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Legalities Question

 
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Hi! I am interested in an off grid tiny house and want to utilize the Loveable Loo concept. However, I made the mistake of contacting the code enforcement department for my county asking about it. They told me toilets that do not have some sort of water added to them are illegal. Has anyone encountered this? What are some ways I can get around this or convince the department that it is safe and sanitary?
 
Posts: 236
Location: Seattle, WA
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I've never heard of such a law anywhere in the states. I would call back and ask them for the state/county/city code that they are citing. Maybe let them know that you are looking into commercial composting toilet systems (if they think you are buying a commercial system, they will probably be more cooperative) and you need to know which codes are applicable so you can make sure that you are in compliance. If I had to venture a guess, there might be a code that specifies the minimum amount of water needed to flush waste through a septic system, and they might be referring to that. Obviously that doesn't apply to closed system toilets, but that might take some convincing. Once you know the relevant codes, then you can come up with a plan to circumvent.
 
Posts: 59
Location: Southern MN
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Most, not all, states have adopted uniform Environment Protection Agency rules.

The INTENT is generally - Not to Pollute Suface or SubSurface Soils.

This generally means that What YOU do INSIDE your house does NOT apply to these Rules and Statutes, though there are exceptions to the rules.

Generally, STATES have NO Authority IF you- Recycle Greywater into usable water for things but not drinking water.
Or, Composting and incinerating toilets.

Don't let them bully you because most local authorities think they are god in regulating your home's "waste", the trick is that THERE is No Waste!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb0xf3mRbJM [/youtube]
 
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people who do this do so undercover....your not going to be able to convince your code enforcement people to change their mind its been tried many times before.....just build a compost bin and hot compost it....no one will know the difference....
 
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In Cochise County AZ, known for easy building codes requires that you have a septic tank that includes the capacity for a standard toilet no matter what type of toilet you are using and a composting toilet will cost an additional $750 in permit fees!!! Rediculous!
 
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Mikaela what area are you in? Sounds like you have either misunderstood what was said or the person you were talking to didn't know their ass from a hole in a lovable loo. Remember when dealing with any authority don't ask permission or deal with them unless you must and if you do have them cite specific ordinances and make sure that those cited are applicable to your case. Most people in positions of authority don't like to admit ignorance and very often will say you must not or you can't when what is true is that you may or you can, they just don't want you to.
 
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Hello there,

I understand your concern.

The idea of having to pay more money to tear down the home I just paid to build, all over a toilet -or having an abatement notice from the County legally demanding the same at the threat of losing my property- is heartbreaking enough just in thought.
We would probably lose everything and most likely become homeless.
If that is the objective of their system...persuasive message received and mission accomplished.

I hope no one minds me kicking up an older topic, but I would appreciate hearing about composting options that have been used successfully in the Northwestern Region.
In every California County that I know of, for rural land you must install a standard septic tank system and leech field (at a cost of approximately $15,000.00) in addition to drill a well (approximately another $5,000.00), before any sort of building permit will be considered.

If this is not the absolute case, someone please speak up!
To my knowledge this singular issue was (prior to the Water Rights Fights) killing homesteading and micro farming efforts more than anything.
They either have been stepping up the code enforcement, or are just doing a lot of posturing; however my impression was the former more so than the latter.
 
Kat Green
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With the drought so much on everyones mind, this might be the time to try to change those codes.





 
Stuart Pedasso
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Remember: when dealing with the Devil, you never really get what you expect.
With even a simple glance one can determine there is a bit more to it than a drought.

Considering that it would have only taken (in theory) a single engineer, and possibly an attorney in the last sixty years creating and submitting an affordable state-approved option to the wet septic tank and field, something tells me another round of 'few years of dry' won't really make a difference.
This is not the first dry spell in the West, it is just the first one that had to carry the burden of the population that is now on the land.
Trust me the elected are still very busy deciding who owns what.

It seems tens of thousands of acres across the state remain upside down just due to the cost of setting up this needed infrastructure prior to building anything.
Were it not for this primary factor, I could show you hundreds of listings right now for parcels five acres or greater, all for under $1000.00/acre.

In many rural subdivisions that are effected by HOA's or POA's, you need the majority of landowners in order to dissolve the HOA/POA; and you will find that (for a myriad of equally selfish and justified reasons) it rains gold coins more frequently than this occurs.

Counties do not usually do what you hope or expect; they do what the dollars tell them to do.
The County solution is usually to raise your taxes to gather funds to pave and run the pipes. The 1915 Bond Act comes to mind.
Counties can and do use the courts to assign back fines for violations that have been ongoing code violations.
These sort of properties remain on tax sale rolls for years due to the attached fines, until someone buys and assumes the debt.
If the next owner defaults, the property goes back to tax sale.

The frequent reply I hear to this topic is 'just do it'.
The usual stock answer of 'just do it your way and get away with it for as long as possible' not only promises to serve freshly baked Disaster Surprise to your American dream, it also really spits in the face of the neighbor who had to go through all of the channels and expense of dealing with the system before being able to do the same.
I won't be surprised if such a neighbor feels resentful of my shortcuts and reports me for real and/or perceived code violations at every opportunity.
Acting indifferently to a community is not the way to become symbiotic with one; at that juncture, am I any better than the person who sneaks on to public lands to poach, grow cash crops, or excavate for minerals?
This just does not seem to me like the right way to make an impression on people I hope to live a long time near.

So the centuries-old dilemma of the human condition remains: how do you convince the "Haves" that they want to give a charitable opportunity to the "Have-Nots"?
Changing the mindset of the greedy and divided masses over something like a toilet, when they can't even come together on matters far more critical, is a self-destructive exercise in diminishing gains.
So rather than jump in the fire to fight it whilst being incinerated in the same action, I am asking if anyone has discovered any other options?
Because I still have not.
 
Wyatt Barnes
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At the very worst composting and sawdust toilets and the resulting compost piles are gray areas. The idea of a court agreeing with a government agency that an environmentally friendly practice is illegal at this point in time is unlikely. 20 years ago, probably. One of our local agencies tried to force a landowner to do something he didn't want to and the court found for the landowner. The days of authority figures being right and unassailable are over.

Most of what local government does is bullying and we all know the best way to deal with a bully, ignore them and if they don't go away call their bluff.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Mikaela Fleisher : Location, Location, Location ! Generally speaking just about everywhere the Local government has reached an accommodation with

The Amish, Mennonites and Some Indian tribes !

Usually agricultural lands get exemptions and waivers, but if there is an established local community of " Dissenters " it gets very hard to allow them
to do it their way and then tell you you cant !

Conversely- A Septic Tank and Leach field installed to let you build on a piece of property Can become a stealth Rainwater holding tank and distribution
grid !

Good luck ! Big AL
 
Posts: 144
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Stuart Pedasso wrote:
It seems tens of thousands of acres across the state remain upside down just due to the cost of setting up this needed infrastructure prior to building anything.
Were it not for this primary factor, I could show you hundreds of listings right now for parcels five acres or greater, all for under $1000.00/acre.



I agree, I know for a fact Mariposa country specifically bans them.

Stuart Pedasso wrote:
The usual stock answer of 'just do it your way and get away with it for as long as possible' not only promises to serve freshly baked Disaster Surprise to your American dream, it also really spits in the face of the neighbor who had to go through all of the channels and expense of dealing with the system before being able to do the same.



However, if the counties usually allow buildings under a certain size, often 10x12 without a permit, to me, using a composting toilet opens up possibilities. You seem experienced and knowledgeable, got any thoughts on that?

Stuart Pedasso wrote:
This just does not seem to me like the right way to make an impression on people I hope to live a long time near.



In many rural counties, if you don't have a boat and some wrecked cars on your property, you are going to be thought of as crazy anyway, and I have always found sharing food and some beer builds a few bridges.
 
Yeast devil! Back to the oven that baked you! And take this tiny ad too:
Rocket Mass Heater Manual - now free for a while
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