Oxbow National Wildlife refuge

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wanted to provide visitors to Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge in Harvard, MA, with restroom facilities at an area with no running water but did not want to bring in portable toilets, especially ones that use chemicals.  So, just like Rachel Carson NWR before it, Oxbow installed a Clivus composting system with waterless toilets.

The new restroom building provides clean and odor free facilities in a remote, waterless location.  It is a closed, self-contained system so there is no discharge into the soils.  Liquids entering the composter are first filtered and treated through the compost mass and then stored in a collection tank to be pumped off and recycled according to MA Title 5 regulations.  Solids remain in the Clivus composter for at least 2 years where they will be reduced by 95% and become pathogen-free fertilizing humus.

No water is used to operate the toilets and hand sanitizer is used in lieu of hand washing sinks.  Since no solid waste or wastewater is expelled into the ground there was no need to build an outside system to treat waste, and excavation was contained to the footprint of the building.

Visitors to Oxbow get a firsthand environmental education; these same visitors at the restrooms will receive firsthand experience in conservation and preservation of our vital natural resources.

Clivus composting restroom building at Oxbow NWRClick to view Case Study