What are the Ontario regulations for outhouses located on waterfront lots?
Outhouses are covered in the Ontario Building Code as Class 1 sewage systems, referred to as “earth pit” privies. As long as building regulations are followed and the only thing going into the outhouse is human waste, there is nothing wrong with having a biffy. Better to send your beer-drinking buddies there than have them overload your septic.
Find a good location away from the water according to your local municipality’s setback rules. Dig the pit (give those buddies some shovels) so that the bottom is 90 cm above the high groundwater table with 60 cm of soil or leaching bed fill on the sides and below the pit. Dig in the spring when the water table is at its highest. If your pit fills up with water, you know you’ve hit the water table and you’ll need to find a drier spot. Mound the earth up around the outside of the privy, as per Code, so that rainwater is directed away from the pit, and to keep the vermin out. (You can also add a sheet-metal barrier to prevent rot on the bottom of the structure.) The OBC requires you to vent the pit with a pipe running behind the toilet seat up through the roof. On a hot day, you’ll be glad you did.