Greetings from Clivus Multrum!
This issue of the Natural Solution News explores the use of Clivus composting systems in Canadian installations. Camp Tanamakoon has been teaching girls about the environment since 1925 and installed the first of thirteen Clivus systems about 20 years ago. In Eastern Canada, the Clivus Trailhead has been a success with park visitors and staff alike.
Camp Tanamakoon Shows the Way
|The newest restroom structure at Camp Tanamakoon opened for the 2011 camp season.*
Located within Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Camp Tanamakoon has been teaching young girls about nature and about themselves since 1925. A sleep-over camp with as many as 190 girls, Tanamakoon has made environmental education a major focus of the Camp’s program.
And that education includes the impact campers have every day. Soon after they purchased the Camp 25 years ago, Kim and Marilyn Smith have been steadily replacing all conventional toilets with Clivus systems: “In everything we do, we try to keep our eye on the environment,” says Kim Smith. Not only has it been environmentally sound to make the switch: it has also allowed the camp to expand more easily, since high bedrock at the site limits the opportunities for septic systems. Smith chose Clivus Multrum because he understood them to be leaders in the industry and he wanted a proven technology, “not someone’s experiment.”
Beginning in 1990, Smith started the switch to composting toilets. More appropriate for the remote natural setting and requiring far fewer resources, the new technology worked beautifully. He then began a process of switching out the water-guzzling toilets and replacing them with Clivus Multrum composting systems, a process that was finally completed last summer.
Smith has installed 13 systems and 52 waterless toilets. Five buildings have 2 medium-sized composters each with 4 waterless toilets. Other buildings have smaller composters with yet more waterless toilets. Overall the water savings is close to a quarter of a million gallons each summer.
At Camp Tanamakoon, the water savings is close to a quarter of a million gallons each summer.
Many of the girls at Camp Tanamakoon have grown up with composting toilets and consider them superior to flushing toilets. According to Smith, ”When we first started we were told that they’d like them better. I can attest to that!”
In the future there are plans for additional structures with Clivus systems, including greywater irrigation systems from Clivus. And Tanamakoon’s example is catching on: Camp Oochigeas, Kettlby Valley Camp, Camp Ki-Wa-Y, Camp Glen Bernard, Camp Otterdale, Mi-a-kon-da Camp, and Camp Pine Crest now use Clivus, thanks to Tanamakoon’s breaking the ice.
*image courtesy of Camp Tanamakoon.
Clivus Trailhead is a Hit
|Staff at Johnson's Mills are thrilled with their new Clivus Trailhead.*
The convenient and versatile Clivus Multrum Trailhead has recently won high praise from facility managers and the public in eastern Canada. At the local and provincial levels, parks and nature organizations have found that the Clivus Multrum Trailhead is exactly what they are looking for in a stand-alone restroom facility. According to Jason Nadeau, Project Manager with the City of Dieppe, NB, “From our experience with other Clivus Trailheads, we know that it is a great solution for an accessible restroom that does not require power or water."
Purchased in 2011, the double-stall Trailhead unit was installed at a senior games facility. Priority considerations included providing an aesthetically pleasing and accessible restroom for visitors to the park, as well as the minimal maintenance required by staff. Says Project Manager Nadeau: “We did not even consider another model.”
In 2006, the city of Moncton, New Brunswick, installed two Trailhead units in a nature park after visiting a Clivus Trailhead purchased by the Moncton Sewerage Commission for a walking trail not far from the downtown. The city chose the standard Trailhead building structure, provided in kit form and with on-site installation supervision from Clivus. So pleased were both the park managers and visitors that three more units were purchased and installed this year, one for another nature park and two for a hiking trail. The remoteness of the sites from city utilities means that the Trailhead was the economical choice. In the most recent purchase, the standard kit buildings were installed by city staff and customized to match the aesthetics of other park buildings. While the staff appreciates the minimal maintenance required by the Clivus system, the public is pleased to find a spacious and odorless restroom, a stark alternative to the port’a’johns they might otherwise have had to endure. In fact, the feedback from the public on the first units helped lead to the second purchase. According to Facilities Manager Dan Hicks, “People like having access and expressed interest in having more units, which is why we installed more. We were simply responding to client demands.”
The Confederation Trail (formerly the Prince Edward Island Railway) spans 470 km across PEI from tip to tip. Because of its popularity as a recreation destination, it was important to PEI Provincial Parks to provide accessible restrooms for the many visitors. Park staff has found the Clivus Trailhead to be an excellent match for their requirement of a stand-alone restroom that does not require a water or electrical hook-up. According to Shane Arbing, Provincial Parks Manager, visitors have provided positive feedback and have commented to staff that they appreciate having access to an aesthetically pleasing restroom while visiting the trail.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada operates the Johnson's Mills Shorebird Reserve in New Brunswick, which is a world-renowned stopover for the 2-3 million migrating shorebirds arriving from the Arctic and stopping to prepare for their non-stop flight to South America. Johnson's Mills receives thousands of local and international visitors at the reserve each season, with most visitors concentrated during the migration season in July and August. The conservation organization recently built an interpretive center, but provided only portable toilet facilities until this year when they installed their Clivus Trailhead restroom. According to director Denise Roy, the organization purchased the Clivus after visiting the Clivus restrooms installed in Moncton and being impressed by the pleasing aesthetics. Other major considerations in their decision were the accessibility for visitors with wheelchairs, capacity of the unit to accommodate the many visitors, ability to use solar power to operate the unit’s fan, and not having to invest in a septic system or hook up to a water source. As the photo shows, the Trailhead has been a big hit.
Contact Clivus Multrum to see if the Trailhead compost toilet system is right for your next project.
*image courtesy of The Nature Conservancy of Canada