Options on installing a restroom in a barn?

In one of our outbuildings we have a water supply and are thinking about adding some sort of toilet/restroom. The problem is it’s not hooked to sewer and are considering options.

If we put in a normal flushing toilet would it need some sort of septic tank or could we just set up a lateral line?

Another option would be to just forgo the flushing toilet and just have a composting toilet. Has anyone had experience with these?

Does it have to pass any code inspection? You need some type of chamber to trap solids before they get to the lateral lines. There may be some type of concrete box that is cheaper than a full size septic tank but in the big picture you want it and the total cost difference is minimal unless you do the digging yourself. Maybe just a plastic barrel with sealed in and out connections.

I’m not sure what this means.
It’s quite possible that a sewer line (a ‘lateral’, as opposed to the ‘main’ running down the street) could be installed that runs from the barn to the either the house or directly to the municipal sewer main in the street. Depends on the exact situation and you’d need to get an engineer/contractor to take a look at your place to know if it’s possible. If so, I don’t know why you’d need a chamber or anything. But it might need a pump, depending on the slopes.

The other main option is a septic system; you’d need a bit of open space with appropriate soil, but if the property is big enough to have a barn that’s far enough from the house to want a bathroom, you’ve probably got room somewhere. Again, you’ll have to get someone out to look at your place to know what the exact possibilities are.

I don’t know much about composting toilets.

I suppose a port-a-potty or something is also a possibility, but I suspect that’s not something that would work for you.

I’m not sure what this means. “Barns” and “streets” are pretty much incompatible unless this is a hobby farm behind your McMansion.

The point is - does the OP have the freedom (and desire) to make a minimal bathroom work or do they really want a pretty nice setup which pretty much mandates a septic field?

Am I the only one who keeps wondering how he is going to get the animals to use it once he gets it installed?

There are gas and electric incinerating toilets.

If you are located in the “county” (not located in a town or city), then check with your county building inspector (building codes/new construction permits). If located in a town or city, check with their building inspector.

They can tell you what is and what is not allowed. Septic tanks may need to be located AWAY from water wells, etc. (Don’t want to be drinking that stuff!)

I read the OP as implying that they have a municipal sewer hookup to the main residence. If so, then it’s quite possible that a nearby outbuilding could also be hooked up to the municipal sewer. Depends on the distance, topography, etc., but it’s certainly possible. In fact, I’ve seen in person homes on municipal sewer with outbuildings close enough to physically and economically run a lateral to the outbuilding (for some version of ‘economical’, of course, but costing less than a new septic system, anyway).

You average large farm in the boondocks is probably not hooked up to municipal sewer, so it wouldn’t be possible, but the OP didn’t specify either farm or boondocks.

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:
Thanks for making my day!

My advice is not to start with the town/county: they can tell you what is legal, but probably not what is physically possible at a particular site. Get a septic/drainage company (or three) to take a look and give a quote for what they could do at that property. A decent company will pull permits and what not for you, so they’ll deal with the town and ensuring everything is approved.
And, let’s be clear, this might not be worth it just to hook up a single bathroom: either adding a lateral line or a new septic system is going to have a backhoe and crew working for a while; we’re not talking a couple-hundred dollar project, here.

Wait, what? There are plenty of real, working farms around here, and they’re all street accessible. Paved and everything.

All you have to do is build yourself a stall and hire someone to shovel it out every now and then. That is the way barns work.

Depending on your winter weather you might have to deal with frozen sewer lines. I know Mistermage was considering putting in a urinal out at the Shop but since it’s only heated when he and his BFF are actually in the shop working he doesn’t think it will be feasible. One wouldn’t be needed in the summer but they do worry about frozen wangdangs during a typical Iowa winter.

Its a rural area and the house is on a septic tank.

I’m thinking more and more a composting or incinerating toilet.

Thing is I just hate having to constantly go out behind the barn and finding a tree.

How long have you lived there? The tree should be in the same spot where you last found it. :confused:

Perhaps someone is stealing your trees? If so, plant more trees. :smiley:

Just go with a composting or chemical toilet for limited use.

There’s such a thing as an incinerating toilet? :eek:

Everything about that ad is awesome.

AND - you can upgrade to the TR model, for Fulltime Heavy Use! :eek:

I installed a new sewer line some thirty metres in Sandy soil the other day. Linking a bathroom to existing sewer. Absolutely nothing difficult about it. How far is the run to your existing septic, and does it allow for a 1 in 7 or so fall? Soil condition at your place? If you’re in a farming area you’ll be able to get a contractor with a backhoe in pretty easy obviously but you’ll know more about that than I.