Models: Centrex 2000 NE
Location: Installed in 10 houses in the Bahamas
Reviewed By: Curtis Campaigne
I am an architect/developer on an island in the Far Bahamas. We have built a small eco community – 10 houses 22 Sunmar Centrex 2000 NE units. In our community, most of the houses are within 50 feet of the beach and the waters are always turquoise, composting toilets were an obvious first element. Having had a practice in Sweden for 20 years, I was very familiar with the many versions of off the grid toilets that exist in Scandanavia, from electric incinerator toilets, numerous variations of composting toilets and even freezer toilets.
I was therefore very critical when it came to choosing a composting system for our climate and building type in the Bahamas.
Our buildings are built on pilings from two to three feet over ground level. The main reason that I initially chose Sunmar is because the Centrex units were the lowest that I could find. This was important because the floor height of the buildings was determined by the toilets.
The ladies were less interested in building floor heights. They unanimously insisted on a low water flush toilet system. My Swedish wife did not want to stare down a dark hole that she associated with privies in Sweden. So we chose a rather exclusive solution of a Centrex 1000 NE unit for each bathroom with a Sealand low flush water toilet.
Over the 5 years of experience with these toilets, (ours are used every day) I would like to say that there are certain inherent problems with introducing too much water in a composting system. Cleaning personnel have a tendency to want to wash down toilet bowls with disinfectants and masses of water – in spite of instructions to the contrary.
Too much water stops the composting process and one would expect trouble from the smell from anaerobic decomposition. I can’t figure out how Sunmar engineers have managed to create a system that even in the worst flooded conditions DOES NOT SMELL. I would like to add these conditions arise only due to improper use of the system by overzealous cleaning personnel or guests who are not attentive to the ECO in ecotourism.
And in the best of conditions, I never tire of showing off our toilets, taking our many interested visitors directly to the “dirty” end, opening up the composting drawer, grabbing a handful from the drawer and thrusting a handful of composted material first under my nose and then under theirs. They are always flabbergasted because the resulting compost smells just like wood land loam.
I originally had some problems coming up with a proper mix for filler. Lacking diggable soil, I was forced to import whatever materials I would need. I first tried peat moss, much of which would fall into the drain pan under the drum, thereby inhibiting proper drainage. I now use a mixture of peat moss and kiln dried wood chips meant for bedding in stables with great success.
Any potential customer is welcome to call or email me.