3 Options for Dealing With Waste at an Off-Grid Cabin or Home

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If you're building on off-the-grid home, you won't be connected to a municipal sewer system, and you'll have to decide how you're going to deal with your waste. There are a variety of options. Take a look.

1. Consider an Outhouse

An outhouse works on a very simple premise. You dig a deep hole, you place a wooden stool above the hole, and you release your waste into the hole. You can also build a structure or outhouse around the stool for privacy. If the hole gets full, you cover it with soil. Then, you move your outhouse to another area and start the process again.

2. Look Into Composting Human Waste

If you're up for the challenge, you can compost your own human waste. With this method, you collect your waste. For example, you may want to put a toilet seat on top of a large bucket. Then, when the bucket fills up, you place a perforated lid on the bucket so the waste can breathe, and you use another bucket for your waste.

You repeat this process as needed, and meanwhile, the waste in the bucket with the perforated lids gets to sit for a year. After a year, you can put the waste in your compost pile. Generally, it needs to break down for another year, and then, you can use it for gardening. Always do extra research with this option to ensure you aren't exposing yourself to dangerous pathogens.

3. Invest in a Solar Power Septic Tank

One of the easiest options it to put in a septic tank system. A septic tank collects the waste water from your home. Once in the tank, the solids settle to the bottom where they start to break down. As the tank gets full, a pump moves the waste into a nearby drainfield.

The drainfield contains to clean and filter the waste until it is harmless. To be on the safe side, you should use a professional septic tank installer. They can ensure that your drain field isn't too close to the water table or natural waterways.

With this type of system, the only electricity involved is with the pump. If you want to stay off-grid, you can often power the pump with a solar panel. To make sure you don't need any more power, position the septic tank downhill from your off-grid cabin. That makes it easier for the waste to reach the septic tank without any help from pumps.