My husband and I are buiding off grid and live in a temporary RV and have well water. We have an outhouse used majority of times, though sometimes use the inside toilet for urine only,in addition to showers, laundry, sink (waste goes to chickens).

We recently had some volunteer tomatoes pop up around the run off that goes to the wildflowers. The tomatoes are the best looking I’ve seen here in this high desert. My alternative energy partner say’s there are no issues eating these tomatoes, I am hesitent because there is urine in this grey water as well. What is the answer here?



  1. 0 Votes

    You should not eat tomatoes that have or may have grown in raw sewage, whether it’s urine or otherwise. Some plants, including tomatoes, grow very well in sewage, but this doesn’t make them good or safe for people to eat. Fertilizing plants in the US with raw sewage has been outlawed for agriculture sold commercially because there are risks of plants becoming infected or carrying viruses, protozoa, bacteria, and helminths. While your sewage is more “clean” than that of a more communal sewage system, it will still contain pathogens. Not only can sewage create a coating on the outside of the tomatoes, washing them also wouldn’t eliminate the threat posed by sewage, as the plant harbors the contaminants in its flesh. Better safe than sorry.

  2. 0 Votes

    If it is only being fertilized with urine then it is safe.  Not only is it a great fertilizer, according to the Scientific American, urine is practically sterile when it leaves the body.  If there is any possibility there is other materials that have leeched into the tomatoes though I would urge you to follow elefitz advice.  Better safe than sorry.

  3. 0 Votes

    One of the reasons the “grey water” works so well for the Tomatoes and other vegitation, is that it is high in Ammonia, Nitrogen and Phosphrus from the soap.  Actually, “greywater” is harder to treat then typical septic effluent.  I was wondering what you are going to do for your septic system.  There are some great wastewater treatment systems available that will treat the effluent to a point where it is clean and with disinfection safe for re-use, ie toilets, and landscape watering.

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