Eco-friendly toilets for the Pear Orchard Temple

Locally designed and built eco-friendly toilets promote sustainability in Shaxi

From the time we began work on the temple, we knew we would have to completely rebuild the temple public toilets, which were no more than a hole in the ground. The main challenges were that we would need permissions from the village to increase the water supply and get approval from local farmers for right of way to allow drainage and waste containment beyond the temple property.

At the close of last year , we had everything we needed to begin work and so our Master Carpenter, Mr. Yang Liu Yi worked with temple caretaker Chris Barclay to design eco-friendly toilets that would serve visitors while reflecting our commitment to sustainability in Shaxi. We created a very simple design that uses stepped underground filtration pits which are lined by reinforced concrete to prevent leeching, combined with varying densities of rocks and gravel to filter graywater into pipes that lead into an open containment field over 200 meters away. This septic field 化粪池 has lilies, wild taro and other waste-absorbing plants to help maintain good filtration and evaporation, leaving waste that can be used for fertilizer. The water is supplied from a newly installed cistern in a remote corner of the upper shrine building.

This is the first such eco-friendly toilet in Diantou Village 甸头村 and a model for human waste management, all engineered with local know-how, simple materials and cooperation from local people.

Once the project was completed, we also added decking to an outdoor dining area which will help prevent erosion.

Shaxi temple toilets before renovation

Shaxi temple toilets before renovation

 

Shaxi temple toilets before renovation - Shaxi Yunnan travel

Front view of Shaxi temple toilets before renovation

 

Mr. Yang rebuilds Shaxi Pear Orchard Temple toilets - Shaxi Yunnan China

The stepped underground filtration tanks

 

Project Manager Yang - Shaxi Pear Orchard Temple new toilets - Shaxi Yunnan China

Creating the water inflow tank

 

Shaxi temple eco-friendly toilets under renovation - Shaxi Yunnan China

Building the new housing

 

New cistern for Shaxi Pear Orchard Temple - Shaxi Yunnan travel

New cistern for toilets and temple fire-suppression system

 

Shaxi temple eco-friendly toilets under renovation - Shaxi Yunnan travel

Traditional roof in place

 

Capping off the sistern - Pear Orchard Temple - Shaxi Yunnan China

Capping off the cistern

Dredging filtration pits - Pear Orchard Temple - Shaxi Yunnan China

Dredging filtration pits

 

Tiling the bathrooms - Pear Orchard Temple - Shaxi Yunnan

Tiling the bathrooms

 

New sinks at restored Shaxi temple - Shaxi Yunnan China

New sinks

 

New toilets at restored Shaxi Yunnan temple

New toilet stalls

 

New toilet at restored Shaxi Yunnan temple

New toilet

 

Shaxi Pear Orchard Temple new toilets- Shaxi Yunnan travel

Construction complete

 

Shaxi Pear Orchard Temple rebuilt toilets - Shaxi Yunnan travel

Building front view

 

New outdoor dining deck - Shaxi Pear Blossom temple restaurant - Shaxi Yunnan China

New temple restaurant outdoor dining area under the ancient tree

 

Outdoor dining deck - Shaxi Pear Orchard Temple - Yunnan China

Outdoor dining deck