Outhouses instead of water closets for water saving and nutrient circulation – case Kolin Keidas

On average a Finn flushes 4,5 kg of nitrogen and almost a kilogram of phosphorus per year through WC, and all this with drinkable water. A water-free outhouse renders circulating nutrients on-site, saves clean water and lowers nutrient loads to water bodies. In addition, expensive wastewater treatment systems are avoided.

Kolin Keidas, a B&B-service company in North-Karelia, Finland, is a rare visitor facility in modern times since it has no WCs. Instead, only water-free outhouses are available at the premises. In fact, it proves that in rural areas, a well-designed and managed outhouse is a functional and affordable alternative to a WC.

The facility’s dry-outhouse waste is composted onsite in four composting containers after which these are used as growing medium for perennial flowers and bushes. A bit more work is indeed needed to manage the outhouses. However, with appropriate operating conditions, namely adequate number of containers and a hard ground on which to move the containers, the work runs effortlessly.


“Restructuring is probably what we are talking about here”

A translated comment by Joona Sarisalmi, entrepreneur & host, Kolin Keidas.

The outhouse (red building)

There are two outhouses in Kolin Keidas fitted with two 300-liter urine diverting Biolan Populett-containers and two as reserve. This allows for a delay between switch and emptying the containers if necessary. These containers may also be used for temporary composting, but the long-term composting takes place in four larger post composting containers. A hydraulic container flipper has been built to ease emptying the Biolan popullet containers into the post composting containers. Also, larger custom-built tyres than the factory-standard have been attached to smoothen roll on the platform. The emptying is done about seven times per year, according to the entrepreneur.

The separated urine is collected into a separate tank which is emptied annually off the premises by a suction truck. The urine could, however, be used as a fertilizer, and there are ejectors available for this in markets which mix water and urine fit for fertilizing.


Custmon wheels on Biolan-Populett-container


Kolin Keidas homepage: https://www.kolinkeidas.com/

Read more about Kolin Keidas’ environmental impacts from here

See the video from Kolin Keidas here

CBC NatureBeST -Green Nature Based Solutions in Tourism to reduce negative impact on the environment.

Karelia CBC is a Finnish-Russian cross-border collaboration program promoting attractiveness of the region. It is funded by the European Union, Republic of Finland and the Russian Federation

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