by bev saffy
(port elizabeth south africa )

what can leachate be used for or do u just pour it down the drain

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May 17, 2020
Leachate in the worm bin
by: Pauly

Hi Bev Saffy,

Leachate in the worm bin is always a hot button topic and is definitely not created equal. Not all leachate is bad, but all leachate can be risky to use on plants.

It all depends on how long the liquid has been setting at the bottom, becoming more stagnate and anaerobic, and sometimes, having an "off" smell.

Because so many people have had bad experiences, like killing their plants from harmful pathogens, it's just best not to use it.

A worm bin should always be moist and not have liquid at the bottom. liquid at the bottom is usually due to juicy kitchen scraps or large amounts of water being poured throughout the bedding to acquire the leachate.

If we flood the bin, this causes a lack of oxygen flow.

Worms, microbes and other beneficial life in the bin all require oxygen to THRIVE. This is why it should always remain only moist.

If the bin begins to dry out, simply spritz it with a handy water bottle containing a sprayer.

All that said, it's best to empty the leachate outside on your compost pile (if you have one) or in the soil of bushes, trees, grass, or ornamental flowers.

Foods crops are much more harmed by the bad leachate than non food crops. This can still be risky and if you really think the leachate is bad, just pour it down the drain, toilet or curb.

Thanks for your question about leachate in the worm bin,

May 18, 2020
Flooding the worm bin. NEW
by: Dale Robinson

Not all worm bins are created equal. I built mine to drain withing a few minutes after flooding. I flood the bins at least once a day. This does several things that is good for the worms.
1. It stimulates the worms into producing more cocoons.
2. It displaces the gases in the bin and replaces it with oxygen.
3. Removes castings so that the bedding is cleaner.
4. Reduces worm weight doubling time to 10-15 days.
5. The "leachate" is very well oxygenated and usable.

The system works best when the leachate is ran through bin several times before replacing it with chlorine free water. Never add chlorinated water to the leachate or the bin. I use a temperate barrel to dechlorinate tap water before adding it to the bin.

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