Water Storage Tank. Photo: Maureen Sullivan


For water storage, LEF purchases pressurized bladder or diaphragm tanks. These tanks are halfway filled with pressurized air, separated from the water by a balloon. Once or twice a day, an LEF member turns a timer to charge the storage tanks, which are powered by a D.C. pump connected to the photovoltaic system. This system stores all the water needed for domestic use and garden irrigation.

In the summer, the irrigation water for the fields passes through the house and pulls heat with it, providing a simple air conditioning system.



Outer Hatch for Composting Toilet. Photo: Maureen Sullivan


LEF uses a homemade composting toilet instead of flush toilets. The composting toilet is a two-chamber design, allowing one side to compost while the other is being used.

The simple design of composting is air underneath the material being composted. Instead of ending the foundation at ground level, LEF built a cinderblock structure about four feet high. The composting system sits below the floor of the building, and the collection drums can be exchanged easily through this outer hatch.