Camp Asto Wamah adds sustainablility to daily routine

For over 100 years Camp Asto Wamah has offered boys and girls of New England a healthy and wholesome camping experience.  Since 1910 Asto Wamah’s motto has been “Remember the Other Fellow”.  This maxim holds more relevance today as we all strive to preserve our natural resources for future generations.

Over the years as the camp has grown to accommodate 120 campers and staff, so has the need for more restrooms.  The older bathhouse utilizes septic for its wastewater from flushing toilets and showers.  Camp director Nancy MacLean was adamant about finding a sustainable means to service the proposed new restrooms and contacted Clivus New England, Inc.  Together they designed a building and waste treatment system that can reduce fresh water usage and wastewater by up to 97%, close to 600 gallons per day or 54,000 gallons per season.

The new bathhouse employs Clivus composters with Nepon 3-ounce foam-flush toilets and flushless urinals.  Although the new supplemental restrooms were built for camper convenience, the composting system can easily accommodate the full attendance and usage of the camp.  As such, the Clivus system helps to alleviate strain on the existing septic system by diverting visitors away from the original bathhouse that still uses 1.6-gallon flush toilets.

Site disturbance for the new building was minimal since it does not need a full size soil absorption bed and thus many trees were spared.  Given the close proximity to Columbia Lake the Clivus system helps to “eliminate” nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus that can be deemed harmful to the lake and surrounding vegetation.  Solids containing nitrogen, etc., remain in the composter where they will be reduced in volume by 95%, and composter liquid effluent is diverted to a holding tank to be pumped and hauled away; therefore, no “black” waste and polluting nutrients are discharged into the environment.

Upon each visit to the new bathhouse these youngsters are each doing their part to help protect and preserve the quality of Columbia Lake.  Campers at Asto Wamah certainly will be remembering the other fellow; and they will be remembering their future fellows, too.

New composting restroom building
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