How to deal with human waste… It’s not exciting, it’s not sexy, but it is necessary… If you are just camping/living somewhere for a few weeks, a basic latrine with suffice. However, if we are talking months or years at a bug-out or an off-the-grid location for, you’ll need to build something a bit more effective to deal with the regular waste.
Below are three DIY home septic systems from a small scale 55-gallon system to two larger tote based septic systems. All of these systems are very cheap and relatively simple to build.
1 — DIY Tote Septic System
Below is an excellent video tutorial from UnitedStatesofBuild. The video documents how to build a low-cost DIY septic system using totes. Totes are large plastic liquid containers that are housed in a protective steel/aluminium frame. They are often shipped on pallets for transport. Totes can be acquired cheaply as they are considered a waste product once used. A quick Google search for ‘used totes for sale’ will give you an idea on cost and availability.
2 –DIY 55-Gallon Drum Septic System
This superb step-by-step tutorial shows how to quickly and cheaply build a small septic system using 55-gallon plastic drums and PVC pipe. This septic system is only suitable for human waste, it is not big enough for laundry etc. The tutorial states this system is suitable for two adults, but I would think that with careful usage, this could cover the needs of a small family with two adults and two young children. Check it out.
This is a very cheap and simple home septic system for one to two people. It is only suitable for human waste though. It cannot deal with laundry etc.
3 –A Second DIY Tote Septic System
This video tutorial is by Make Science Fun. It covers how to build a larger-scale above ground aeriated water waste treatment system build with totes. This system is a larger, more expensive septic system, but it still a fraction of the cost of a professionally installed commercial system.