Hepatitis C Hazard from Greywater, Composting Toilets

Subject: Would GW, composting toilet owners with Hepatitis C be creating a
health hazard for visitors?
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001
From: Art Ludwig

John writes:
> My partner and I both carry the hepatitis C
> virus. Would we be creating a health hazard to
> visitors by using a grey water system or composting
> toilet?

John,
This is a good question. These systems are supposed to be
designed to be safe with pathogens introduced. In practice,
the assumption in the overdeveloped world is that the final
backup in case of a system problem is that there probably
isn't going to be much in the way of pathogens in it
anyway.
However, we are in a very liability conscious society and
you *know* that pathogens are going into the system. For
this reason, probably the design hurdle to feel OK about
what you are doing is higher than the one to provide an
acceptable level of risk to your guests.
Though Hepatitis A is super transmittable through feces,
the means of transmission of Hepatitis C is unclear; it is
thought to be exclusively blood to blood, though cases do
crop up now and then which are not explicable by this
means. The added risk from your Hepatitis C viruses with
well-designed, built and used systems is probably small
(this is a guess, not a recommendation).
For sure I would not cut any corners.
Good luck,
Art

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