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Alternative Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC) Meeting July 17, 2018

Public Meeting
Meeting agenda and meeting minutes from the July 17, 2018 Alternative Technology Advisory Committee meeting.

Room 4A, 10:30 a.m. Agenda:

  1.  Welcome/Introductions 
  2. Continuing discussion of Application 12-01, Composting Toilet and Urine Diversion System

City of Portland Development Services Alternative Technology Advisory Committee Meeting Notes
July 17, 2018

Attendees: Joshua Klyber, Bob Sweeney, Jeff Cordial, Aron Faegre, Terry Whitehill, Nancy Thorington, McKenzie James, David Posada, Angel York, Darin Wick, Donna Ruark (notes)

1. Welcome/Introductions

The meeting began with introductions. Angel York and Darin Wick were in attendance to present their application for composting toilets in their residential dwelling.

2. Discussion of Application 11-01, Composting Toilet System

Joshua started the discussion by explaining that applications accepted by this group involve processes or products not allowed by the building code. Aron complicated Angel and Darin on their application—he said it was a good application, it obviously took a lot of time to prepare, and had everything necessary to start the discussion and review of the application.

Bob asked the applicants what they hope to achieve with the application—is it to save money? Darin replied that isn’t the main goal, although cost is a consideration. He stated the existing composting toilet systems typically cost $2,000 or more. Darin is hoping that the system will serve as a model for others to follow in addition to being for their personal use. He said that because there is no process for permitting these types of toilets, individuals are installing them unofficially.

There was some discussion regarding what, if any, involvement the health department should have in the process. It was decided that their involvement should be delayed until the application has been vetted through the ATAC and appeals process, and that it would be up to the applicant to contact the health department.

The next discussion revolved around the Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code and IAPMO, and how those two agencies would be involved in determining standards for the system. Darin said that he has had difficulty accessing information from IAPMO, and especially regarding NSF41 standards. McKenzie offered to help supply the necessary information they need.

After continued discussion, the group came up with a list of recommendations:

  1. Detailed plans for the commode (location in bathroom, volume, etc.)

  2. Site plan – where containers will be stored, location of plants, etc.

  3. Obtain plumbing permit for greywater and other plumbing installations in house

  4. Spillage plans

  5. Protocol for adjusting carbonation level of compost

  6. Diagram of vents

  7. Create operations manual - Each step of the process should be outlined in detail, from

    toilet to the compost bin to spreading the finished product

  8. Detail minimum space requirements and financial obligations

  9. Dimensions of toilet/bucket including materials, cleaning, and replacement plan

Joshua made a motion to accept the application for review. The group unanimously voted yes, with Aron Faegre not present.

3. Next steps

Nancy explained the procedure: the applicant should work on the list of recommendations, and when they are ready, the application can be brought back before the committee for discussion. Then Terry and Nancy will write up an official application and have it posted on the BDS website. Typically the next step after this committee is to submit an appeal (in this case, a plumbing appeal).

McKenzie offered to supply the IAPMO information to the applicant.

Donna will set up a tentative meeting date for some time next month, and the application can be discussed at that time if it is ready for more discussion.

The meeting adjourned.

For information about past meeting agendas and minutes, please contact Donna Ruark.