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Prepping 101: Doomsday Bunker – Part 4: Waste Management And Disposal & Clean Fresh Air Supply

Bunker NBC Air Filtration Doomsday

This will be the last post on the doomsday bunker and will be touching one of the key components of a doomsday bunker which is clean air ventilation. The ventilation needs to withstand nuclear, biological and chemical attacks and must be able to filter toxins from the outside, powerful enough to vent the whole bunker and is easy to be operated manually by a child. Image source: Keep Your Tribe Alive

Read these first:-

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In space, going to the toilet is very complicated due to the zero-gravity atmosphere and you cannot afford to have bits of craps flying around the cabin. The waste is vacuum packed and then disposed of once the astronauts return to Earth. This will be one of the options for a doomsday bunker provided there is enough space and power to run the vacuum suction system.

Bunker Factor 6 – Waste Management

Human waste management will be the biggest challenge when one is living in a doomsday bunker for years. It is already a big headache on the municipality list on daily basis. The obvious choice to eliminate human waste is to “flush it down” to some sewage tank far away from the bunker and let it decompose into a harmless substance.

The standard disposal will be connected to the standard sewage system so that it can be drained away to the sewage management system provided it is still working after doomsday. Urine may be recycled into drinking or washing water through reverse osmosis or heating and collecting the vapour.

Vacuum packing like in space may not be a feasible option but this one from the European Space Agency may be feasible provided the technology is widely available:-

“We are creating an artificial ecosystem which uses micro-organisms to process the waste so that we can grow plants,” says Christophe Lasseur from the MELISSA project team at ESA’s technical centre ESTEC in the Netherlands.

MELISSA (Micro-Ecological Life Support Alternative) goes further than other recycling systems used on Mir or the International Space Station which purify water and recycle exhaled carbon dioxide, but do not attempt to recycle organic waste for food production.

The MELISSA recycling system will consist of five separate, but interconnected, compartments. In three of them, waste will be progressively broken down by different fermentation processes. In the fourth compartment, algae or plants will grow to produce food, oxygen and water.

The fifth “compartment” is where the consumers will live – rats in the case of the latest experiments and astronauts on a real mission to Mars.

(Source: ESA)

And another would be cheaper options like this:-

You can keep it simple with a room with a trench, like an outhouse. It’s cheap and quick, but it can be unsanitary. A “poop tube” is a quick way to deal with waste, and they’re easy to make, needing only some PVC pipe. They’re not great for long-term use, however.

A composting toilet needs no water; instead, it transforms waste into fertilizer, which is excellent if you have plants, but they can be a little pricey and smelly in enclosed places. A wastewater pump and lift system is a popular option for controlling waste. These systems pump waste from lower to higher elevations.

(Source: Big Rentz)

Waste into fertilizer will be a great recycling option especially when we have hydroponics in the bunker deep down and away from the living quarters. Of course, to ensure it is ventilated and free from any odours & toxic gases.

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This is an excellent demonstration of the various air ventilation systems in the market that is capable of filtering dangerous, toxic external air and providing clean air for the bunker. The good ones are those made in Europe and Israel and are manufactured to military standards.

Bunker Factor 7 – Ventilation & Air Purification

Considering it is an underground bunker, air ventilation is vital otherwise, the air will be stale and dangerous for the occupants.

The only option is to install several units of the NBC air filtration system all around the bunker that does not need too much power and can provide enough clean air to ventilate the whole bunker. It is not cheap however and only certainly overseas companies manufacture high-quality systems – each going for about RM45,000 per unit.

How NBC air filtration protects you

The filtration system converts electrical energy to air pressure. This pressure and the airflow that it provides is a valuable commodity that protects you in several ways:

1. Preventing toxic leaks in the air filtration system. The blower (fan) is the last component in the filter housing. This puts everything before the blower in negative pressure relative to the air pressure in the shelter. The intake blast valve, the intake hose, and the filter cartridge are all before the blower.

If there are any leaks in these components, filtered air from the shelter will be drawn into the filtration system instead of unfiltered air being expelled outward into your shelter. The filtration system contains unfiltered (toxic) air, but it protects itself (and you) by creating a pressure differential between the inside and outside of the filtration system housing and components.

2. Preventing toxic leaks into the shelter. Everything after the blower is in positive pressure. This includes all of your shelter up to the exhaust overpressure blast valve. This overpressure will ensure that if there are any small leaks in the shelter, the filtered air will flow outward instead of unfiltered air flowing inward. The filtration system protects the entire shelter (and you) by creating a pressure differential between the inside of the shelter and the outside world.

3. You can (and should) use the airflow from the NBC air filtration system to flush a decontamination airlock. This airlock needs to be the last space that the airflow transits. Please see the articles on shelter layouts and airlocks for more information. The filtration system protects you by flushing the airlock to remove unfiltered (toxic) air before you open the inner door.

(Source: North West Shelter Systems)

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The NBC air filtration system relies on the quantity of carbon & good HEPA filters for filtering the toxins. The more the system has the cleaner the air will be inside the bunker. The pressure from the blower must be strong enough to push the old, stale air out of the bunker.

Clean, fresh air will also ensure the temperature in the bunker remains cool and dry. This itself will make the living and working in an underground bunker for a long time. No doubt, the military-grade NBC air filtration system on sale and in good numbers will ensure the bunkers are well ventilated.

Final Say

Of course, when it comes to storage, there are other items that will need to be factored such as:-

  • Medicines & other medical supplies
  • Hardware, spare parts & electrical repair tools
  • Ropes, sealants and tapes
  • Radio equipment including short wave radio, ham radio and walkie-talkies
  • Clothing including waterproof clothing to venture out from the bunker
  • Weapons which can be from a basic machete to a high-powered assault rifle
  • Maps especially the areas surrounding the bunker

Even a good working bunker with all the facilities and storage to keep the occupants alive underground for years, one thing that needs further consideration is how to keep occupants of the bunker active, both physically and mentally.

For this, a good fully equipped gymnasium will be a good option to keep the occupants fit and healthy. Another will be a well-stocked library and a game room that has non-electronic games such as chess and monopoly that can be played by the occupants when they are bored.

Further to break the boring idle time inside the bunker, it will be good if there is a list of tasks to be done on a daily basis which will include bunker and equipment inspections, repairs and recycling. These will also ensure that the bunker and the pieces of equipment are working at the optimal level. Working at the hydroponics will take a considerable time each day as well.

It is a fact that the demand for underground bunkers has increased in recent years due to the COVID19 pandemic and also the Russia-Ukraine war. And events in future will definitely make private and public doomsday bunkers a norm although they will not be opened to all. The technology behind bunker building and pieces of equipment has continued to evolve to ensure the comfort and sustainability of the occupants for long period.

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