Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 20 of 59 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am wanting to build an outhouse on some property we bought so that it will be easier for my kids to "use the facilities" when we go over and camp on it this fall. I will also probably use it while I am building my cabin in a few years. But I have a couple of questions:

1) There is a well on the property. How far from the well should I place the outhouse to avoid contaminating the water supply? Is this even a concern given the fact that it will be used infrequently (one weekend a month, family of five) and the fact that deer, bear, and all manner of wildlife use that land for a bathroom on a regular basis without any effect on the wate supply?

2) How deep do I make the pit? I have seen anything from 3-5 feet on the internet. Does infrequent use have any impact on this?

3) For anyone else who has done this before, do you have any helpful advice? special features I should include? etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
940 Posts
You people need to loosen up and put your state in your info. Not all states are outhouses even legal.
But a couple of feet would be a plenty. Might want to take a large coffee can. to hold your torlet paper. Place the paper in the can, put the lid on.. Then turn the can upside down on a board.. To keep the mice out.
Oh and pick up a bag of lime at the feed store.. to cover the #2 to keep the smell down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
Water table is also a factor, you don't want it dug into the water table...... I would say a few feet is plenty as long as you are above the water table......it will take years to fill it if you only use it infrequently. as far as the well is concerned, you just need to have it down hill or on the same level from it just like a leach field. Ideally the hill should also continue down from where the outhouse is at..... As far as laws are concerned, you will not have any trouble as long as it is not impacting anybody elses property, if you ever sell the property make sure you completely remove it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,843 Posts
For that limited use you could make a frame to go over a 5-gallon bucket. Add lime or sawdust with each use. Males should go in back of it, a tree or something to pee. Before leaving dig a hole, dump the contents of the bucket in it and cover with about 6" of dirt, leaving a hump for settling.

Or make the outhouse portable to where you can simply move it and fill in a shallow hole for the waste.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,553 Posts
knucklegragger, go down to the county courthouse of the county where you land is located and asks the clerk of courts for a copy on the regulations for outhouses and septic systems. Said regulations should state, if outhouses are allowed, and how deep they need to be, and how far from all water sources they need to be. If there are not such regulation - go to your local library and find a book with instructions.

Hugs,
Marlene
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
698 Posts
My recommendation would be to build it on two 4x4 treated skids, so you don't have to have a deep hole. Just a foot or two. When it fills up, hook a rope at the base and use your truck to slide it over another small hole. With infrequent use, even a small hole wont fill up much, because it will evaporate/filter down/decompose inbetween visits. Around here people who had outhouses in use "full time" rarely had to move the house, because it broke down quickly.
Some houses around in this country, after electric came, bringing water pumps for wells, put in bathrooms inside, with the 3" pipe just running to the nearest woods. Where it came out was usually not smelly, because every rain would pack it down, and given a lot of fresh air it could breathe. During the hot summer, if it got smelly they would sprinkle a handfull of lime on top. You'd be surprised how many houses around here are still like that. It works great, and you never have to clean out the septic tank!

I know the local misgovernment would ring my neck, but why worry about a few ounces of human waste a day, when one cow gives 10 times as much? If it can "go" in the creekbed, or field, or wherever, why regulate where I can "go" ?? Answer....more govt. control = less individual freedom. After a generation of people brought up with tight govt. regulations, people nowadays can't even start thinking about how to do something without asking "what does the regulation say" where our ancestors would be mad as hornets if someone told them to "go" somewhere else!

Reminds me of what happened here a few years ago. An older man (70s) was a local farmer and had been his whole life. He was used to using the woods, and when the local "health" inspector came around noticed that he had no plumbing, or even an outhouse. The inspector told the man that country regulations required that every residence be equipped with satisfactory "facilities" and that the man would have to build a bathroom or else vacate his old house (which had been in his family a long time). The farmer told the man to leave him alone.

A few weeks later he was summoned to a hearing, and when asked why he would not comply with the regulations, this was his answer (more or less). "I grew up in that old house. When I was little we had an outhouse. After my parents died they left me the farm. Being an lone man now, with no wife or children in the house, I didnt replace the old outhouse when it finally rotted."

His closing statement was great...."I own nearly 100 acres, and on my land, when I feel the need to ***, I'll *** where I want to!" He then turned around and walked out!

Another neighbor built an outhouse a few years ago (without telling the county) as a backup for the indoor bathroom, so that when the power is out it is available. It is very nice, with a toilet seat, paper holder, screened upper window opening, and even magazine rack! They have it on skids, with the house off the ground about 4" (the height of the skids) so that air can ventilate it.

The keys to good outhouses: ventilation, good (comfortable) seat, and tight construction to prevent bugs and critters. The depth is not as important because you can move it when it fills up. Again, it'll take a LONG time to fill up a pit, even with regular use, because of the filtering into the soil and the decomposition.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,440 Posts
Well, here in so. Mo plenty of people have outhouses--can't think of one person we know who asked about permits or told any government officials what they were doing. Our county doesn't require building permits/inspections so our business is our business. Our corner store has a Taj Mahal outhouse with cement floors,no snakes or bugs. The state puts in stone bldgs down here with pit privies. Many folks here can't afford deep wells so don't have running water. I say do what you want on your land and keep your mouth shut. DEE
 

·
If I need a Shelter
Joined
·
21,532 Posts
MarleneS said:
knucklegragger, go down to the county courthouse of the county where you land is located and asks the clerk of courts for a copy on the regulations for outhouses and septic systems. Said regulations should state, if outhouses are allowed, and how deep they need to be, and how far from all water sources they need to be. If there are not such regulation - go to your local library and find a book with instructions.

Hugs,
Marlene
Yea mines illegal if they want to cause trouble so be it :shrug:

Less they know the better.

big rockpile
 
  • Like
Reactions: MomH

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,511 Posts
You can go to the county court house if you want but they will tell youthat they don't know of any regualtions on a out house. Just be sure that you are at least 100 feet forn the well and it is down hill. Just dig enough to get it under the ground at least 6 inches. Then when you are thriugh with it cover it with lime to keep it from stinking. A coffe can with a lid on it will keep the mice from useing it as a winter home. On your land their are no restrictions against building an outhouse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,869 Posts
Alex said:






Enjoy,

Alex

sweeeeeeet

Maybe I'll build an outhouse!

Maybe we should have an outhouse building contest - the mods could form a panel to judge them. Everyone throws in $10 and winner takes 70%, runner up gets 30%.

So far Alex has set the gold standard...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
That outhouse looks great! Maybe make one like a chicken tractor. I don't know bout yall but when something simple, where to go, what to build, what to raise, what you can do on your own land, without having to find out the regulations about it, I start feeling that leash round my neck and wanting to rebel. It's that freedom thang I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
I googled outhouse a while back and chose the 'dry pit' for mine. I'm going to bury a 55 gallon drum and add the PVC exhaust pipe out the roof. It wont matter how far it is to my srping
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,843 Posts
Years ago I was in a group outhouse. They had put a funnel with a hose on the wall as a urinal. Hose when to a buried rock pit. They had also put a funnel in the front area of the seat to catch female urine, which sent to the same pit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,735 Posts
gives new meaning to SSS. :)

Really. The less anyone knows the better. You're land, do as you wish.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MomH
1 - 20 of 59 Posts
Top