With all the buzz about self-sustaining industries and sustainability, you are probably wondering how you can make your farm more self-sustaining. Actually, the answer is as close to you as your septic tank. A single septic tank cleaning/pumping can sustain your farm and farming practices for at least a couple of seasons. Here is how.
Treated Waste as Crop Fertilizer
There is a process whereby you can treat your own human waste in your septic tank and then use it as crop fertilizer. Sure, it sounds horrific, but it works. You would need to add certain treatments to your septic system to make it usable on crops, and you would have to check with local municipalities to make sure it is allowed in your city/township/state. (In some areas, it is banned, but other municipalities allow it because it resolves several issues regarding the disposal of human waste, and is a super-cheap fertilizer for farmers.)
Additionally, the waste does no harm to the water table, as the soil acts as the sieve for the more solid waste particles. This is the same effect that the leach field has in your septic system; the liquid portion is released underground and sinks into the soil far above the water table. Nothing is tainted or poisoned and the soil is enriched by your waste.
Human Waste Becomes Electricity for the Farm
When you combine fuel cells with methane gas, you get electricity. Power companies on the West Coast are already doing this, and you can do it too. You would just have to outfit your farm with a miniature version of a treatment plant, which helps you harvest the methane from your own septic system. The methane is channeled into the fuel cells, which in turn power all of the electrical needs on your farm. The best part is that you never pay another electrical bill again, and the need for generators on the farm are practically eliminated.
Cleaning, Pumping and Conversion Costs
Since your self-sustaining farm dream will have set-up costs associated with it, you can expect to pay several thousands of dollars to get started. Every year, or semi-annually, you hire a septic tank cleaning company to come and pump out the sludge and the liquid waste. Spring is probably your best option, as you can fertilize the fields right after tilling.
The remaining waste you can process through your private treatment facility to produce the electricity you need. It will be a trial and error period your first year, to see how much septic waste you need to produce enough fertilizer and electricity to run your farm. After that, you will know exactly how often you need to get your system pumped and cleaned out to keep up with energy demands.Contact a septic service, like AAA Pumping Service, for more help.