

  • only the lids to the inspection ports are visible (see photo)
  • no mowing obstruction
  • grass is irrigated and fertilized

Contact us to arrange a tour!

EcoVillage House

EcoVillage of Loudoun County

Taylorstown, Virginia

The EcoVillage House (nearing completion) uses permaculture design, including: the NutriCycle System to recycle human body products, food scraps, and graywater to the landscape (nutrient recycling); locally supplied natural building materials (straw bale walls and timber frame structure); passive and active solar heating; passive cooling (thermal mass); a living roof, rain gardens, and rain barrels for water retention.
The Clivus composter in the basement has connections from two waterless toilets (one on each floor above) and a kitchen food scrap inlet mounted in the countertop. Liquid fertilizer is stored in the base of the composter for using in the yard twice a year.
Graywater accumulates in this duplex dosing siphon (a basin with two siphons in it). The dosing siphon requires no electricity for its operation.
When the graywater rises to the right level, pressure differential causes one siphon to trip, and the dose goes out to half of the graywater mound. The siphons automatically alternate: the next dose goes through the other siphon out to the other half of the graywater mound, then back to the first siphon, etc. Dosing siphons are simple and reliable.
Graywater is distributed by flooding dose into these half-pipes, called irrigation chambers, that are installed level. The solids in graywater pass right through the siphons and decompose on the soil surface in these chambers. There is no need for a septic tank or any kind of filtration, and there are no residuals to remove.
The irrigation chambers are installed shallow (just below the finished grade) so that the roots of anything growing on the mound can benefit from the graywater that seeps into the soil below the chambers (nutrient recycling). In this photo, the chambers are ready for final backfill, grade off, and planting.

Gillet Residence

Glyndon, Maryland

The Gillets installed a NutriCycle System to show a strong environmental ethic, and to demonstrate that polluting septic systems are not needed.
The Clivus composter is in the basement. From left to right, the connections to the tank top are: the ventilation fan, the food scrap chute, and the foam flush toilet drain pipe.
The food scrap inlet is quite convenient: scraps accumulate in the stainless steel bowl and are dumped down the chute for composting as needed. There is no garbage disposal, no trash disposal, and no bucket to carry outside. Food scraps are eventually used in the garden as compost (nutrient recycling)!
The Gillets use the foam flush toilet in order to avoid the aesthetic concerns with the large opening of the waterless toilet.
Push the button and foam flows from under the rim, carrying solids down into the composter. Each foaming action uses only 3 ounces of water and the foam spreads out over the composting pile, providing the moisture needed for good composting.
Behind the Clivus is the liquid fertilizer storage tank with a switch on the wall to activate the pump for annual spreading on the lawn (nutrient recycling). Composted urine and liquid from decomposing food scraps accumulate in this tank. The composting process makes this liquid odor free and safe to handle.
There is a liquid fertilizer discharge port on the outside of the house. Attach a hose with sprinkler; flip the switch in the basement, and the lawn is fertilized (nutrient recycling).

Naylor Barn

Stevenson, Maryland

In addition to the NutriCycle System, this barn turned residence uses many green technologies, including the vegetated driveway shown here.
This small Clivus, sized for a 1-bedroom house, fits nicely in the basement utility room. About 1 bushel of compost is removed during annual maintenance, and about 50 gallons of liquid fertilizer (composted urine) are removed in the spring and fall. Both are recycled to the landscape around the house.
The hose is for spreading the liquid fertilizer over the root zone of ornamental vegetation.
Graywater goes to this graywater flowerbed landscaped into the hillside.
Graywater is distributed in the flowerbed by flooding dose to irrigation troughs. Roots grow under the trough and graywater wicks to the sides, irrigating and fertilizing plants growing around the trough.
Graywater is delivered to the flowerbeds by way of a non-electric dosing siphon. The siphon is hidden in the landscape by bushes and mulch. There is no septic tank.
At the peak of the season, the graywater flowerbed becomes a wildflower jungle.