How To Put An Outhouse On A Septic Tank? (Solution)

  • Putting the house about ten feet away, and running pipe to the tank, with a vent the same size as the pipe you use, it will minimize the amount of odor that is in the out house. If you run the pipe, it would be a good idea to flush with some water too help in making sure every thing makes it to the tank.

What breaks down poop in an outhouse?

A type of lime called calcium hydroxide, available at feed stores, can be dropped down the hole to reduce odor. But lime might halt decomposition. Ash from a wood-burning stove is better for decomposition, but less effective on odors.

What should I put down my outhouse hole?

Ash or Lime Bucket Keep a small bucket with lime or wood stove ashes inside the outhouse. Use a small scoop to scatter some of the lime or wood stove ashes into the privy after every use. This helps reduce both the bad insects and the nasty odours while aiding the decomposition process.

What to put in septic tank to break down solids?

Yeast helps actively breaks down waste solids when added to your septic system. Flush ½ cup of dry baking yeast down the toilet, the first time. Add ¼ cup of instant yeast every 4 months, after the initial addition.

Can I add a bathroom to my septic system?

One of the foremost reasons for upgrading a septic tank is the addition of a bathroom, sometimes in a basement. This boosts property value and allows you to make better use of a your basement space. To safely treat the extra wastewater, you’ll need to connect it to your septic tank.

How do you make a modern day outhouse?

DIY Project: How to Build Your Own Modern Outhouse

  1. Step 1: Decide if an outhouse is right for your needs.
  2. Step 2: Pick a spot that’s downwind and away from any wells or water sources.
  3. Step 3: Dig a hole.
  4. Step 4: Find or create a building to sit over that hole.
  5. Step 5: Think about the details.
  6. Step 6: Consider a sink.

How big should an outhouse hole be?

For the pit outhouse, dig an excavation that measures 3 1/2 feet x 3 1/2 feet and is five feet deep. This hole may later be cribbed in, but the cribbing is not absolutely essential.

How does a outhouse work?

An outhouse often provides the shelter for a pit latrine, which collects human feces in a hole in the ground. When the pit fills to the top, it should be either emptied or a new pit constructed and the shelter moved or re-built at the new location.

How deep do you have to dig an outhouse?

For the pit outhouse, dig an excavation that measures 3 1/2 feet x 3 1/2 feet and is five feet deep. This hole may later be cribbed in, but the cribbing is not absolutely essential. A properly managed privy is at least as healthful for people and land as a septic system and is far more than a place to evacuate waste.

Can you burn outhouse waste?

The systems where burning is used is in some outhouse-type systems with pits that receive the human waste. Once the outhouse pit is full, the external outhouse is moved, and the contents of the pit are burned. The waste can burn and smolder for a long time, posing a danger to children and animals.

Does lime break down human feces?

Quicklime and calcium hydroxide (hydrated lime) have been used to treat biological organic wastes for more than 100 years. Treatment of human wastewater sludges (i.e., biosolids) with lime is specifically prescribed in EPA’s regulations.

What will dissolve human waste?

Household Bleach Use bleach just in case when your toilet is clogged severely. You will need to pour two to three cups of household bleach to the bowl. Wait until it dissolves the poop, and then flush the toilet a few times.

Does an outhouse need a vent?

Both the pit and the upper part of the structure must be vented. There should be tight fitting covers on the seat openings. Finally, the inside of the structure should be painted with a polyurethane-type paint to minimize the penetration of odors into the wood.

How far away should an outhouse be?

To avoid the odor reaching the home, most outhouses were built between 50 and 150 feet from the main house, often facing away from the house.

