How to permit your compost toilet in Arizona for FREE by Frugal Off Grid

by John Hancock

 

How to Permit Your Composting Toilet in Arizona Disclaimer:

UPDATE: 7/14/22 Here's a copy of the packet from the state of Arizona regarding composting toilets. 

The information below was located on watershedmg.org if the information below seems complicated don't worry. Simply go to your local county health department and they will be able to provide to paperwork on the entire process. In short, Arizona offers a FREE permit for an approved composting toilet. If you use scrap material, you can build and permit the entire system for free. 

WATCH MY YOUTUBE VIDEO on how I built this system with scrap material.  

WATCH MY YOUTUBE VIDEO on how this system works. 

Arizona approved free permit compost toilet frugal off grid

For one person you need two 55-gallon plastic barrels.

Two 2in 90degree PVC elbows. 

One 3in PVC T. 

One sheet of OSB large enough to cover barrel lid. 

Three 3inch hose clamps.

A toilet lid or similar. 

One, one inch by 1/4-inch gasket. 

Three Springs to hold OSB to barrel. 

16gauge wire mesh to keep bugs out.

The unit does not need to be painted unless it's in direct sunlight. 

You are not required to build a shed to enclose the toilet. 

If you do build a shed for it, the shed does not need to be inspected. 

The main things they will be inspecting are:

Toilet lid must be sealed with a gasket or be a large heavy tile or similar that will keep bugs from getting in. 

OSB must have a gasket sealing it to the barrel to keep bugs out. 

Vents must have netting to prevent bugs from getting in. 

Toilet lid must be at least 12 inches above ground and no more than 16 inches above ground. 

This document is in development and is meant to assist in navigating the permitting process for composting toilets. This is not a comprehensive guide and will not guarantee permitting success. We welcome your feedback/additions as you go through the permit process so we can continue to update and improve this document. This is for an Alternative Onsite Wastewater Treatment Facility as a Type 4 General Aquifer Protection Permit under the Arizona Administrative Code (AAC) R18-9-A301 process.

1. Review the listing of Proprietary Products for Arizona which has approved composting toilets and reference designs: http://static.azdeq.gov/pub/list_prop_products.pdf which is linked to from here: http://legacy.azdeq.gov/environ/water/engineering/product.html

2. Do you live in one of these counties? Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Greenlee, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai, or Yuma (Info: http://legacy.azdeq.gov/environ/water/permits/download/appsub.pdf) a. If Yes, then you will be submitting your permit application to your respective County office. b. If No, then you will submit to ADEQ’s Southern Regional Office, ATTN: Engineering Review Desk, 400 West Congress St, Ste 433, Tucson, AZ 85701

3. Will this be part of a new home construction? a. Yes… i. If you are required to connect to the sewer, then you may need to request a waiver for a sewer connection under AAC R18-9-A309 and provide a letter of explanation. Your supporting information will be the composting toilet and site plan information. The reasons should list “desire maximum water efficiency” and mention other items like a “commitment to sustainability”, etc. NOTE: This process is currently going through what may be the first time for a homeowner within City of Tucson through Pima County. Outcome – TBD… ii. If you will be planning a septic or alternative system for your home then you must include plans for separate treatment/disposal of all the fixtures (bathroom sinks/showers, kitchen sinks, laundry, etc). Please note, that if you will be permitting your composting toilet you may be able to have a legal, permitted kitchen greywater system too (see Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands, Volume 2) b. No, I am already connected to a sewer system or have a septic system. If you have a sewer or septic connection, then you may need to request a waiver for a sewer connection under AAC R18-9-A309. Your supporting information will be the composting toilet and site plan information. The reasons should list “desire maximum water efficiency” and mention other items like a “commitment to sustainability”, etc.

4. To Obtain a Construction Authorization for an Alternative Onsite Wastewater Treatment Facility then prepare and submit the following information to your respective agency. This list is based on Pima County’s submittal requirement checklist as part of the Notice of Intent (NOI) to Discharge Alternative: a. Site Suitability Determination Checklist i. Much of the requested information can be included on your site plan ii. For the site evaluation here is our Living Lab representative info that may be helpful to you to provide in the NOI site investigation report: