• May 15, 2018

    Peter, great article, but something you mentioned above triggered a related concern. It is very dry here, so we are using grey water to dampen our compost heaps. (We only use very critically selected organic soap and washing products, so that’s not my concern.) However, the source of that grey water is municipal water, which contains chloride. As per regulation, the grey water gets flushed every 24hrs – so it doesn’t have long to stand in the holding tank. So how much of that chlorine can kill the organisms in the compost heap?

    • May 15, 2018

      Hi Martin, I am not sure how much chloride will harm the micro-organisms . If that water is your only source to keep the compost moist, then I do feel that focusing on how you can quite easily reduce the chloride in it would be more helpful. One way is to decant the liquid and let it sit in sunlight for 24 hours. I always recommend this for people using chlorinated town water. The other thing to do is consider your compost method. I make biodynamic compost heaps and rarely water them once they are built. Lots of water goes into the making process. i do not turn the heaps until 4 months out and may turn them once, add some water and let them finish off, a process that takes 5 months in total during the cool season and 4 months in our wet warm season.

  • May 17, 2018

    Thank you Peter. I’ll think about a sunlight process on the way to the heaps. I tried the no-turn for two years, but it just dries out and I end up with dry twigs and leaves. Now with regular grey water and regular turning, I’m getting temperatures in the 50s and 60s, and I get damp warm black gold 🙂

  • Dale Heers
    May 23, 2020

    Hey Peter, Thanks for an informative read. I have become increasingly concerned of late about the wide spread use and undisclosed effects of flame retardants after having a lot of difficulty lighting the fire with certain plain cardboards that won’t catch fire. In particular using newspaper and cardboards treated with same either as sheet mulch or added as fire ash. So finding your pages has offered some great alternatives to consider. The toxicity embodied in every day products is frightening.

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