cold and stink
Friday, December 4 2009
Despite my attempts to seal the brownhouse cabin away from the shit-filled basement below, there are still tiny air leaks around the lid that covers the toilet seat. These leaks could be further reduced with weather stripping or some sort of padding, all of which would complicate the business of keeping surfaces sanitary. So I've put the matter on a back burner. It hasn't mattered too much. The little odor that does reach up from below only seems to show up in cold, sunless conditions, and even then it never smells much worse than a hint of old socks, the sort of smell you wouldn't even notice unless you're coming in from fresh outdoor air (which you generally are if you're heading with some urgency to an outhouse). Why doesn't the brownhouse smell badly on sunny days? My theory is that it has something to do with the solar-powered convection induced in the ventilation stack (and also on the shit can itself, which sits directly behind a small south-facing basement window). On cold sunless days, though, the stink and fecal offgassing simply accumulates in the basement, gradually diffusing through the cracks around the toilet seat and slightly-contaminating the poorly-ventilated air of the cabin. Without sunlight, cold heavy air will tend to pool in the vent stack, blocking it as as an avenue of escape.
Fortunately, today was a sunny day and temperatures in the brownhouse rose into the 60s. They would have risen even higher were it not for the 40 gallons of water acting as a massive temperature stabilizer.
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