A Frugal Approach to Building an off-grid Outhouse: Step-by-Step Guide
Welcome back to Base Camp WNC! In this informative article, we'll take you through the process of building a cost-effective outhouse for a mechanic shop. By following our step-by-step guide, you can create a practical and eco-friendly solution without breaking the bank. Let's get started!
Step 1: Designing a Closed Septic Tank
To avoid costly county permits and septic tank installations, we came up with a brilliant alternative—a closed septic tank system. We buried a 55-gallon drum with holes near the top and added a 15-gallon barrel on top. For the seat, we used an adult potty chair fixed onto a five-gallon bucket. This setup allows waste to go into the ground and keeps the area wet for better efficiency.
Step 2: Building the Foundation
Dig a three and a half-foot square hole and fill it with gravel to create a solid foundation. The gravel acts as a drain field, ensuring the outhouse functions optimally. As a wet pit system, it holds water and allows easy waste breakdown. You can schedule pumping by a professional Portalet company if needed.
Step 3: Cost-Effective Door and Ventilation
To keep the costs low, we used a ten-dollar door from Habitat for Humanity and added screen wire for insect protection. By placing a rain gutter with a pipe that doubles as a vent pipe, rainwater can pour into the pit, maintaining its moisture.
Step 4: Assembling the outhouse
Using a post-hole drilling auger, drill holes to make digging easier. Place a solid 55-gallon drum at the base and add a lid with a two-inch diameter hole. A 15-gallon drum is placed on top as a drop tube for the potty chair. Fill the hole with gravel and build the outhouse frame with posts and decking.
Step 5: Environmentally-Friendly Operation
This closed septic tank system is designed to handle only human waste, making it environmentally friendly. The bacteria in the waste help break down the solids, ensuring minimal maintenance. Pumping the tank may be required occasionally, which can be done by a professional company for a nominal fee.
Congratulations! You've successfully built a cost-effective and environmentally-conscious outhouse for your mechanic shop. This efficient and practical solution saves you money while ensuring a clean and sustainable restroom option. For any questions or additional information, feel free to reach out to us. Like, share, subscribe, and hit the thumbs up button for more insightful content. Thank you for watching, and see you on the next one!
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