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How To Manage Sewage In Tiny Homes

By taufiqhaque

Tiny Homes are all the rave in today’s era. Tiny houses are both cheap and convenient. Especially if you love exploring new towns and cities, tiny homes might be the perfect place for you to stay because tiny homes are low maintenance. However, you might need to plan it properly to manage tiny home sewage.

Sanitation is essential if you want to enjoy a peaceful and clean home environment. Many knowledge and preparations are required before actually planning and building a sewage management system for your tiny home. 

Every home needs to be connected to a sewage line or a tank to dispose of the waste produced in the house. The waste includes human excrements and the liquid trash from the kitchen, such as rotten juice. 

Tiny Home Sewage: Importance of Sewage Management 

Many houses are usually built with such systems. However, there will be times when you need to start from the initial point. This is especially a common scenario when managing sewage in tiny homes.

Usually, sewage management for your small house can cost around 1000 dollars. This includes both water flow planning and plumbing. 

We thoroughly researched relevant textbooks regarding sewage management systems. We also went through different stores to see if the plumbing materials are worth your tiny home.

It’s our duty to guarantee your home and your lifestyle are convenient and not be interrupted by some form of bad odour-related home accidents. 

Tiny Home Sewage: Portable Sewage Management

You might be the type of individual who is not a fan of land-based sewage systems. Well, it’s understandable since you have to deal with all kinds of household waste. Or you are someone who just prefers a portable one over the land-locked tiny home sewage management. So let’s look at the types of holding tanks.

Tiny Home Sewage: Holding Tanks 

Holding tanks are great, except you just need to be aware of how much filled the tanks are. We don’t want some smelly spillage situations. Holding tanks are also convenient for your tiny movable homes. 

The tanks are designed to store two types of wastewaters:

Tiny Home Sewage: Blackwater

You can guess from the name the type of waste that supposedly means Blackwater. It’s the waste directly from the toilet. A black tank is a must to store such contaminated waste. You also have to be meticulous in dumping such waste-to-waste disposal areas. 

You can link the sewage host to discard the waste to the dumping station. However, it still might be quite risky. Usually, such sensitive tasks will require you to hire a trained professional from the disposal service.

Also, the disposal areas are limited. Only dump to stations where it specifically states it’s for the Blackwater. Also, discard only when the tank is ⅔ of parts is full. Anything less than that means the potential risk of leaving some solid waste as not a considerable amount of water will not be flowing to flush out such waste.

Tiny Home Sewage: Greywater

Greywater refers to waste from the shower, washing hands, or liquid kitchen waste. It’s comparatively easier to deal with such waste. 

With this system, you can connect the line from your grey water disposal to be flushed to your garden or even the backyard. The wastes here are pretty much organic, such as food waste. The soap and shampoos and other washroom-related cosmetics should be biodegradable to make them safe for use as fertilizer. Thus, it can be a highly nutritious packed food for your flowers and other plantations. 

The law states you can’t directly use greywater on plantations. However, you can use them on their roots. Make sure your plantation ground absorbs the greywater completely. Any excess flow of greywater is actually unfavourable for the environment. It still contains traces of dirt, grease, or even microplastics.

A greywater system can be bought at ease from any Home Depot or any nearby local appliance store. So, keep this on the list for portable tiny home sewage.

Last but not least, keep a grey water tank to store the grey water while you’re hitting the road. Usually, you need to dispose of the grey water once or twice a week. Nevertheless, it also depends on the usage and maintenance of the grey water tank. The plumbing connects the tank to collect the greywater. 

Tiny Home Sewage: Long Term Sewage Management System

There are several options if you are opting for a waste management system that is perfect for your house that is not portable. A perfect plan is also needed if you plan to live in your small house for longer.

Let’s survey the options!

Septic

If your plan isn’t long-term, the septic option might be perfect for your tiny home. Keep in mind that to keep some portions of your land free to place drainage field and the septic tank itself.

There are two options if you want to go ahead with a septic tank system:

  • Above the ground system
  • Below the ground system

Two systems are also there among them when considering how the waste will be treated:

  • Aerobic
  • Anaerobic 

Aerobic means the system will contain bacteria that break down the human excrements. So this gives you an idea that the aerobic system will be more expensive than the anaerobic one.

The reason is that the aerobic system requires ventilation and higher maintenance as different components of the human waste are dealt with in a naturally occurring process that takes some time in general.

There are rules and regulations that you need to adhere to. The implementation of the septic tank to how to manage sewage in tiny homes means you need a proper septic tank. It should be at least 700-750 gallons.

This goes against the laws. The rule states to set up a septic tank of at least 1000 gallons. However,  you can expect to go around it due to a loophole. The loophole is, you guessed it right, your house is considerably smaller than the general conventional homes. 

Now, you might wonder about the types of tanks you can choose from. There are generally four kinds. Go with the one that will fit the most with your surroundings and the environmental situation around your tiny home. 

