Composting toilets for outbuildings

Whatever type of outbuilding you have, be it a shed, garden office, barn or workshop, a composting toilet can be fitted without the need for a water supply, drains or sewerage. Now that’s a relief!

A composting toilet is entirely self-contained, odour-free and uses no chemicals. It doesn’t require mains power, just a small supply to run a simple electric fan to gently aerate the composting solid waste. The small amount of power the fan requires can be supplied by a stand-alone solar panel or a battery.

No need for new pipework or drains

A composting toilet requires no infrastructure, so that means:

  • No water supply
  • No access to drains
  • No soil pipe
  • No pump station
  • No planning permission

It is also eco-friendly, so liquid waste can be poured away. The inert composted solid waste disposed of, or used as a natural compost to add nutrients and bulk to your compost heap!

Composting toilets for every outbuilding

The Nature’s Head® composting toilet is totally portable too. Just pick it up and take it to wherever you need it! So long as the fan is powered and you have somewhere to vent to the outside, you can position it in any type of outbuilding, including:

  • Garden offices
  • External workshops
  • Separate garages
  • Stables
  • Barns
  • Cabins
  • Yurts
  • Sheds
  • Summer houses
  • Beach huts
  • Bunkers

They can also be used in holiday accommodation including:

  • Camping pods, glamping pods and wooden wigwams
  • Caravans and campervans
  • Log cabins, forest cabins, chalets
  • Converted shepherd’s huts and railways carriages
  • Remote campsites
  • Hikers and mountaineers huts (bothy)
  • Buildings in ecologically sensitive areas such as nature reserves

The issues of flushing toilets in outbuildings

Installing drains into buildings beyond the home is both expensive and disruptive. Whilst there is no planning permission required in the UK for minor drainage works, there are often ownership issues. As the UK Planning Portal says,

“Drains, sewers and manholes may be shared with neighbours or owned by the relevant sewerage undertaker.”

You are usually also responsible for ensuring that the natural water table or fresh water doesn’t become contaminated.

Flushing toilet = water supply

For flushing toilets, you’ll always need to install a water supply, and a waste water pipe to remove waste from the outbuilding to the drains.

The toilet should include a macerator to reduce waste to a pulp, and a soil pipe to remove waste to the mains sewer. You might also need a pump station to actively remove waste from shed to sewer if the distance is too far for natural drainage.

Both a macerator and a pump station will require an electricity supply too. What’s more, if your outbuilding isn’t heated all year round, your flushing toilet and associated pipework might freeze over the winter months.

In a Which? article, the work involved in the plumbing works for an external toilet is estimated at “£2,000+ because of the additional pipework and connections required.”

For half that cost, you can have a self-contained composting toilet delivered to your home. It takes just a few minutes to unpack and assemble (assuming you’ve pre-soaked some substrate) and a little more time to connect the fan and the vent once the toilet is in place.

Then, you’re good to go!

Not sure if a composting toilet is right for your garden office?

Let’s remind you: no water, no drains, no smell, no hassle, and a regular supply of inert, safe, soil-smelling compost (humanure) to add to your garden compost heap. Your roses will love it!

Need more information?

Contact us, check out our FAQs or see our composting toilet installation page.