Author Topic: Composting toilets and the law  (Read 6722 times)

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Offline azkateo

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Composting toilets and the law
« on: September 20, 2008, 04:56:15 PM »
 :-[

Hello all,
I have not posted in some time because I have been having on-going discussions with the local county folks about on-site wastewater disposal for my land and cabin that really will be used only a few times a year.  I am OK with a low-water use composting toilet and that can be easily approved by the county BUT what to do with the kitchen 'blackwater'?? County offers no suggestions.  Also, even though the toilet is bought as almost a turnkey system, the county wants an engineer's stamp to approve it (Ahh, rural AZ at its best).  Anyone face this issue?  Any suggestions on kitchen wastewater design (I'm thinking 1000 gal tank and pumping it once every 5 years).  I was already approved for a traditional septic, but it is $8000 to install in my remote area - about $1000 per visit to the cabin!  :-)

Any info would be appreciated.
azkateo

Offline soomb

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Re: Composting toilets and the law
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2008, 09:06:06 AM »
Does the county was a fee for their "stamp"?  I like the 1000 gal tank idea.  Could you also use a smaller tank like an RV waste tank and take it out with you after each visit and dump it at one of the RV dump stations (forest campground)? 
Live- Phoenix, Relax- Payson

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Composting toilets and the law
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 09:46:30 AM »
Remote area -- does the county actually show up there or do you have to ask them to come up there?
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline azkateo

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Re: Composting toilets and the law
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2008, 10:22:02 AM »
Apparently one of the inspectors actually does show up to OK things; don't know much about the whole 'stamp' thing - I just know that when I speak to the fellow that sends out the approvals/nonapprovals, he said his engineers who look at the submitted plans look for the stamp...

Not too crazy about doing the RV dump thing as I have an SUV, not a pickup and lord only knows where a dump station is-my land was a tiny portion (42 acres!) of a huge cattle ranch - all the lots are about this same size - no forest within reasonable distance.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Composting toilets and the law
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2008, 10:40:43 AM »
Saying they want the stamp means only that if the engineers stamps it he is taking responsibility for it and they ignore about anything he stamps -no problem with it -after they get your money.  Ask  them if they guarantee everything since they took your money and inspected it -- tell them you want it in writing.  [rofl2]

I just say that because I know of 3 engineered inspected things here that have failed or burned within the last year.  BTW their guarantee here didn't seem to do any good.  (Except that the politicians life retirement after two terms of service seems to be well funded).
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline soomb

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Re: Composting toilets and the law
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2008, 03:49:13 PM »
IF you were to run the sink water to a portable container, get past all of the inspections, and then one day when you were using the portable container your back had a spasm and you dumped the water on your land it would be a tragedy.  ;)
Live- Phoenix, Relax- Payson

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Composting toilets and the law
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2008, 03:47:49 PM »
Quote
...the county wants an engineer's stamp to approve it

Will the manufacturer provide any documentation that would satisfy the county?

Also, I'm curious; what brand and model have you selected?


As for blackwater, if you can get the county to accept a portable disposal system that's probably all you can do other than go with the smallest septic they'll allow. That or a permanent holding tank. That is likely to be rejected as being a cesspool and most places don't allow them anymore, IIRC.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline azkateo

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Re: Composting toilets and the law
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2008, 06:35:26 AM »
I liked the Envirolet low water remote as my first choice in composting toilet; SunMar as a second choice.  Both are 'pre-approved' with the ADEQ here in AZ so that really helped my case. Neither company has an answer for the kitchen water problem as they only deal with blackwater...so no help there

I will have to look into a holding tank for kitchen water, but this certainly would not be my first choice.  I wanted to use the French drain (cesspool) which I would have to put in anyway as part of the overflow drain required for the composting toilet.

I also liked the alternative septic system by Consolidated Systems / Nayadic or Multi-flow but cannot find a dealer in AZ.

Maybe I just need to learn how to install alternatives and go into business!  I see our ADEQ has some classes coming up and maybe I'll catch those.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Composting toilets and the law
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2008, 05:25:23 PM »
Quote
...the county wants an engineer's stamp to approve it

Will the manufacturer provide any documentation that would satisfy the county?

Also, I'm curious; what brand and model have you selected?


As for blackwater, if you can get the county to accept a portable disposal system that's probably all you can do other than go with the smallest septic they'll allow. That or a permanent holding tank. That is likely to be rejected as being a cesspool and most places don't allow them anymore, IIRC.

Do they make any allowances for a grease trap ?
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

 

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