All About Off Grid Wastewater: Options, Septic, Code, and Advice

As green builders, we spent a lot of time looking at alternative methods of waste disposal including greywater systems and composting toilets. Unless you are truly out of the bounds of any type of code enforcement and/or don’t care about being a good steward and neighbor, you will likely encounter issues with your waste water management plans.

It isn’t pretty, but it’s important. Here’s what you need to know.

We installed a septic system for our off-grid wastewater management and will go into full detail of our install in this post. To understand how we settled on a septic system, what other options are out there, and how these systems work, it is important to go over some basic terms and concepts first:

Basic Terminology and Off Grid Water Options

What are “greywater” and “blackwater”?

Greywater – used water from washing machines, sinks, tubs, showers, etc.

Blackwater – used water from toilets or other water containing human waste

Note: There is a completely valid argument to be made about tub and shower water not being true greywater since it is likely to contain skin cells, microbes, and occasionally human waste (y’all with kids can’t tell me you never had a toddler poop in the tub). 

 

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