|Stored goat urine at CEPROCAL|
It is important to note, however, that all urine - including human urine - contains valuable macronutrients and micronutrients that can be used for crop production, especially a simple home garden. While using human urine may be viewed as an unpleasant concept at first glance, the potential benefits are undeniable. The primary macronutrient found in urine is nitrogen. Additionally, that urine contains anywhere between 2.5 and 3.5 grams of potassium and 0.5 to 1 gram of phosphorus in plant soluble form. Worried about urine acidifying your soil? Fresh urine typically has a pH that hovers around 6, while stored urine often becomes moderately alkaline.
|Stabled goats at CEPROCAL|
Right, right, so it's safe to use, but what about the smell? That strong smell is due in large part to the volatizing nitrogen in the urine as it comes in contact with oxygen. In other words, storing the urine in a hermetically sealed non-corrosive container will greatly limit the odor. Additional steps taken during the application (described below) will further reduce any foul odor.
How much should be applied and what is the best method of applying it? As the quantity of nitrogen in urine varies (as do plant nitrogen requirements), using trial and error with dilution rates and frequency of application is critical. It should be noted, however, that studies conducted by ECHO with corn, okra, and pak choi, indicate that the plants that received a 9:1 water to urine application rate once a week performed the best. Preferably shortly before rainfall, the diluted urine should be poured into 1 to 2 inch furrows and covered with soil shortly thereafter.
For more information about sustainable and sanitary human waste technologies, please visit http://www.ecosanres.org/
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