According to iProperty Management, 63% of millennials have shown some interest in purchasing a tiny home. Tiny homes are also growing in popularity for other age groups as well. Though tiny home living does have its benefits, it does also present its challenges. One of these challenges is deciding on a suitable plumbing system to deal with wastewater.
The best plumbing option for tiny homeowners will be dependent on both personal preference and location.
Here is a list of wastewater options for tiny home living:
On the grid means that your home’s plumbing will be connected to the community’s sewage system. This process involves running waste pipes outside of your tiny home and then into a sewer or septic tank.
If a tiny home is on the grid, it will most likely be connected to a sewer system. More remote areas will use a septic tank system instead. Either way, the waste will be dealt with outside the home. With this option, homeowners only have to worry about making sure all the pipework is connected properly. This makes on-the-grid most desirable as it requires little to no work on the homeowner’s part
This also means that your tiny home is no longer mobile. Pipes connecting your home to sewer or septic systems are permanent and can not easily be disconnected or removed.
Greywater to Ground
Wastewater that comes from sinks, washing machines and showers or baths are referred to as greywater. Some areas allow this relatively clean water to flow back into the ground. This can be done by using the water for flowers and grass or simply allowing the water to drain away through the soil.
You’ll need a greywater tank that the water can collect in until you are ready to dump it away from your home.
Blackwater is wastewater that is mixed with human waste. Blackwater and greywater can be collected in two large containers. It is important to keep these two waste waters separated because blackwater has contaminants. Once the containers are full, they must be taken to a dump station, also known as an RV Dump Station or Waste Retrieving Station.
One of the disadvantages of this option is the waste containers will take up much needed space in the tiny home. If you are thinking about building a tiny home in an area greywater draining is not allowed, be sure to find the nearest dumping station.
A composting toilet will essentially remove the presence blackwater all together. Instead, there will be a form of compost to dispose of every couple of weeks. The most popular type of composting toilet is a waterless one that uses microorganisms and saw dust to break down human waste. Because the toilet maintains a permanent negative pressure, you do not have to worry about any off-putting smells infiltrating the home.
This is the most popular way for off-grid tiny homeowners to dispose of blackwater.
If you are building a tiny home, it is recommend to have a backup plan to the initial method of plumbing so that the homeowner never finds themselves in a situation where they must keep waste inside their home longer than necessary as it can be unpleasant and potentially hazardous.
In many areas of the county, legislation is changing or updating to encourage homeowners to think differently about their living space. Tiny homes offer the opportunity to own a home at a fraction of the typical price and the freedom to spend time and money living a life of adventure and ease instead of upkeep and maintenance. It’s a great opportunity for trade professionals to widen the scope of their offerings to include the specific needs of tiny home owners.
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