Using the septic tank for outhouse

Author Message
SylvanMember Posted: 11 Aug 2020 10:52ReplyDoes anyone know if you can put an outhouse over the manhole cover of a septic tank. We will have a traditional septic and drain field. We do not have a structure yet, or a well. Our excavator says we can put a small toilet right over the tank for now and make “direct deposits”. We do not live there full time. My question.won’t it just sit there in the concrete tank? Will there be odor issues? We could try venting but I think that only works if the outhouse is getting at least some sun to encourage the air flow. (Our septic will be in the shade) I know we can just dig an outhouse, which we may end up doing but just wondering about the above scenario. Thanks.
hueyjazzMember Posted: 11 Aug 2020 11:41ReplyYou need flow of water to make it work the way it should.I think you would just be filling up a tank you would need to get pumped out when you do want it to work right.
jhpMember Posted: 11 Aug 2020 13:48ReplyThe whole tank is supposed to be watertight, keeping contents in and rainwater out.Your outhouse idea would let a ton of rainwater in and probably overwhelm the drainfield in a big storm.Also I don’t think you could ever get enough venting to vent a chamber that big fast enough.I am guessing your excavator meant just direct connect the toilet to the inlet pipe and fill and flush that toilet manually if you don’t have a water line there.That would work the same as if it was in the house, the water in the trap in the toilet keeps gases out.
BrettnyMember Posted: 11 Aug 2020 16:46ReplyThe septic tank is where you want solids to stay.Since I assume your going to put liquids in there too you will basically have a holding tank.Just like a porta potty.You will have to get it pumped more often than with a leachfield but it will work fine.
ICCMember Posted: 11 Aug 2020 17:30 – Edited by: ICCReplyQuoting: Sylvan. We will have a traditional septic and drain field. We do not have a structure yet, or a well. Our excavator says we can put a small toilet right over the tank for now and make “direct deposits”.It sounfs to me that a toilet connected to the septic is what your septic excavator recommended. That will need some water for flushing. Otherwise a typical outhouse onthe hatch will result ina pyramid of excrement building up. I don’t see a problem with a toilet as eventually treated water will exit bythe pipes and leach field. But that does need water along with the excrement.An outhouse will not supply the liquids, unless as mentioned rain gets in and you do NOT want that.I think you need to haul in water in sugficient quantity to allow flushing or use porta potties. Maybe it is time to get the well drilled? That is often done before building and IMO is a good idea. Septic first, well second,along with electric grid connection if any. Then build the cabin.I assume the road or driveway is in already as that is needed for equipment access and supplies. That should be wide enoughand done well enough for delivery trucks, propane and septic pumping as well asemergency vehicles and have a turnaround. Zoning often has minimums.
jhpMember Posted: 11 Aug 2020 17:45ReplySomething you could do if you don’t have a well yet is capture rainwater off the roof of the outhouse.Just checked a calculator and a 4×8 roof will net about 20 gallons in a 1 inch rainfall.So if you built a nice oversized outhouse, say 6×8 and captured rain off of both sides of the roof you’d be able to fill a rain barrel with pretty much any good rainstorm.Figure you can hold maybe 45 gallons of water in a 55 gallon barrel (you lose a few gallons at the top and bottom of the barrel for inlet and outlet), 1.6 gallons per flush that’s about 28 flushes per storm.If you mount the rain barrel above the toilet height-wise, you just have to open a valve to refill it, though it will take a bit of time.If you want to get really fancy, grab a small solar panel and charge controller, a small AGM battery, and small 12v water pump and make the whole process super simple.Probably cost around $200 for the whole kit, except the building and gutters.
old243Member Posted: 11 Aug 2020 21:08ReplyI think an out house over a septic tank would work well. It really is no different than a pit except larger. You should fill the tank with water, as well. At our place if you left a septic tank empty, it would float out of the ground much like a boat I think your contactor gave you good advice. We have a high water table, old 243
ShadyacresMember Posted: 11 Aug 2020 21:37ReplyI have a 1000 gallon concrete tank at the cabin i just bought beside us. I was thinking of maybe building an outhouse and use that. It would have to be pumped out though. I don’t know how long it would take to fill up. We also have a well and power at that location. Only about 400 feet from our cabin. I didn’t want anyone else to buy it and be so close.
SylvanMember Posted: 14 Aug 2020 17:34ReplyThanks everyone. Appreciate all the input. I’ll keep you posted how it turns out. I am leaning towards putting the covered outhouse over the hole so no rain getting in. Setting up a rain barrel as jhp suggested and using that to keep water in the tank. Still not sure about odor. Guess I’ll just have to see.
toyota_mdt_techMember Posted: 14 Aug 2020 19:07ReplyIt needs to enter the septic tank via the inlet, not the manhole cover. Septic systems develops a crust at the top and sludge at the bottom, the incoming goes between these. Using the manhole cover would not let this happen. Also, no air entering tank. With open manhole, it would.Can you hook up a holding tank into outhouse, and after its filled up, dump it via a pipe hooked to inlet with a gate valve etc like an RV?
AklogcabinMember Posted: 15 Aug 2020 09:30ReplyI like this. Good ol figure it out. Using what you have. The government doesn’t have the perfect answer. I think jhp had a great idea. Maybe missing something. But if you had a vent pipe coming from the other manhole. Like a regular cleanout. But extended above the outhouse for odor. If there is water in the pee trap it will stop odors. It is an outhouse. And old 243 always has good ideas (thanks).
ratfink56Member Posted: 17 Aug 2020 19:37ReplyI did this for a bit years back. It can be splashy.
NorthRickMember Posted: 18 Aug 2020 18:08 – Edited by: NorthRickReplyQuoting: jhpSomething you could do if you don’t have a well yet is capture rainwater off the roof of the outhouse. Just checked a calculator and a 4×8 roof will net about 20 gallons in a 1 inch rainfall.So if you built a nice oversized outhouse, say 6×8 and captured rain off of both sides of the roof you’d be able to fill a rain barrel with pretty much any good rainstorm.Figure you can hold maybe 45 gallons of water in a 55 gallon barrel (you lose a few gallons at the top and bottom of the barrel for inlet and outlet), 1.6 gallons per flush that’s about 28 flushes per storm.If you mount the rain barrel above the toilet height-wise, you just have to open a valve to refill it, though it will take a bit of time.If you want to get really fancy, grab a small solar panel and charge controller, a small AGM battery, and small 12v water pump and make the whole process super simple. Probably cost around $200 for the whole kit, except the building and gutters.While I think all that would work, building a regular outhouse would be easier especially if you have your excavator dig the hole while he is on-site.You didn’t mention how long you expect to use this setup.
ryan99Member Posted: 29 Apr 2021 14:09ReplyHi all, thanks for great info. Any follow up from this Sylvan?Did you get something done? I am looking to do something similar but with an rv toilet.I am going to build a small camp washroom with rainwater collection to run the rv flush toilet and a shower.I am planning on running the toilet into the inlet of a yet to be determined septic tank and the shower and sink into a couple of infiltrator sections.I know that the rv toilets are intended to be right above a holding tank but I have read that you can do a pipe run of up to 15 feet with them. I will make sure to install a clean out but it seems it should work well and not fill up the tank too fast.Has anyone done that?
darz5150Member Posted: 29 Apr 2021 16:03 – Edited by: darz5150ReplyYep. We use a thetford rv toilet, into standard pvc pipe. Uses very little water. We do not flush any tp.
gsreimersMember Posted: 29 Apr 2021 18:46ReplyWe have a 1000 gallon septic tank and drain field.What you are contemplating is exactly what we did for 5 years until the cabin had indoor plumbing.Pumped quite a bit of water in it 2 or 3 times a season.We now have indoor plumbing.The tank has been in for 7 years and there is no sediment and no real scum layer.It seems to do it’s job and digest everything just fine.
gcrank1Member Posted: 29 Apr 2021 23:00ReplyIve had my own old, and healthy/ie, it works fine, septic system at home for 35ish years. Granted it is mostly just the two of us. Imo the full of water tank proper wont care if the stuff comes in the side inlet or the top, the scum layer will ooze right over ‘a drop’, the bacteria will work and the sediment will sink. The ‘overflow’ of grey water will go out the outlet to the drain field. You may want to dump in a 5 gal. pail of rain-barrel water after every weekend. You could set up a T fitting on the inlet pipe to use as a riser to the toilet rather than setting it on the inspection port, then the piping would feed the tank as intended and later, when you do ‘proper plumbing’ you could just cap that T off.
ryan99Member Posted: 30 Apr 2021 02:15ReplyThanks all,darz5150, Are you just using your tank as holding or do you have a drain field?How often do you have to pump it out?Are you using the rv toilet in your cabin or an outhouse?I plan on keeping the extra outhouse washroom with rv toilet once the cabin is done.Hopefully that way the kids won’t track so much into our new 16×24.It should be great for any camp visitors we get too!I am wondering though if the rv toilet is easier to winterize as well.Does anyone use one in their cabin?Cheers
BrettnyMember Posted: 30 Apr 2021 06:06ReplyIf you ever plan on having the tank pumped you cant use it like an outhouse.It will need water to keep from being a shit brick when it’s time to pump it out.My brother bough a RV in AZ that they left the black tank with stuff in it.He had to put ice in it and drive around rough roads to break up the brick.

Can I connect an outhouse to a septic holding tank?

Cabin to construct was the original poster. Thank you for providing all of the information. Isn’t it true that camping outhouses just drain into a septic holding tank? Anyone have any idea what those do? I’d want to make a copy of it. My grandpa used to operate a campsite in the 1960s that had double-holed outhouses (one for men and one for ladies). He was also a local county legislator, so he never had much difficulty with the health department as long as the buildings were clean, which they always did, and as long as they were kept in excellent condition.

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Every now and again, a new county health inspector, fresh out of college, would be appointed, and he would be given a stack of violations that could be resolved with a phone call.

  • On the topside, I believe he obtained the plans from a mail order catalogue.
  • A large hole in the earth, at least 8 feet deep, and a bucket of lime with a scoop inside next to each hole, which had to be used after each usage, were all that could be found down below.
  • Following a period of time during which the hole filled to around 4 feet from the top (I was rather young at the time, so my calculations may be a little off), the outhouse was moved and the hole was closed over.
  • This is made simple by the use of a backhoe and a front-end loader.
  • Toilets with “pressure assist,” I believe, are what they are called.
  • A propane-powered incinerating toilet would be my choice if I did not want to waste any water (since lack of water assumes lack of electricity, else there would be a well).

Unless you and everyone who uses the outhouse enjoys messing with wasps and bees, which seem to be attracted to outhouses for some reason, and unless you and everyone who uses the outhouse are willing to move it frequently and are meticulous about keeping it clean so that it doesn’t smell, those other two options are far superior to an outhouse in my opinion.

It is more difficult to maintain their popularity on chilly evenings, especially when the wasps have moved in and established a nest under the seat.

Can I put a privy on top of the septic tank?

Cabin to construct originally posted byCabin to construct Please accept my thanks in advance for all of your information. What if the outhouses at a campsite don’t merely dump their waste into the septic holding tanks? Are you familiar with their job description? In order to duplicate, I’d want to use A campsite with double-holed outhouses (one for men and one for women) was owned by my grandpa in the 1960s. Moreover, because he served as a representative for the county, he was never in trouble with the health department so long as the buildings were clean and in excellent working order.

  • When a new county health inspector was appointed, he would receive a slew of citations, all of which could be resolved with a phone call to the county health department’s administrative office.
  • He may have obtained the blueprints from a mail order catalog, according to the topside.
  • A massive hole in the earth, at least 8 feet deep, and a bucket of lime with a scoop inside next to each hole, which had to be used after each usage, were all that could be found down below.
  • The outhouse was moved and the hole was sealed over once it had filled up to around 4 feet from the top (I was rather young at the time, so my calculations may be a little off.) At least 50 feet away from the house was moved once a year, regardless of whether it was necessary.
  • Using one of those toilets with a pressure tank in them would be my first choice if I were to build a cabin and wanted to conserve water.
  • Wikimedia Commons has media related to Flush toilet.
  • Wikimedia Commons has media related to Incinerating toilet.

Outhouse maintenance is time consuming, and most women do not want to be viewed as servants to their outhouses. On chilly nights, they tend to lose their appeal, especially after the wasps come in and build a nest beneath the seat in the car.

Outdoor Septic Outhouse (what a crappy idea)

Thank you everyone for your help; I am familiar with the operation of septic tanks. I’ve had them for about all of my adult life. Only one of the places I’ve lived has city water and sewer service. However, as previously said, toilets require a significant amount of water to flush. Isn’t it something like 2 gallons of water per flush? I have a household of five, and if we are consistent, it equates to at least 10 gallons of water every day simply to flush the toilet. Then, to top it all off, your septic tank is incapable of functioning with less water.

  • Just a guess, but you’re probably not going to take as many showers, do as many tiny loads of dishes, wash clothing in the washing machine one load at a time, or do anything else that requires a lot of water, so your water flow will surely reduce.
  • Each year, they came to empty the drywell, which served as a connection point for the original kitchen sink, as well as the first and second bathrooms.
  • I tried a pipe snake, but it didn’t work.
  • I contacted the local septic company, and they replaced the home since they were the ones who were responsible for servicing it on an annual basis.
  • During their time there, I inquired about the rear septic system, and they informed me that it did not exist.
  • I thought it was strange because there had been a visible barren patch in the shape of a septic tank throughout the previous winter.
  • I started poking holes in the earth with a ground probe where I believed I recalled seeing a septic tank.
  • Yes, there is a hidden cement septic tank beneath the ground.
  • I also removed the 15-foot well and replaced it with a 175-foot well that was significantly further away.
  • Utilize it during the spring, summer, and fall months to preserve water and energy.

Should You Get a Septic Tank for the Cabin?

When I built the cottage in the woods where my wife, daughter, and I currently reside, I realized that putting together a comprehensive waste treatment system would be a major undertaking. In contrast to urban living, where sewage is sent to a centralized treatment plant, rural life nearly often entails finding out how to deal with garbage on your own. Septic systems come into play in this situation.

Almost all rural properties with indoor plumbing are equipped with a septic system of some kind. An understanding of how they operate might assist you in making an educated selection about your cabin or holiday property. Here’s all you need to know about the situation.

Types of Septic Systems

Almost all modern septic systems incorporate an aseptic tank—a big plastic, concrete, or fiberglass container that is buried some distance away from the house or lodge. The tank is connected to the home’s drainage system through a big subterranean conduit. An uncomplicated septic system is one in which waste water and sediments are sent down the pipe into the tank, where they are partially decomposed by bacteria. When the partially treated liquid reaches a specific level, it flows out the other end and is disseminated into the soil, which is often accomplished by a network of perforated subterranean pipelines.

Drainage fields, field beds, and drainfields are all terms used to describe the combination of pipes and soil.

It is for this reason that vacuum truck pump outs are required every couple of years or so.

Holding Tank System

When using a holding tank method, the waste is kept in the septic tank until it is completely depleted. After that, a vacuum truck is required to remove the waste. Compared to traditional systems, holding tank systems are significantly easier and less expensive to set up and maintain. However, you will have to pay to have them cleaned out on a regular basis, which should be incorporated into your expense estimates.

Mound Septic System

Upon visiting our forested property with my wife and hiring an aseptic contractor to implement our system, he informed us that we would have to go with a mound system. He indicated that the bedrock was too close to the surface for a typical drainage system, and that a deeper soil drainage system was required. This system is identical to a normal septic design, except that the tanks and field bed are covered in soil that is trucked in and piled into a “mound” to protect them from the elements.

Benefits To a Cabin Septic Tank System

  • Upon visiting our forested property with my wife and hiring an aseptic contractor to implement our system, he informed us that we would have to use a mound system. In his explanation, he stated that the bedrock was too close to the surface for a normal drainage system, and that deeper soil drainage was required. A mound system is identical to a typical septic configuration, with the exception that the tanks and field bed are buried in dirt that has been trucked in and heaped into a “mound” to prevent flooding. It is important to install this form of septic system when the current soil is either not deep enough (as in my case) or it is the incorrect type of soil for waste water to percolate through correctly (like clay).

Drawbacks To a Cabin Septic Tank System

  • Installation is both expensive and time-consuming. Regular vacuum truck pump outs are required for conventional and mound systems every couple of years, and often every few months for holding tank configurations. The greater the amount of waste water and solids produced, the greater the stress imposed on the system. Even the most carefully constructed and maintained septic systems may eventually fail and may require complete replacement.

Installing a Septic Tank System

A professional septic system installation will design and build your system if you don’t have access to heavy equipment such as an excavator and loader tractor, as well as a great deal of knowledge and ability. It will not be inexpensive, either. Depending on the type of system and how much earth must be moved, most septic contractors I know charge between $9,000 and $15,000 or more for a full system installation, depending on the location. It is theoretically feasible to install the septic tank portion of the system on your own, provided that you have the heavy equipment necessary to dig the hole and hoist the tank into position.

It’s an extremely exact process, and any mistakes will be quite costly.

Alternatives To a Septic Tank System

It is not necessary to install a full-fledged septic system if the only waste water that leaves your home comes from showers and sinks. A gray water pit is a hole in the ground filled with gravel or mulch that is used to collect wastewater that does not contain toilet pollutants.

Based on the environmental restrictions in your location, that will most likely be sufficient. Furthermore, a goodcomposting toiletallows for a comfortable bathroom experience without the hassle of a septic system installation.

Outhouse and Gray Water Pit

Photograph courtesy of Christoph Hetzmannseder/Getty Images If you want to keep your cabin as rustic as possible, a well-built outhouse is a terrific method to do your business with the least amount of fuss. Use a gray water pit for everything else, just as you did with the composting toilet.

Words of Caution

A significant possibility that trees will be in the area where you’re putting a septic tank and field bed for your cabin is that you’ll be able to see them. Make certain that all trees in close proximity to your septic system are removed. Aside from that, there is a good potential that they will shoot roots into your pipes in order to take the nutrients in your waste water. Tree roots can cause your septic system to fail at an inconvenient and expensive moment in your home’s history.

Too Much Toilet Paper

Even the most meticulously constructed septic systems cannot withstand the excessive use of toilet paper that may be tolerated if your property is connected to the city’s sewage system. Using excessively lengthy strips of toilet paper in your cabin if you have a septic system is not recommended. According to my observations, any unbroken strips longer than four squares can become entangled in the tank intake, where they can accumulate over time and finally produce a blockage. Believe me when I tell that settling such a problem is not a pleasant experience.

What Is An Outhouse? 8 Things (2022) You Should Know

The outhouse, how I love thee. It has been decided that contemporary plumbing will take the place of an innovation that was previously considered essential to everyday living. Outhouses, on the other hand, are still used in rural regions where plumbing is not accessible, even if they are not recommended. If you’re looking at a property that requires an outhouse or if you want to live off-grid, there are a few things you should be aware of before making a decision on whether to purchase it. The following are the most important things you should know regarding outhouses.

1. What is an outhouse?

An outhouse is a tiny building that serves as a toilet for a group of people. It is usually located at a different location from the main structure. It is most typical for the toilet inside the outhouse to be a pit latrine, a bucket toilet, or a dry toilet (one that does not flush). Often, the term “outhouse” refers to the toilet itself, rather than the structure that houses the toilet; nonetheless, the toilets that are used inside do differ from one another.

2. What types of toilets are used in an outhouse?

The following are the many sorts of toilets you could come across. Pit latrines are a form of toilet in which human excrement is collected in a pit in the ground and disposed of. bucket toilet: A bucket toilet is made out of a seat and a movable receptacle such as a bucket or pail that may be deposited into composting heaps in the garden or collected by contractors for large-scale disposal. Drums and barrels are used for a variety of purposes. In national parks, this is a common technique of getting about.

This is frequently done in order to adhere to the “pack it in, pack it out” concept. Composting toilets are a relatively new concept. This sort of toilet is discussed in detail in7.

3. The symbols on the outhouses have meaning

Have you ever noticed that the outhouse doors of American outhouses are carved out with moons and stars, much like the ones in Europe? These are used for two different purposes. One is for illumination purposes. However, even when it’s pitch black outside, the cutout enables moonlight to penetrate through it and into the outhouse. They also distinguish between outhouses for men and outhouses for women. Female outhouses are symbolized by a crescent moon, whilst male outhouses are represented by a star in this illustration.

This would indicate that it had a moon taken out, which is most likely the case.

4. Two and three-story outhouses do exist

Yes, there are outhouses that are two stories high. A skyscraper is a type of building that some people call “skyscrapers,” and there is even one in Gays, Illinois, that you can go and see for yourself. If you’re a little unsure about how this will work, please let us know and we’ll try our best to clarify. The outhouse below would be located further back on the ground floor than the floor above. Waste would be sent down a shaft below the first floor’s wall and into the basement. This made it possible for sewage to flow without interruption.

5. You may come across two-seater outhouses

The two different seats are often for two different-sized behinds (adults and children).This is especially important for children because the last thing you’d want to do is risk falling into a hole that’s too big for you.Occasionally, two-seater outhouses are also useful for waste distribution.Another reason for two-seater outhouses is that they can be used for waste distribution.

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6. Different states have different laws

The convenience of an outhouse is typically a desirable feature for persons who acquire property or live on land in a rural setting. When there is no municipal sewer connection available, you will have to come up with a different option for a toilet. Outhouses are typically perceived as a simple option because they have been in use for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, states no longer make things as simple as they once did. If you’re considering installing an outhouse, the first place to examine is the zoning regulations in your county.

It is possible that certain counties or states may allow you to install the outhouse, but they will demand you to add an asepticor tank with a similar-lining to retain waste in order to prevent contamination.

As a result, if you want to avoid digging up your septic tank, you might consider installing a composting toilet.

7. Understand the differences between composting toilets and outhouses

It is based on the premise that human waste may be composted, which implies that a product can decompose in minute pieces into carbon dioxide and water, as well as inorganic chemicals and biomass, in around 90 days. With the help of nature’s decomposition process, a composting toilet may cut waste by 90 percent while also converting it into nutrient-dense compost. Composting toilets are particularly advantageous for rural and off-grid living since they do not necessitate the installation of water lines.

All of the material you remove after decomposition has been transformed into a nutrient-rich compost (not waste!). Composting toilets, on the other hand, allow waste to safely degrade outside without emitting aromas.

8. Check the regulations in your area

While the information provided below is simply a brief overview of each state’s rules, it will provide you with a decent indication of what may be achievable. Don’t forget to conduct more research on your own time before moving forward with your ideas. Alabama Some types of toilets, but not all, are particularly addressed under Alabama’s off-grid legislation. It may be permissible to use pit toilets and portable toilets in certain rural locations, for example. Permits must be secured, and strict rules must be adhered to in order to proceed.

  • Alaska Outhouses are permitted in a number of locations, but you must adhere to the tight regulations in place.
  • Carry out thorough study to determine how the regulations of Arizona may affect your intentions to build an outhouse.
  • Pit privy latrines, which are comparable to outhouses, are also permitted in a few of locations.
  • Colorado Composting toilets are strictly controlled, although they are legal (NSF-approved is recommended).
  • Connecticut When owners file an application and get their composting toilets certified by the local health department, it is lawful in Connecticut to use a composting toilet.
  • Delaware Composting toilets are permitted in the state of Delaware, and there are no restrictions on their use.
  • Florida Composting toilets are permissible in Florida provided they have been authorized by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).

Georgia Composting toilets must be authorized by the National Fire Protection Association and are subject to stringent regulations.

Idaho Composting toilets are permitted in Idaho, but only under specific circumstances.

Composting toilets, septic tanks, and pit privies are all subject to permit requirements.

Illinois Composting toilets that have been authorized by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) are permitted in Illinois.

Indiana Indiana is not a welcoming state for people who want to live off the grid.

However, if you are adamant about finding information concerning sewage systems, there is a loophole under the Indiana Log Cabin regulation that you should investigate.

Iowa Composting toilets are not subject to any rules, although you may be required to obtain a permission if you use a “alternative toilet.” Homes that are not linked to a running water supply can also use pit privies, which are normally permitted by law.

Composting toilets are not.

Make sure you are aware of any local regulations before proceeding with any project.

Composting toilets are also available for use.

Maine Composting toilets are allowed, although they are strictly controlled in the state of Maine.

Maryland Composting toilets that have been authorized by the National Sanitation Foundation are lawful, however you will require a permit.

Before proceeding with the procedure, double-check that all of the requirements have been met.

In general, outhouses are permitted; however, each county will issue its own licenses and inspections, so make sure to conduct further research based on where you live.

The restrictions in place are not as stringent as those in some other states, despite the fact that they exist.

However, there are state restrictions that define where they may be used and where they cannot.

Missouri While composting toilets are included in the state’s Department of Health statutes, there are no additional particular restrictions governing their usage in the state.

It is stated in the statutes that “a privy will be permitted only under specific conditions and will not be recognized as a means of sewage disposal for any facility that is continually occupied.” Remember to take this into consideration while looking for an off-grid solution.

Nebraska While both composting toilets and pit privies are authorized and inspected in Nebraska, you may be required to obtain a permission and have them inspected.

Before installing one, be certain that you have obtained the necessary permits.

Composting toilets and pit privies are allowed, although they are subject to regulation if they are located in close proximity to a public sewer.

Off-grid toilets such as composting toilets, outhouses, and other similar structures are lawful, but they are heavily controlled.

Composting toilets, pit privies, and other off-grid toilets are legal and do not require a permission; nonetheless, they are not recommended.

New York is the capital of the United States.

While the toilets may be used whatever you like, there are rules concerning how they must be utilized and whether or not you can disconnect from municipal sewage.

North Carolina is a state in the United States.

Composting toilets do not qualify as a replacement or as a substitute for conventional toilets.

Alternatives to conventional toilets are permitted in North Dakota.

Ohio Although off-grid toilet options are permitted in Ohio, the state controls the disposal of certain forms of gray water.

Oregon Composting toilets are permitted in the state of Oregon.

Composting toilets that have been authorized by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) are permitted in Pennsylvania.

The state of Pennsylvania is equally rigorous when it comes to other off-grid choices such as outhouses.


  1. South Carolina is a state in the United States.
  2. Take a look at the legislation to make sure you’re not breaking any rules.
  3. Composting toilets and off-grid toilets are only permitted in South Dakota if there are no other alternatives available.
  4. Tennessee Composting toilets and pit privies that have been authorized by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) are permitted in Tennessee.
  5. Check with your local authorities to ensure if it is legal in your jurisdiction before proceeding.
  6. When utilized in single-family residences in counties with a population of less than 40,000 people, no permission is necessary.
  7. Utah”Primitive” outhouses are not permitted in the state of Utah.
  8. Vermont Compost toilets are permitted in the state of Vermont.
  9. Virginia Alternatives to conventional toilets that operate off the grid are typically prohibited in Virginia.
  10. West Virginia is a state in the United States.
  11. Wisconsin Off-grid toilet options are lawful in Wisconsin, and the state’s rules are more lenient than those in other parts of the country.

Wyoming Wyoming does not require a permit for portable composting and incinerating toilets, and they are legal. If, on the other hand, the unit is permanent or self-contained, a permit will be necessary for it.

Final thoughts

While the information provided below is only a brief overview of each state’s regulations, it will provide you with a good idea of what may be possible in each situation. Don’t forget to conduct additional research on your own time before moving ahead with your plans. Alabama It is not all types of toilets that are addressed by Alabama’s off-grid legislation. It may be permissible in certain rural areas to use pit toilets and portable toilets, for instance. You must obtain permits and adhere to a set of rules before you can start your project.

  • Alaska There are many areas where outhouses are permitted, but you must adhere to the strict rules that have been established.
  • Examine the Arizona laws in detail to determine how your plans for an outhouse will be impacted by them.
  • Pitch privy latrines, which are similar to outhouses, are also permitted in a number of jurisdictions.
  • Composting toilets are not prohibited, but they must be approved first.
  • The connection to a municipal sewage system is mandatory for many homes in Colorado; therefore, before purchasing rural land, check to see if this is something your neighborhood requires.
  • It is mandatory to bury or dispose of any waste generated by the toilet in a manner that has been approved.
  • Before pursuing an outhouse in a specific location, conduct additional research on the area.

There are stricter regulations for pit privies (which are more like outhouses).

Hawaii Composting toilets must be NSF approved as well as approved on a case-by-case design basis in Hawaii, according to state regulations.

Homes with running water and a connection to the public sewage system must be used as a location for them (or another approved method of on-site waste disposal).

As an alternative to traditional plumbing, this is a relatively expensive solution.

The contents of these toilets must be disposed of in the municipal sewage system, sludge lagoons, sludge drying beds, incinerator devices, or sanitary landfills, depending on the location.

If you’re interested in living this lifestyle, it’s difficult because of zoning restrictions, building codes, and permit requirements.

Composting toilets and other off-grid waste disposal methods are generally not encouraged by the laws in place.

Homes that are not connected to a running water supply may also use pit privies, which are generally permitted by law.

The forms of onsite sewage treatment that you can employ are governed by separate legislation.

Kentucky While it is allowed to use pit privies in Kentucky, you will need to get licenses and undergo inspections.

Louisiana There are no restrictions on the use of composting toilets in Louisiana.

For any type of on-site sewage disposal, you’ll need a plan and a permit (including an outhouse).

Massachusetts Using composting toilets is permitted in the state of Massachusetts, but you must adhere to the state’s rules and guidelines.

Michigan Waste disposal is not governed by a state-wide policy in Michigan.

Minnesota Outhouses and composting toilets are permitted in Minnesota.

Mississippi There are no restrictions on the use of composting toilets, pit privies, or other off-grid toilet options in Mississippi.

Before installing a security system, double-check the specifics of your state’s legislation to ensure that you fully understand the regulations.

Although pit privies are more severely monitored, they are still not completely unregulated.

Montana Pit privies and composting toilets are permitted in Montana but are subject to strict regulations.

Nevada The use of alternative waste disposal systems such as composting toilets, pit privies, and other similar devices is permitted in Nevada, but the state has strict rules on how and when they can be utilized.

Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont all have a statewide lottery system.

New Jersey is a state in the United States that has a population of around 3 million people.

a state in the U.S.

Before implementing any of the alternatives on your property, be sure you are in compliance with local requirements.

It is typically permissible in New York to install any of these off-grid toilets.

Check out the laws for putting one on your land before you go ahead and install one.

Off-grid toilet options are permissible in North Carolina, however construction standards require that all dwellings have a wastewater system that has been approved by the local municipality.

It may be necessary to connect your composting toilet to municipal water and sewage if you live in North Dakota and have a composting toilet in addition to your other toilets.

In compared to other jurisdictions, the state has typically liberal rules.

Oklahoma In Oklahoma, composting toilets are not governed by any legislation or rules.

There are certain sites, though, where a permission is required, so be careful to verify the specifics before you go exploring.

However, you will most likely be required to be linked to a municipal sewage system or to install and maintain an on-site sewage treatment system.

Prior to pursuing any of these choices, be careful to research the applicable legislation.

a state in the United States a state in the United States a state in the United States a Composting toilets are legal in South Carolina, however they must be used in conjunction with a septic system most of the time to be effective.

South Dakota is a state in the United States that has a population of around 500,000 people.

If you’re using a septic system or a grid-connected toilet, you’ll almost certainly need design clearance.

Having said that, there is a legal loophole.

composting toilets are permitted in Texas if they have been authorized by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).

Due to the tougher laws that apply to pit privies, if you’re interested in this alternative, you’ll want to conduct further research.

A vaulted privy (with rigorous requirements) and a composting toilet, on the other hand, are also permissible options.

Off-grid toilet solutions are generally welcomed by the state’s legislators.

Washington It is permissible in Washington to use composting toilets and pit privies, but only in isolated areas where they are not in close proximity to a municipal sewer system, according to the state.

Wisconsin When compared to other states, Wisconsin allows for the use of off-grid toilet options, and the state’s restrictions are more flexible.

Wyoming Wyoming does not require a permit for portable composting and incinerating toilets. It is necessary to obtain a permission only if the unit is permanent or self-contained.

Additional Resources

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Now is the time to subscribe. I hope you have found this content to be interesting. If you are interested in purchasing or selling land, you should look into the following: Disclaimer: We are not attorneys, accountants, or financial advisors, and the information contained in this article is provided solely for informative reasons. Our own research and experience have informed this post, and while we strive to keep it accurate and up to date, it is possible that some inaccuracies have occurred.

  1. Erika is a former Director of Affordable Housing for the City of New York who has transitioned into a full-time land investor.
  2. She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Architecture and with a Master of Urban Policy from Columbia University before establishing Gokce Capital.
  3. Erika presently resides in the New York Metropolitan area with her husband, daughter, and cat.
  4. She is originally from Chicago and still considers herself to be a midwesterner at heart, despite her current location.
  5. ), Erika has a lot of interests.
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Maintaining the Outhouse: How to Treat Outhouse Waste

A:Greetings from the state of New Hampshire. Would you be able to give information on how to manage trash in an outhouse (which has been on the property for 60 years and is grandfathered in) using ecologically friendly procedures? We appear to have missed the instruction that was being passed down to us from the first-generation inhabitants who used the outhouse when there was no indoor plumbing available to them at the time. — Penny A. Keough, in an e-mail message A: An outhouse is one of the most straightforward instruments for responding to nature’s call.

  1. Outhouses come in two varieties, according to Max Burns in his book Cottage Water Systems: the vault privy, which contains waste in a holding tank beneath the outhouse, and the pit privy, which is essentially a little house constructed over a hole in the ground.
  2. When the holding tanks fill up, it is necessary to pump out the vault privies.
  3. Incinerating Toilets.
  4. The first rule of appropriate outhouse etiquette is to limit the amount of waste that goes down the toilet.
  5. This implies that there will be no vegetable trimmings, diapers, baby wipes, or gray water from kitchen sinks and washbasins allowed.
  6. Install a 1-1/2- to 2-inch pipe next to it to allow for more fresh air to enter.
  7. Toilets that are environmentally friendly may be found here.
  8. Lime, on the other hand, may be able to prevent decomposition.
  9. An operative mask or bandana can be used to protect yourself from the dust cloud that will unavoidably follow you around the corner.

As soon as the pit is completely filled, it’s time to dig a new hole — and relocate the outhouse. A backhoe would be quite useful.

Build Your Own Modern Outhouse

In reality, outhouses are often considered to be just functional and are consigned to an out of sight location. Following are instructions on how to construct one that you will be proud of—and that you will want your guests to enjoy as well. We’ll show you The Cube, an off-the-grid pit toilet that was hand-built in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, to give you an idea of how the process works. This project is ideal for anyone who owns a huge piece of land that is located a long distance away from their home and who has regular guests who come to appreciate the property.

The Cube’s clear lines stand in stark contrast to the natural nature of tangled vines and undulating hills, which provides a striking visual contrast.

Step 1: Decide if an outhouse is right for your needs.

A pit latrine is a low-cost and environmentally beneficial sanitation option. It is regarded as non-permanent infrastructure, and contrary to what you might expect to see in the high-traffic bathrooms of your local park, they are not all obnoxious in their appearance. Septic systems are expensive, and adding a vault toilet adds an additional layer of complexity, expense, and commitment. Traditional pit toilets are constructed by covering the hole and moving to a new place. It’s straightforward and effective.

If it seems like it would be appropriate for your requirements, continue reading.

Step 2: Pick a spot that’s downwind and away from any wells or water sources.

Avoid digging in low-lying depressions where your pit might become flooded with groundwater. The complete outcome of The Cube, excluding the mirror that will be hung over the sink, is shown in this image. Unfortunately, proper pit toilet design does not need the use of windows. Aside from being practical, the mirror will also add depth to the facade and create the impression that there is a window there. Furthermore, what is a sink if it does not have a mirror above it?

Step 3: Dig a hole.

You could accomplish this by hand, but renting a backhoe would make the job go much more quickly and efficiently. You’ll need to shore up the hole with wood or other materials and cap the top of it in such a manner that it’s completely connected to the outhouse, which will take some effort. Alternatively, you might pour a typical concrete pad, for which there are several materials available online. However, in this particular instance, an old section of galvanized culvert was used to extend from the hole into the foundation of the outhouse structure.

After you’ve cleaned out the hole, you may reinforce the top of it with an old piece of 32-inch diameter galvanized culvert that you can get up for cheap from your local rebuilding center, and then fill up the area surrounding it with concrete.

Step 4: Find or create a building to sit over that hole.

This specific outhouse was created usingSketchUp, a free piece of software that is widely utilized by builders all around the world. A simple outhouse, on the other hand, may be created on paper if the designer has a rudimentary understanding of building structure. Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling may also assist you in determining how to construct things in the appropriate manner. Sketchup was used to create the design for the cube.

Step 5: Think about the details.

Affirm that there is enough space in your arrangement to include the toilet, a ventilation tube, some storage for toiletries, and perhaps a coat hook as well. In addition, you’ll require a door. Make sure you choose one ahead of time because it will provide you with an idea of the approximate measurements you’ll need to frame it. Waldman and his colleagues went to Home Depot and purchased the cheapest door they could find. That specific metal gauge that they were getting rid of was exceptionally thin.

Make certain that your design enables for the door to open without getting in the way of the rest of the design.

It is OK to have a limited amount of diffused light, but the premise behind pit latrine construction is that flies and other insects that make their way into the pit would attempt to exit by the ventilation tube if it is the only natural light source available to them.

Step 6: Consider a sink.

You’re most likely looking for a sink. You could, on the other hand, find the fresh air and natural light more delightful. We chose to place a sink beneath the protection of the roof, but only outside the toilet, in order to save space. It gets its water from a garden hose connection, and it drains the tiny quantity of gray water that we create onto the trees on the hillside behind our house. In this case, the raw cedar was obtained through Craigslist and the sink was salvaged from a local repair facility.

Step 7: Define your design palette.

Outhouse design can take on a range of different looks depending on its location. The advantage of building on a small scale is that the cost of materials is quite inexpensive. While the price difference between a cheap siding and an expensive siding would be significant on a home, it is insignificant on a structure that is smaller than 100 square feet in size. Even the most modest builder may benefit from this since it allows them to expand their design horizons and experiment without breaking the wallet.

Creating a building that would stand out from the surrounding environment when viewed directly was the objective with this outhouse.

With the help of Scandinavian pine tar, the cedar siding has been darkened to mix in with the 10-foot-wide charred-redwood stumps that dot the land, remnants of old-growth logging that took place 100 years ago.

The interior was created to give the impression that you were entering a home through a portal. Once the design is complete, you may begin building.

Step 8: Build a foundation from pressure-treated wood and rest it on cement deck blocks.

The fact that it is elevated above the ground will help to avoid decay and will also allow you to put skids or rollers beneath it in the future if you decide to relocate it. In order for the toilet riser to fit into the pit, you’ll need two holes in your flooring that open into the pit: one for the toilet riser and one for a ventilation tube. Make certain that the foundation is flush with the hole and that there are no gaps. Silicone should be used to seal it. Try framing, sheathing, and wrapping the walled-in component of the construction as a single unit to ensure that it is completely sealed from the elements.

Step 9: Frame your walls and build out the roof.

Wrap it in Tyvek or a similar material once it has been sheathed in OSB plywood. After that, the windows and doors will be installed. Tyvek may be used to completely enclose the structure. Waldman utilized the plastic-capped nails advised by the manufacturer for The Cube, but they proved to be a headache to work with. Several furring strips were interfered with by them, and they created an issue in the recessed region in front where the siding was adhered to the sheathing directly with no space for them to pass through.

The possibility of getting away with only staples in the future has crossed his mind, he says.

Step 10: Install some type of siding.

There are a plethora of excellent wood selections available. Metal siding is both inexpensive and simple to install. Aside from that, there are certain plastic panels that are effective. Trim will be used to cover the spaces between the doors and windows and where the siding meets them. The siding of the cube is made of knotty, low-grade cedar, which is typically the cheapest wood available at the lumber yard. Waldman used Swedish pine tar, which was manufactured by Auson, to cover all of the siding (both front and rear).

You combine it with linseed oil in a 50/50 ratio and apply it with a cloth.

In addition to being non-toxic, it’s also quite sturdy, and when combined with cedar, it’s really far more long-lasting than this construction warrants.

Step 11: For the roofing, lay down tar paper, followed by the roofing material and trim.

There are several guidelines for this, but the main premise is that you want to enable water to shed, so everything should be set out in layers, starting with the lowest layer and working your way up in height to the highest layer. At each step, you should consider the question of where the water will go if it arrives to this point. Water finds a way to go where it wants to go. Although corrugated or standing seam metal roofing is popular due to its simplicity, other options such as tiles or shingles are also suitable.

The paper overhung the siding’s borders and was finished with the roof flashing to complete the look.

After that, the tar paper is placed on top of it.

All of the metal roofing came from a firm named Metal Sales, and it was distributed through a local wholesaler. Wooden panels were pre-cut for Waldman’s project, but one needed to be ripped to width using an angle grinder, and the flashing needed to be cut with tin snips.

Step 12: Install vents in the walls from the interior to the exterior.

This will prevent the building from being overly humid, and it is essential for properly ventilation your pit. Your ventilation tube will transport air from the pit to the roof and out of the structure. It does this in a passive manner, owing to passing winds, the differential in pressure created by the tube, and the rising heated air within the tube. The appearance is exacerbated if the tube is painted completely black. You may also use a solar fan to actively ventilate the space. No matter which method you choose to pull in air from your walls, it all comes from the pit.

If you follow these instructions to the letter, you will not detect a single foul odor.

Step 13: Buy a toilet—and the right kind.

In order to prevent the building from being overly humid, proper ventilation of your pit must be implemented. Your ventilation tube will transport air from the pit to the roof and off of the construction site. Passing winds, the differential in pressure created by the tube, and rising heated air in the tube all contribute to this passive process. This appearance is exacerbated by painting the tube black. Active ventilation can also be provided by a solar fan. No matter which method you choose to pull in air from your walls, it all comes from the pit.

If you follow these instructions to the letter, you will not detect any foul odors whatsoever.

Step 14: Decide on your interior walls.

A whitewashed plywood surface gives them a clean and modern appearance, or they can be made entirely of plywood. This specific specimen has been painted in white to distinguish it from the others. Consider puttingty over the screws and sanding the flaws in your walls before painting your room. It’s a little bit of labor that results in a much more completed and clean appearance overall. The construction of the internal walls is underway here. A sheet of luan plywood is installed on the left wall (since it will be covered in wallpaper), and the remaining walls are finished with beadboard.

Step 15: Consider decor.

It’s important to remember that this is a small space, so keep things basic while decorating. Add a few personal touches to make it stand out, but avoid overcrowding the area. A straightforward storage cabinet is shown in this specific illustration. The toilet paper roll is a piece of madrone wood from a tree that was felled last winter that is put on the wall. One accent wall is finished with wallpaper by Andrea Lauren on Etsy, which was purchased for a reasonable price. On Etsy, you may get soap from Juniper Ridg e and a Turkish towel fromLongest Thread, which are both in the sink section.

Take a look at the fundamentals, which should include modest, personal touches as well as basic needs that will not clutter or overwhelm the room.

Waldman and his crew put a bear wallpaper designed by Andrea Lauren, which they purchased on Etsy. Before you begin placing wallpaper, make sure to thoroughly dust and clean the wall, and use one of those $1 plastic scrapers to remove any air bubbles that may have formed.

Why make one?

Even if you’ve never constructed anything like this before, an outhouse is not only a practical answer to the problem of a lack of a bathroom, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to learn about design and building. Don’t get bogged down in the details; make it exciting, light, and entertaining at all times. This is a low-impact activity that also provides an opportunity to have some fun. No one expects an outhouse to be a source of fun and surprise, and the standard of expectation for one is a low—and sometimes grotesque—one.

It also provides an opportunity to experiment with different materials and methods on a smaller scale before embarking on a larger project such as building a house or building a cottage.

When the time comes, if you don’t want to simply demolish and rebuild the existing construction, you’ll have the choice to get out the sketchpad and start over from scratch.

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