  • Concrete: This is the most expensive one. On the bright side, this also lasts the most. A concrete tank can serve you for almost 40 years! It’s like a tank, and that too, a sewage tank will see you growing up. 

They also weigh the most and require more room. But I think it might be fine since it will stay with you for a long time. 

Click here to get practical ideas before considering purchasing one. 

  • Steel: A steel tank might be a good option too. The price is not too high nor too low. A good or a branded steel tank can also keep the wastewater inside without escaping from any side.

But one thing you need to be careful of is that steel will rust eventually. It can rust within 20-25 years, depending on how you maintain it. Want to purchase one? The best advice might be to go to your local home depot store. Also, get advice from the employees there who deal with such products.

  • Plastic tanks: Plastic tanks are cheaper than both concrete and steel tanks. Its durability is satisfactory too. Moreover, they weigh less and can be installed with less complexity.

A plastic tank also doesn’t need much space. Their life is about 30-40 years. But make sure to be aware of any major accidents since plastic ones need to be changed if that happens.

Click here to browse through some of them.

  • Fibreglass tanks: The features are like plastic tanks. They also last about 40 years and are more reasonably priced than the concrete ones. It also prevents any roots from being pressed inside the tank. 

To purchase any of the ones mentioned above, the advice is to go to a Home Depot and get ideas from the salesperson there.

Installing Below the Ground System

This system refers to using underground septic tanks. The system is common for usage in commercial or residential purposes. You can mainly use them to contain Blackwater. They are also known as cesspool tanks. The tanks are only meant for stationary homes and other dwellings such as cottages and cabins.

Hence, it might not be desirable for a tiny home sewage management system because cesspool tanks require a lot of room to sit underground. This might be potentially risky as your home is already small in size. Also, such tanks are for bigger loads of waste. So it might be a waste to set this tank for your small house.

Installing Above the Ground System

This system is technically permanent and foreseeable for the future. To set up pipelines can cost around 1500 to 4500 dollars. The additional cost of linking your sewage pipeline to your area’s sewer depends on some factors. 

The factors are related to how your city manages the central sewage system. It also depends on the news regarding the groups of people in government who oversee sewage management. 

So additional cost of attaching to the pipes of your town can be as little as 300-500 dollars. On the contrary, it can also be as high as 15,000 or 20,000 dollars. 

Your question is, then how could you minimize this cost as possible for a tiny home sewage system. There are no clear-cut questions. So the only hope is to keep reading this article and ensure to maximize the utility of what you can purchase while minimizing cost.

We highly encourage you to research the cost of instilling the sewage pipelines yourself. Explore and look around your areas. This will help you to pinpoint the best deals in your town. 

Installation Process

Installing any of those water tanks requires a large amount of time and a large sum to pay. The payment can range from 2000-6000 dollars. Well, don’t run away from this option! 

You’ll be glad to know the number of times pumping those collected human waste from the septic tank. It usually has to be done only 3-5 times a year. Less annoying and less smelly encounters at the same time. This also cost only around 300-400 dollars.

Toilet Based

I believe toilet-based might be the riskiest type among all other options. It can be a PMR one, a water-using, or a dry one that you can place in your home. Yes, it involves dealing with black water. Your distance to black water might also be closed when using such a system.

The complete list of toilets based is:

  • Dry composting toilets: dividing urine and faecal matter into separate tanks. Thus, it then makes them ready to get converted to composting matters. 
  • Low flow toilets: The toilet looks similar or might look exactly like a normal flush toilet that people usually use in their homes.  

The difference is that the less amount of water used here. It can help you to save around 100-200 dollars per year. One drawback you might face is the potential sludge to reduce water usage to flush out the waste.

  • Camping toilets: This one is the cheapest option here. The toilet basically can be folded like a camp bag. A disposal waste bag needs to be attached when in use. Usually, one bag is an idea to use per day. So, it’s the best option to use when you’re going for hikes or camping in the forest. Camping toilets are not safe and ideal for everyday use.
  • Incinerating toilets: In my opinion, this might be the best one among the toilet type. On the other hand, this is also the most expensive option. But the price might be worth it. You just need to burn down the waste to ashes for about an hour. 

The amount of electricity required for this action is the same as the amount used to run the dishwasher. The catch here is to empty the ashtray every three days or so in a week.

Conclusion

Planning a convenient tiny home sewage management system will take a thorough understanding and in-depth research. One of the reasons is that you will be dealing with all sorts of household waste. 

So, you might need to manage and implement your sewage system for your tiny house to reduce environmental waste. Environmental pollution should be handled both in the short term and long term as much as possible. Don’t hesitate to call for a professional if required.

But never be lost. It might be better to know sewage management for tiny homes.

You can also read: How to Do Plumbing for a New Tiny House

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