Perhaps our most common question!
Our members (your tenants) are aware that a composting toilet is non-negotiable.
Their solid waste will decompose in a sealed container, and 6 months later the contents will look just like a bucket of rich garden compost. This means there’s no black water, and therefore no sewer required.
Interestingly, there’s no current Australian Standard for a grey water treatment system small enough to be realistic for a 20m2 Tiny House on Wheels (the average size of new builds). You certainly could install a septic tank- however the size would be absolute overkill for such a small amount of runoff.
Tiny Housers generally use around 10% of the water of a traditional dwelling, so this grey water is really quite minimal.
In a Tiny House land rental scenario, grey water from the shower and kitchen are usually directed through a pipe into a gravel drainage pit sited away from the dwelling, called an “absorption trench”.
This is one of the reasons it’s best to site a Tiny on larger rural acreage, away from environmental considerations like streams or rivers.
In a case where the tenant likes to cook with lots of oils or fats, we would suggest our host ask the tenant to have a plumber install a grease trap, to ensure these are not mixed with the general grey water.
The vast majority of our amazing members are very environmentally conscious, citing this as one of the primary reasons they’ve chosen this lifestyle. They use natural, biodegradable and septic safe products in their showers and basins (as do I).
In my own Tiny Home, the grey water runs along a gravel trench into my veggie garden and orchard (what’s left of it after the possums and roos get to it!). My run-off is so clean that frogs live in it! As you may know, this is an excellent indicator of water and soil health.
If and when Tiny House living becomes more regulated, we would update our grey water recommendations accordingly.
But for now, we feel this is the most responsible and practical way to handle water run-off in a land rental scenario.
Hope this helps.
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