Old fashioned Septic tank

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dixygirl, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    I have water in my shed and want to put in a sink (maybe a toilet [​IMG] ). We don't have anywhere for the water to go.

    How can i dig a simple, functional, old fashioned septic tank. I was thinking about digging a pit and building a cinderblock box in there with a lid. It would be on a berm Will that work?

    Detailed descriptions please.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  2. nccountrygirl

    nccountrygirl Songster

    Jul 31, 2007
    Sanford N.C.
    Why don't you put a 5 gallon bucket under it and recycle the used water, you could use it on your plants or garden.
  3. Try a grey water recycling system, or run that water out to your garden, that's what we do with our outdoor shower.

    as far as the toilet, if you don't already have a septic tank to tie into... I would recommend a composting toilet.
  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Check with you local or state health department for code requirements. They will be able to tell you exactly what you need to do.

    You ask for detailed descriptions but more information is needed.

    This is Illinois'

    It is fairly generic nationwide but there are a lot of local and state variations because of soil types, population densities, watersheds, etc.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Get a composting toilet or go without - please don't try a do-it-yourself 'black water' septic system, they are QUITE apt to seriously pollute everyone else's groundwater unless VERY correctly done. Another possibility, if you just want facilities for an occasional emergency, is one of those chemical 'camping potties' or even just an outhouse-style arrangement (seat with hole in it) with a bucket underneath that you empty into the regular household toilet after use.

    A sink is pretty easy though. For sink 'grey water', i.e. it will not have poo in it nor anything toxic, all you really need is some sort of soakaway or french drain. (edited to add: unless your local municipal code says otherwise). For instance, dig a hole, line it with landscape fabric, fill it completely with gravel, and there ya go. Assuming that the area is reasonably well-drained to start with anyhow.

    Good luck,

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  6. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  7. In your climate you could have a portable 20L flush toilet from Sears. They're under $100 and they have a removeable collection pail, the contents are treated and could be disposed of in a suitable pit or on your house toilet if it's close enough.

    If you put in a real septic tank, you'll need a permit and an inspection. Excavation..yadda yadda

    Mucho $$$$
  8. You need a humanure toilet.

    The short story about this process is at:


    The long story can be obtained through the same website; I don't know if it's still free, but it is fascinating reading. If you read the long version, you will never again be able to flush a toilet or drink water without thinking of some of the ideas presented in this book.

    I have used a "Luggable Loo" toilet seat, which covers a 5 gallon bucket and is quite comfortable. Instead of sawdust, I used shredded leaves, and I have never had anyone know the toilet (or the compost heap in which all the waste goes) was even there. For it to work right, you need liquid and solid waste.

    We had horrific rains last year, and during the rains I took a water sample down-yard from my "special" compost pile; it tested completely negative for fecal coliform bacteria.

    There is some science to this, and it is completely safe if you follow his directions. My first compost pile is halfway through the 2nd year; this fall, I expect to be able to use the compost on my flower garden (even though I feel it is safe, for sheer "eewwww" factor, I'm not going to use that compost on my vegetable garden).

    Now that I've outed myself on this, I'm thinking I can never meet any of you in person again....
  9. If you can run your laundry water out to help water you lawn or garden it will help with conserving water, but be sure that any toilet water goes into the septic system or where ever it now goes, Our water supply is getting so very precious try to protect it any way you can. Have a rain barrell that I use to water my garden, since DH can't change the washer for the lawn. I put some fish in the rain barrell and now i have no mosquitoes either. We had a drought last year and we learned to really conserve on water. marrie
  10. Firefyter-Emt

    Firefyter-Emt Songster

    As others had stated, there is a huge diffrence from "Black Water & Gray Water. Forget the Black Water from a toilet and you should be able to get away with a simple dry well.

    What I would do for a dry well, is to use one of those blue 55 gallon plastic drums and drill a million holes (about 1/2") all over the tank. Your sink drain (with a trap) can be installed into the tank. Place this in your dug out pit and fill out about 24"+ with rock and back fill over this. While this would work, you may not be able to pass code with a design like this.

    You could also make a stand for the drum on it's side and leave it above the ground intact. Connect the drain to the top of the barrel and hook up a drain valve. This could have a hose attached and used to water your garden. I think this method works far better and if an overflow pipe is installed it will just run onto the grass and be better than anything that comes off your car while washing it!

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