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High pressure on on-site wastewater systems this corona summer

Published: 2 June 2020

Many will spend this year's vacation in a summer house to avoid the ravages of the coronavirus. This, in turn, will increase the pressure on on-site wastewater facilities that belong to a summer house. Researcher Inga Herrmann at Luleå University of Technology has studied these wastewater systems a little closer and held a lecture about her research at Vetenskapens hus in Luleå.

Reusing your own wastewater provides an environmental benefit by reducing the energy required to produce and transport fertilizers.

"It might be a good idea to let the on-site wastewater system become the renovation object of this summer," says Inga Herrmann, associate lecturer at Luleå University of Technology.

Many older on-site wastewater systems in summer cottages have flaws and emit large amounts of phosphorus, which leads to eutrophication of receiving waters. Some are no longer legal because of stricter environmental requirements. But there are sustainable alternatives, both from an economic and environmental point of view.

 "Wastewater is a resource that can be used for example as fertilizer in the for growing vegetables in a garden," says Inga Herrmann.

Urine mixed in ash from wood does not smell

One piece of advice that Inga Herrmann gave during her lecture was to use the family urine in the irrigation of the garden. Urine contains potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen mixed with one part unirin and nine parts water. To avoid an unpleasant odor, the urine can first be mixed in ash from wood from the fireplace.

In the ensuing question time came a question about how Inga Herrmann stands for incineration toilets. The answer was that they are probably good in cases where it is difficult to empty a tank if, for example, the cottage is very inaccessible. But Inga also pointed out that combustion toilets draw a lot of electricity and that they are quite expensive to buy.

A link to a recording of this lecture will be posted in this article shortly.

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Inga Herrmann

Inga Herrmann, Associate Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 492528
Organisation: Urban Water Engineering, Architecture and Water, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering