Who Knew? Understanding Composting Toilet Codes - Tiny House Blog

Who Knew? Understanding Composting Toilet Codes

As with the legality of tiny houses on wheels in general, composting toilet regulations differ from municipality to municipality. In fact, states like North Carolina don’t have any codes for composting commodes at all. In other states composting toilet codes don’t even apply to homes that also have a flush commode in place. In fact, it seems the only houses that are regulated by composting toilet codes are those new construction ones that are pursuing an alternative wastewater system. In other words, new homes that are looking to compost rather than grid tie to a backyard septic unit or a city sewage system, are the only homes that seem to fall under the jurisdiction of composting toilet codes anyway. A few states like Massachusetts, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, and Idaho (and yes, there are others) actually do allow composting toilets in lieu of sewer/septic. The caveat is that they must be NSF– (independent third-party certification body that tests and certifies products to verify they meet these public health and safety standards) certified and manufactured by an NSF-compliant company. None of these states seem to have any guidelines for lovable loos or Home Depot buckets!

Much like water systems in the city or most counties, if you’re building a new home and want an alternative wastewater system, there is a strong probability that you will still be required to tie into either a backyard septic or a city sewer option. Be ready to have a perc test done on your land and the results submitted to code enforcement. Furthermore, check with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in your municipality for current composting toilet regulations.

To break it down legally though (although no opinion or narrative in this article can be used as authorized legal word), if you’re home has been around for any number of years, a composting commode doesn’t truly break any existing laws if the following conditions are met:

  1. Your toilet and the composting area are on your personal property. You can’t maintain a portable human waste receptacle unless you have a license to do so (think job site port-a-john). If you compost the waste matter on your own property, you are not breaking this law.
  2. There are no restrictions in your municipality prohibiting backyard compost piles. Do be kind though and make sure your compost bin doesn’t emit foul odors or attract rodents.
  3. You have one flush toilet in the home. NOTE: United States regulations require every legally habitable dwelling to have at least one flush toilet connected to an approved sewer or septic system.

Photo courtesy of jonesseptic.com

Do you currently use a compost toilet in your home? Do you also have a traditional commode in place? Did you have any trouble with local codes and enforcement? Let us know in the comments below. Be sure to join our Facebook page as well to continue the conversation.

 

By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]

 

Join Our eMail List and download the Tiny House Directory

Simply enter your name and email below to learn more about tiny houses and stay up to date with the movement.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Brent L - December 13, 2017 Reply

This is probably the best source there is for everything on composting toilets.
http://humanurehandbook.com/

Brent L - December 13, 2017 Reply

More info. from Humanure.. http://humanurehandbook.com/downloads/Compost_Sanitation_Paper_9_2011.pdf

Off Grid Living Variations Within States – A&C Accounting And Tax Services – Top Quality Accounting, Bookkeeping, Payroll And Tax Services- Oakland, CA - May 11, 2019 Reply

[…] legal and encouraged in this state. Composting toilet systems are allowed, as long as health […]

Off Grid Living Variations Within States – World Top Business Systems - May 12, 2019 Reply

[…] collection is both legal and encouraged in this state. Composting toilet systems are allowed, as long as health department guidelines are […]

É Legal Sair Da Rede Em Seu Estado? – Brasil No Caos - May 26, 2019 Reply

[…] coleta de água da chuva é tanto legal e encorajado neste estado. WC de compostagem sistemas são permitidos, desde que as orientações do departamento de saúde sejam […]

Is Living Off Grid Illegal? – Off The Grid Variations Within States - American Patriot Survivalist - May 26, 2019 Reply

[…] collection is both legal and encouraged in this state. Composting toiletsystems are allowed, as long as health department guidelines are […]

Leave a Reply:

Search Site

“Tiny House Plans

Copyright text 2019 by Tiny House Blog.