At first thought, the image of a toilet running without water may seem absurd. To put it bluntly, how is one supposed to flush waste in the absence of running water?
While the concept is still a bit confusing to many people, due in large part to the relative newness of the technology, waterless toilets are very similar to those you would find in an outhouse or port-a-potty. There are obviously a few key differences between the two for sanitary purposes, but the general premise is the same.
These appliances feature modern technology that distinguishes them from their often-unclean counterparts, and have been used to not only conserve millions of gallons of water, but also preserving low supply in regions where drought is high.
If you can accept the fact that using a waterless toilet means disposing of the waste without the help of septic system or connected city water grid, than be prepared to save a lot of money on your monthly sewage bill!
How exactly do waterless toilets operate?
Also commonly referred to as composting toilets, these pre-fabricated models can vary in price from $800 up to $4,000 in some cases, depending on their specific features. All of the toilets come standard with instruction manuals that aid homeowners in the proper composting and waste disposal methods.
For people who are a strict budget and wish to save a lot of money on setup, do-it-yourself types can be purchased for as little as $25. Be forewarned though, DIY waterless toilets require multiple installation steps to ensure they are sanitary and not in violation of health codes.
Another decision you will need to make is whether you want a self-contained or remote system; the former operates by composting the waste directly inside the toilet, while the latter requires disposal after a specified period. It accumulates in a large storage bin that is connected to a downward chute.
Over time, the waste is converted into mature compost, which can then be used as fertilizer for gardening. Some waterless toilets are even equipped with powered fans and heaters that facilitate the composting process, as well as aid in the evaporation of urine and waste aeration.
Non-powered models are usually hooked up to a standard ventilation pipe that leads outside, so the choice is yours to make. Urine-diversion is yet another feature to consider; these separate urine waste into a separate outflow line, though not all municipalities allow the operation of these toilets for fertilization purposes.