Cape Cod's 'power couple of pee-cycling' wants you to save that liquid gold

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Cape Cod communities are spending millions to install sewers and upgrade wastewater treatment plants. But a growing number of people say urine diversion or 'pee-cycling' deserves a closer look. The town of Falmouth is leading the way.

Earle Barnhart and Hilda Maingay in their greenhouse, where three cubies are on show and available for purchase. seriously. They grow almost all their own food, raise chickens on kitchen scraps, capture rainwater and rely on solar power in their energy-efficient home.Barnhart and Maingay are known on Cape Cod as the power couple of pee-cycling.Yes, they recycle their urine. And they want their neighbors in Falmouth to do the same.

Last year, Massachusetts passed new regulations requiring Cape Cod communities to clean up their wastewater pollution. So towns on the Cape are spending millions to install sewers and upgrade wastewater treatment plants. But what if there was a cheaper solution? A growing number of people say pee-cycling deserves a closer look.

“I would argue that wastewater is a resource," said Baumgaertel. “Here in the United States, we're not very good at reusing this resource, but in other parts of the world, it's something that they wouldn't waste.”Inspired by their research, Barnhart and Maingay bought urine-diverting toilets for their home and became evangelists for pee-cycling. They even prototyped a urinal for home bathrooms — the “pee pod” — that folds discreetly into the wall. Kinda like a Murphy bed.

A composting toilet, which separates urine from other material, and a cubie unisex urinal, in the bathroom at the Green Center in East Falmouth, Mass." “We could implement urine diversion today by everybody just saying, ‘OK, let's just pee in a bottle and collect it,’ ” said Malcolm Donald, a Falmouth resident and Town Meeting member who is encouraging the town to take a serious look at pee-cycling. “It wouldn't be pretty, of course — we don't have the infrastructure — but it's something that could be done.”

Three cubies, the "least expensive, quickest way to divert urine," at the Green Center in East Falmouth, One man on the tour of Earl and Maingay’s home, Rob Pacheco of Falmouth, thought the whole setup was interesting, but wasn’t quite ready to implement it in his house.Toby and Rich Stomberg, who own a home in Eastham, were more enthusiastic.

Source: Healthcare Press (


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