Design & DIY

Top 5 tips for owning an alternative toilet

Alternative toilets

1. Check the numbers. Most makers rate toilets by number of users, but some count on as few as three daily uses per person. Others allow four or five.

2. Ladies first. “When you have more people over than the toilet is specified for, make it the women’s toilet,” says EcoEthic’s Rob Davis. “The
guys can find a tree.” Consider making the “gentlemen outside” rule a standard operating procedure.

3. Investigate the overflow. A liquid overflow makes sense—until you consider the cost of hooking it into a cesspool or septic system compliant with your local building code. Unless your area has less onerous legislation, the only legal way to avoid the hassle is with a strictly selfcontained
closed system.

4. Follow installation and operating procedures scrupulously. Most problems stem from sloppy installation or incorrect use. If in doubt, call the
supplier for advice.

5. Be the DIY type. Keep the manual, parts list, and customer support number handy. Nervous? Ask around for a retailer or a toilet-savvy cottage handyman who provides service and first-person advice. Or seek a mentor among fellow cottagers.