Composting Toilets

Background Information

In areas where water supply is constrained, composting toilets can be a cost-effective, environmentally friendly addition to conventional on-site septic systems. The use of composting toilets in BC is supported by the Manual of Composting Toilet and Greywater Practice, which was introduced in 2016. The Manual provides a comprehensive set of provisions that support the design, installation and maintenance of composting toilet-based sewerage systems, and aligns with the Sewerage System Regulation (SSR), Environmental Management Act, Municipal Wastewater Regulation and BC Building Code. A composting toilet system can now be filed as part of a SSR filing with the local health authority.

The Manual introduces new standards for the management of composting toilet residual organic matter, and identifies three options to manage composting toilet residuals: off-site discharge; on-site burial; and on-site surface application. Monitoring and processing requirements specified in the Manual now make it more challenging for homeowners with composting toilets to discharge organic residuals on-site. 

Further information on composting toilets in BC can be found in the Composting Toilet and Greywater Guidelines document from the Canadian Onsite Technical Resource Association.

Frequently Asked Questions