Interview with Heidi and Bernd
Today we meet Heidi and Bernd, both in their prime, as well as their delightfully lively wire-haired dachshund Willi. For over 30 years the two (or three of them) have spent their weekends in their dacha near Leipzig. For all those who don’t know the term dacha or datscha, here is a brief explanation: The word "dacha" originally comes from Russian and was adopted into GDR language.
But back to our story: Heidi and Bernd sit relaxing in the countryside, while Willi digs a hole at our feet. Their weekend property is connected to the water supply network, has a toilet and since autumn 2018 a dry composting toilet. Of course we are interested and would like to know more about their vision. We ask: why did the couple decide to install a DCT? Bernd answers that he has been dissatisfied for a long time with the previous solution. The toilet contents, together with the gray water, were directed to a collection pit, which had to be emptied quite often. "Not cheap at the same time," he says. We want to know from him whether cost savings have been apparent since the first use of the dry composting toilet. Unfortunately, Bernd cannot tell us that because our time is too short to give accurate figures. He promises us, however, to keep us informed in this regard.
The initial spark ultimately came from their daughter. She and her family have had a composting toilet for a very long time now, are very satisfied with it and had given Bernd the separation insert including toilet seat. Bernd likes to build things and create in his free time. The construction manual and further information on the operation of DCT´s were easy to find on the internet. The construction took about a day, says Bernd as he leans back. In the meantime, Willi has finished digging and is now chewing passionately on a pine cone.
We want to know how the couple handles emptying thecontainer. Since the two are at their dacha only on weekends, they dump the solids on the compost pile every Sunday. Heidi laughs: "But we have forgotton that before and only emptied it again the following Sunday." And that brings us to the next question: were there any problems with flies? Both Heidi and Bernd shake their heads, they have not noticedflies or unpleasant odours in their DCT.
We are interested in whether both of them agreed on and were committed to the installation of the dry composting toilet. Both start grinning: No. At first, Heidi was not really excited about Bernd's idea. She had concerns that the separation toilet would be a step backwards. Heidi imagined the new toilet to be a dump toilet. "I can’t imagine living without it anymore," she explains with conviction, because getting used to it was so quick and easy.
At the end of our conversation we want to know how guests react to the new toilet system. Bernd talks about it: "Since both options, the conventional WC and DCT, are available in our bathroom, some visitors habitually use the standard toilet. But if guests try out the new toilet, then their feedback is absolutely positive. "
The two are not only passionate dachshund fans, but basically spend their holidays in their camper van. Bernd tells us that a chemical toilet to a dry-cleaning toilet conversion is being planned for the camper.
Heidi, Bernd and of course Willi - we thank you for the honest words and the insights into your DCT practice. We look forward tohearing from you again soon, at the latest when your next water bill arrives or when the van conversion begins.