The Truth about Composting Toilets:
“It doesn’t smell at all,” they exclaim. Those using composting toilets are quick to point that out because it is the most common objection. Because they negate the need for plumbing and/or a black-water holding tank these devices have been given the stature of a silver bullet for saving money on construction costs. But what do you do with the waste once the tanks are full?
This is actually a huge issue and a hot topic for many websites dedicated to just this issue. Some folks toss it out with the trash. However, about half the states have regulations prohibiting that. What you do with it on your own property can also be highly regulated. Many counties in my state ban their use completely. They don’t want piles of human poop lying around your property.
Turning poop into safe compost is a difficult task that can take up to eighteen months. Even then, without heating you’ll have a lot of nasty micro organisms that can despoil the environment and make you sick. Remember getting “the revenge” when you vacationed in Mexico?
Can you tell I’m not excited about these unsanitary devices? Think about how you will be using your tiny home. Will you be renting space in an RV park? Chances are they will not let you in unless you are plumed like an RV with holding tanks and a drain fitting that matches their facilities.
RV toilets are far less expensive than composting toilets and use very little water to flush. These are great when your water fresh water is stored in a holding tank and may be limited. They are usually fit directly over the black water holding tank and require a specific drain valve. When connected to a septic system the drain valve is left open so the waste flushes right through.
The way you will use your tiny home will depend on what toilet option you choose.
If you will be permanently settled onto private property and can connect to a septic system or city sewer line with a municipal water supply a standard household toilet is the right option.
The cost of adding a septic system, a well, and running electric to a property needs to be carefully considered in advance of your home choice. The infrastructure costs may more than double or triple the cost of the project.
Composting toilets may be the best choice for the school bus conversion tribe. Schoolie enthusiasts move frequently and are often near an outhouse into which they can empty their tanks.
Here is a great YouTube video discussing the reality of a composting toilet:
The advantage of Composting Toilets:
The biggest advantage of composting toilets is cost. You do not need a “black water” holding tank or much of any plumbing for that matter. Some people are adding a urine diverter which shunts urine to the “grey water” disposal system. Unfortunately this sometimes means that it’s just drained out of the house into the grass without a filter system.
The Separett composting toilet:
Here is a YouTube video of a tiny house user discussing an issue using her Separett composting toilet. Read the comments too.
From the Separett Manufacturer: ” The Villa 9210 is designed to accept 12V DC power from battery or solar resource, or with the included AC adaptor to run on standard AC power. It’s the perfect unit if you may be changing from on grid to off or vise versa. This is the unit most commonly used for Tiny Homes as the fan draws less air for smaller spaces. The Separett Villas are urine diverting toilets. The design of the toilet bowl catches the urine in a drain which is plumbed to a grey water system or holding tank. The solid waste and paper only are contained within the solid waste holding area in a compostable liner bag. The vent fan pulls air over the solid waste holding area, serving to help dry the solid waste and vent any odor. After a period of use – generally about 3 weeks for average family use, the compostable liner bag is removed from the solid waste holding area and is deposited in your composter, approved solid waste disposal area, or incinerated.” Click here to order Villa 9210 DC/AC