It seems like there’s really an advantage to seperating ‘grey water’ and ‘black water’ disposal systems. I’ve been vaguely aware for some time, and recently have been doing a lot of reading on this. While the initial cost of setting up parallel systems in a home or on a vessel of some kind may be slightly higher, the total cost of operation actually decreases significantly, along with the environmental impact.
They key is that wash water and urine contain very little in the way of harmful pathogens. In fact, rather than pollution, a grey water system allows nutrients to be retained locally and utilized for anything from hydroponics to more natural fertilization and watering. Urea from urine also has many industrial uses. Urine is especially adaptable to use with halophytic plants, and these species seem like the best bet for being able to grow well in a seastead environment anyway.
Having a grey water system and urine diverter in the heads also reduces the storgae and processing needs for black water systems (containing feces) because the volume is MUCH lower. Once grey water is mixed with black water it is all black water, and hazardous without some kind of processing. Grey water can be applied to hydroponics or other farming immediately, althouogh the recommendation seems to be a relatively short period of storage before use.
Use of halophytic plants also means that the water flush systems for black water can probably use seawater, as it will be diluted and processed before application.
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