Composting toilets are an excellent invention that has proven sustainable and pocket friendly. People living in tinny houses appreciate the efficiency of composting toilets since the cost of plumbing the traditional sewerage system could be high.
Composting toilets is ideal if you are heading to a campsite or living in a cabin with no septic tank or sewerage system. You can enjoy your stay at these places without worrying about polluting the environment with your waste.
Neighbors could bump you squatting by the nearby bush to do your thing! No one would like such embarrassment.
Composting toilets is also reasonable for those planning to move because they are cheaper. It beats logic to invest in plumbing a house you will leave behind soon.
This article will list some states that allow composting toilets so that you know which legislations govern your area.
Some states allow the building of a composting toilet not attached to a sewer or septic tank, while others also require certification by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).
You also enjoy reading: 19 Worst States That Make Off Grid Living Difficult (And Why!)
How Different States Legislate Composting Toilets?
Different states have varied rules about composting toilets that you should read and understand. We have covered some aspects of these laws and examples to help you out.
Remember that several local areas also have unique rules that could make building and using a composting toilet unacceptable even if the state has no problem.
This article will cover generalities; if you want information about your local area, you will need to dive deep into research to find out. Some states may legalize composting toilets, but there are some instances where the same state may not permit them.
We will begin with states with no strict legislation or provision and then move to states that allow easy installation of a composting toilet.
- States with no rules on composting toilets include Alabama, Delaware, Alaska, California, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
- States with regulations that allow the installation of composting toilets but also dictate that a gray water disposal system be installed include West Virginia and South Carolina.
- Some states also require that you have a permit before you can install a composting toilet.
- States that allow composting toilets under certain circumstances include New Jersey, Mississippi, Montana, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington State.
Investing in a composting toilet certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is an excellent way to ensure that your composting toilet is approved and meets the local codes. Most states require that the composting toilet you intend to install is NSF certified.
The 27 States That Permit Composting Toilet Installation
The following states allow you to install composting toilets if you have the right permit- Idaho (you should also have a gray water system), Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Nebraska, and Wyoming.
Composting toilets are generally allowed in states such as Kentucky, New Hampshire, Louisiana, North Dakota, Maine, Ohio, Minnesota, Vermont, Utah, Wisconsin, and Oregon.
From your research, you will realize that many of these states have further intricacies and stipulations that accompany composting toilets’ legislations. Permission is often granted under certain circumstances.
These circumstances may include living in a place where the homeowner has no other waste disposal provisions or they are far away from the sewers.
However, some states do not stipulate how you can dispose of waste. You can know these things by reading state laws.
In Which States Is It Illegal To Install Composting Toilets?
So far, we have considered lists of states where you can install composting toilets. Now let’s consider states that do not permit composting toilets.
Composting toilets are a no-no in Virginia and Indiana states. North Carolina allows installation, but you must also have a regular toilet. This can be frustrating if you want to build a composite toilet because the space does not allow you to have a traditional flushing one.
However, sometimes these rules have exceptions depending on the local circumstances that you can discuss with local officials. You can also consult law experts in your state to understand these exceptions.
Nevertheless, because composting toilets involves coming into contact with human waste, it could be an instigator of diseases if it is not properly cared for.
Human wastes are full of bacteria, and if ingested, they can cause diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, cryptosporidiosis, typhoid, polio, schistosomiasis, and ascariasis. Therefore, some states in the United States are apprehensive about adopting this technology.
Are There Any Loopholes In The Law?
If you are looking for loopholes in your state law allowing you to install composting toilets, you could find them depending on where you live. Some extenuating circumstances are case-by-case; therefore, explain your situation to experts for advice.
For instance, people who cannot access traditional flushing toilets at home can have a case to plead, but if you have one, you may not be allowed to install a composting toilet.
Several states also do not allow composting toilets on new builds. Therefore, if you want to build a new off-grid getaway cabin or tiny home, you may want to consult your state’s law to establish whether you qualify.
Why The Difference In Composite Toilets Legislation?
Every state has to independently consider the risks posed by composting toilets in the area. If human waste is mishandled, it can result in water contamination and cause biohazard to others.
Several states are concerned about how human waste is disposed of to limit the spread of disease. Out of concern, many states require that a composting toilet be joined to a septic tank or sewerage system to ensure safe and responsible waste disposal.
Nevertheless, some states also do not have legislation on such toilets. If you live in an area with no specific law for or against composting toilets, do not be quick to install one. You may find other indirection provisions in the law that discourage installing these toilets.
You should research further to establish what you can or cannot build on your property. As you research, consider the specifics of every situation because different circumstances have different outcomes.
The local office may also require that you pay for the inspection of your area to prove whether the system is ideal for you. You may also need to apply for a permit or give proof of a functional waste disposal system according to state law.
Some states may not require a connection to the sewerage system but stipulate that waste from a composting toilet be buried at a given depth. On the other hand, some states allow homeowners to use the waste as fertilizer on non-edibles.
So, consider the law on composting toilets to ensure you are not breaking the law.
What To Do Without Breaking The Law?
The general rule is to project by project and examine the regulations. You should also get up-to-date so that if there is a new regulation, you are not blind-sided.
Most states allow you to install a composting toilet if you meet the following criteria:
- There is a flushable toilet connected to the sewer system or septic tank.
- Your local area has no restrictions or regulations that prohibit composting.
- Composting toilets is not a nuisance or causing bad odors to neighbors.
- You are strictly composting on your property with the waste contained within it.
Nevertheless, local laws can override the scenario mentioned above, so research and consult law experts in your area before installing a composting toilet.
Are Compost Toilets Legal in North Carolina?
Compost toilets are legal in North Carolina (NC) and fall into the category of “non-ground absorption sewage treatment systems.” Composting toilets are generally considered an alternative to the prescriptive techniques of the North Carolina State Plumbing Code.
And composting toilets can be accepted as an “approved private wastewater system” when at the same time approved by the Local Health Department (LHD) (Source: North Carolina Public Health)
Generally, the most appropriate use of composting toilets is at publicly managed recreational establishments where sewer and water are either unavailable or impractical.
Composting toilets have been primed as eco-friendly since they help us save water, reduce dependence on chemical treatment of water, and reuse waste to fertilize the soil. We cannot say the same with traditional toilets, which are often wasteful. Installing composting toilets is a sure way of protecting the planet.
Composting toilets are also ideal for those living off-grid. They are inexpensive and can be the best alternative lifestyle; however, before you install them, carefully consider the legal aspects in your state.
Some states outrightly outlaw installing a composting toilet, while others allow them. You may also find that some states allow compositing toilets under specific conditions.
You can avoid installing the toilets if you do not meet these criteria. However, if your circumstances allow installation, you can talk to local authorities to establish your viabilities.