How much water is too much?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: How much water is too much?
Author: Xenos (Xenos)
Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 8:59 am
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Hi Sallie,

What I'd do is keep an eye on the compost thermometer. After even a week of high internal temperatures, the bad guys are gone and there's no further danger of contaminants in a pile set to rest.

However, if you can spare the water, it might be nice to add a gallon or so every two or three weeks during the rainless summers. It will spur any further thermophilic activity, and dampen the drying-out edges. The wrigglers (they love the dampness) will thank you, and your final product will be that much richer.

Author: Sallie (Sallie)
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 2:40 pm
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We live in Boise, Idaho, and during the summer it rains very rarely. I finished filling my compost bin and have just started filling the other bin.

Do I need to continue to water the first bin now that it is full (although it has shrank remarkably)? It is not going to get much water for the next few months if I don't. I plan on letting it sit for several years before using BTW. Thanks, Sallie

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Tuesday, October 02, 2007 - 2:46 pm
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We get about 42 inches annually here in northwestern PA and we've never had to cover the compost in 28+ years. However, if you get the rain all at once or in concentrated periods, you may need to throw a tarp over the compost once in a while.

Author: John Smith (John)
Tuesday, October 02, 2007 - 11:57 am
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Yep.

The handbook acknowledges this and, in my recollection, also shows plans for setting up a covered compost bin for such situations.

John

Author: Jen (Jen)
Monday, October 01, 2007 - 10:55 am
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I am very excited to get started composting my humanure, and am in the process of building my new bins. I live in the pacific NW where it rains all winter long. We get about 40 inches from October through March. I know in the Humanure Handbook it says that you don't need to cover the bins, that the extra moisture from rain is good. But can there be too much of a good thing?

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