One Type Of Toilet Is Illegal In Washington State, Can You Name It?

It might surprise you to know that believe it or not, some toilets could be considered illegal in the State of Washington.


You Need To Know The Law If You Want To Live Off The Grid In Washington State

I was reading a fascinating article about "living off the grid" in Washington State and came across some facts about what's illegal and legal when it comes to your "potty" place.

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Indoor plumbing is a thing of beauty that we take for granted, the first indoor flush toilets first appeared in the 1890s in America. It's hard to imagine that the flush toilet and indoor plumbing haven't been around as long as you would think.

Portable Toilet In Muddy Field With View
Dave White

If you are going to "live off the grid", clarifies which toilets are legal and which toilets are not.


A compost toilet is allowed. Here is what the website said about this type of toilet:

Compost toilets are legal in Washington State.  You’ll need to get a permit from the local health department before installing one.  Only compost toilets on the DOH List of Registered On-Site Treatment and Distribution Products are allowed.

Even though compost toilets are legal, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s legal to only use a compost toilet.  You will almost certainly also be required to have a septic system.

Rustic outhouse building in a wooded area.

The Outhouse For The Most Part Is Illegal In Washington State

The one toilet that surprised me that was illegal is the Outhouse. An outhouse for the most part is illegal.

This is what had to say about outhouses.

Outhouses are called “pit toilets” and, under Washington State law, are defined as:

An on-site sewage dispersal unit consisting of a structure overlying an excavation not exceeding five feet in depth in which human excrement (human feces and urine) is directly deposited for permanent placement in the ground.

In many places in Washington State, outhouses are illegal.  Some rural areas still allow outhouses but only on properties that are not permanently occupied (like campgrounds).  Even if an outhouse is legal in your county or you get approval for one, it doesn’t mean you still won’t be required to have a septic system.

It's one of those you don't think about often but it's surprising that only a little over a hundred years ago, outhouses were all over the state.

State law says whatever toilet you have, you'll need to make sure some sort of sewer system is in place to be perfectly 100% legal.

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