How to Save Money By Switching to a Waterless Toilet

How to Save Money By Switching to a Waterless Toilet

How to Save Money By Switching to a Waterless Toilet

What is a Waterless Toilet?

A waterless toilet, also known as a composting toilet or dry toilet, is a toilet that does not require water to flush or treat human waste. Waterless toilets use little to no water and work by separating liquid and solid waste. The liquid waste is evaporated or drained away while the solid waste is broken down through composting.

Waterless toilets have a container or chamber below the toilet seat to collect the waste. Some key types of waterless toilets include:

  • Self-contained composting toilets – The toilet has an integrated tank/processing unit below the seat to compost the waste. When full, the processing tank can be emptied.
  • Central composting toilets – Waste flows via chute to a central composting unit elsewhere in the building, reducing maintenance needs in the bathroom.
  • Urine-diverting dry toilets – Urine and feces are separated into different containers through special toilet bowls and mechanisms.

Benefits of Switching to a Waterless Toilet

There are several financial and environmental benefits to using a waterless toilet instead of a conventional flush toilet:

Save on Water Bills

  • Conventional flush toilets use 1.6 gallons of water per flush on average. Waterless toilets use no water for flushing waste, leading to major water savings.
  • For a household of 4 flushing 5 times per person per day, a waterless toilet could save over 35,000 gallons of water per year!
  • Less water usage leads to reduced water and sewer bills each month.

Lower Energy Use

  • Waterless toilets do not require water to be pumped and treated by municipal wastewater facilities, reducing energy consumption.
  • Self-contained composting toilet models do not require electric ventilation fans, further reducing energy needs.

Reduce Wastewater Output

  • With no water needed for flushing, waterless toilets greatly reduce wastewater volumes put back into the environment.
  • This helps protect groundwater and ecosystems.

Fertilizer Production

  • The composted human waste output from a waterless toilet can be used as a nutrient-rich natural fertilizer for non-edible plants.
  • This provides a free source of fertilizer for your home garden!

Cost Comparison to Flush Toilets

Depending on the type, waterless toilets can cost more upfront than flush toilets but save money long-term:

  • Basic flush toilets cost $100-$300 on average for the fixture only.
  • Low-end composting toilets start around $600, while high-end electric models can cost $2,000-$3,000.
  • However, the water savings from a waterless toilet quickly adds up. For a family of 4 with 5 flushes per person at $5 per 1,000 gallons used, a waterless toilet could save $875 per year on water bills.
  • Within 1-3 years, the water savings would offset the higher upfront cost of a composting toilet.

Over a 10 year period, a waterless toilet could save a 4 person household $10,000 compared to a flush toilet when factoring in reduced water, sewer, and energy costs.

Things to Consider Before Switching

There are a few important considerations before switching to a waterless toilet:

  • Permitting – Building codes may require permits to install composting toilets. Research local regulations.

  • Maintenance – Waterless toilets require regular emptying of waste containers and cleaning. A central composting system has less maintenance in the bathroom.

  • Ventilation – Proper ventilation is required to control odors and moisture. Electric fans may be needed.

  • Space – Composting units take up more space than standard toilets. The space under the bathroom may need to be adapted.

  • Emptying waste – You’ll need an outdoor compost pile or alternate method to deal with emptied composted human waste.

Is a Waterless Toilet Right for You?

Switching to a waterless toilet takes some adjustment but can pay off greatly in water savings and other benefits. Consider if you are comfortable with the maintenance, have the space, and want to reduce your environmental impact. For many homeowners, the pros of waterless toilets can outweigh the cons. Carefully review models to find one that fits your needs and budget. With proper use, waterless toilets can be a smart long-term investment in your home!