Recode Publications

Molly Winter and Mathew Lippincott create accessible explanations of current codes, background information on ecological sanitation systems, research on codes in other areas and other helpful guides to educate communities, trades people and regulators to effectively participate in transforming codes to protect the environment and human health.

Moving Beyond the NSF

Oregon was previously 1 of only 7 jurisdictions in North America that required treatment systems be certified by NSF. NSF’s certification protocol does not physically monitor effluent characteristics in order to verify system performance in the field. Thanks to Recode this is no longer the case.
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Understanding Oregon’s Regulations for Septic, Composting Toilet & Graywater Systems

What's regulated by plumbing? What's regulated by DEQ? What permit do you need? Recode created this one document to help you understand how toilets, graywater, and rainwater are are regulated in Oregon.
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Comparing Nitrogen Reduction Standards: Oregon & Elsewhere

Recent concerns over nitrates (think urine) in groundwater and surface waters have driven tighter regulations on nitrogen discharge. This document compares the different standards from around the world using the same unit of measurement so you can compare apples to apples. Performance standards in F
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Where Do Septic Tank Plumes Go?

Contrary to common perception septic tank system effluent plumes do NOT readily disperse into the groundwater. Rather effluent plumes (i.e. urine and graywater) move with the direction of groundwater as discrete plumes for miles undiluted. The closer houses are the higher chance of a neighbors plume
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Case Study: Vacuum Toilets with Anaerobic Digestion

Vacuum toilets main benefit is that they require no user change from a flush toilet, but they cost more than conventional flush toilets and require constant energy to run. Vacuum systems can be retrofitted into existing homes. Toilet and vacuum pumping are more expensive than conventional but pipin
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Case Study: Portable Composting Toilets

Collecting excrement without water lowers treatment costs, energy use and creates a nutrient rich fertilizer. Renting portable dry toilets is a profitable means for composting toilet installers to diversify their income. Provides an educational opportunity for people to try out composting toilets.
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Case Study: Composting Toilet

In new construction, dry composting toilets coupled with an infiltration system for graywater are the lowest cost method for meeting the strictest environmental standards. Since no water is used for moving human excreta, a household’s water usage will be reduced by 20-40%. Low energy usage; a sma
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Case Study: Urine Diversion & Septic System

The amount of nitrogen (i.e. urine) that goes into the groundwater through a septic system can be diverted through using urinals and urine diverting toilets. Simply adding urine diverting toilets can reduce the nitrogen going into a households groundwater by 80%.
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Case Study: Passive Sand and Wood Chip Filter

This passive system is a practical solution for households that want a conventional toilet and reduce the amount of pollutants contaminants coming out of their system. Reduces nitrogen output of a household to less than 10mg/L, considered very high treatment for a water based system.
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Septic Tanks Demystified

How do septic tanks work? A third of all Americans use them, but few understand how they work or that their performance depends on maintenance and the quality of their subsoil.
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