Permits

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: Permits
Author: Ashlander (Ashlander)
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 2:51 pm
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I too am looking for a county that has approved the Humanure system so I can get mine approved. Anyone know of one?

Thanks
Ashlander

Author: Azcomposter (Azcomposter)
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - 1:33 pm
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Kristen,

I see this post is a tad old, and I hope you've had some luck in your endeavor on this situation. Couple of things I noticed. You probably don't want a permit for a composting toilet. It depends on how the local authorities there have defined "composting toilet." The Humanure Handbook illustrated the difference between a bucket system and a composting toilet. It's likely the local authorities have done the same.

So, you need to look in another area. I tried going to the Humboldt County, Ca waste management site to look at codes, but the link unfortunately appears to be broken. At least I couldn't get it to work. As another poster mentioned you need to familiarize yourself with codes or find someone who can help you find what your looking for. There should be a way to do what you want. The areas you want to look into are manure, composting, and containment and disposal/handling/processing of human waste.

Containment - What your really looking to do is find out what the rules are for approved containment of human waste. Often there are provisions in the codes somewhere. Such as, sealed containers, rubber lined, etc. Just depends on what they say is acceptable which takes a little interpretation. There may not be a permit for it. What they are looking for is that it is being properly managed. So, you just need to contain it in an approved manner and use that as part of your plan. Detail how you will contain it and point out the rule/s specifying acceptable containment.

Disposal and Handling - They're going to want to know the container/s are being handled in an approved manner and the contents disposed of properly according to them. This you may need a permit for since you will essentially be handling/transporting the waste, disposing of it, and processing it yourself. They mentioned they wouldn't approve hauling five gallon buckets around, but there may be something else you could do. Such as, becoming a certified handler and/or finding out what the approved handling/transportation methods for human waste are. i.e. you may be able to vacuum the contents right into a composting area or another container for transporting to the composting site. Kind of like the trucks that go around servicing portable toilets like you might find on a construction site or fair.

Processing and Composting - I did run across some rules on composting at the EPA's regional site. http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/organics/Biosolids/default.htm So, composting is acceptable what I didn't see was the processing method. So, you'll have to do some research on that.

Hope this helps and I'm sure folks would be interested to know how to deal with a situation like yours. So, if you figure it out how to make it work I'm sure people like to hear how you did it. Good luck.

(Message edited by azcomposter on April 19, 2011)

Author: Catfeesh (Catfeesh)
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 12:57 pm
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Familiarize yourself with the code, and work around it. In my area, they allow outhouses without a permit or an inspection... so that's how I'll be theoretically dealing with blackwater.

Author: Utopian (Utopian)
Monday, November 29, 2010 - 6:09 pm
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Buy the cheapest composting toilet that will allow the issuance of a permit and then go ahead and use the humanure method instead. This may be the easiest route

Author: Joe (Joe)
Saturday, October 09, 2010 - 2:18 pm
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In PA, you don't need a septic permit if you don't have running water inside. I think what most people do, however, is install a septic tank or whatever is required, basically for gray water, then use a humanure toilet for feeding their compost pile and recycling their organic materials.

Author: Krsteele04 (Krsteele04)
Thursday, October 07, 2010 - 10:51 am
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We could build w/o a permit but we would face some "punishments" from the county - like double fines and a lean on the property. We want to have a home-based business and they probably would not permit that either if we burn this bridge. We don't want a mortgage (are building a cob house with found/salvaged materials and can't afford a mortgage).

Also, even if we get a permit it will be "experimental" and the county requires semi-annual testing for 5 years and which point, if successful, it can become a "prototype" for others in the county.

I really just need any example of a permitted composting toilet out there so we can give ours credibility with the county.

Author: Md_heath (Md_heath)
Thursday, October 07, 2010 - 6:30 am
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A few thoughts: 1) Depending on how radical you are there is a principle of law which says that the state cannot stop you from housing yourself. You can likely build without a permit, but, you may end up without power and water connections and will not be able to get a mortgage. 2) Find out if there are composting operations using bio-solids in your area. If so, they no doubt have permits, and are hauling truckloads of human refuse and lots of other ugly things, too. If it is OK for them, then why not for you? 3) Agree to a provisional permit and agree to monitor the temperatures on a regular basis, report them to the Bldg. and Health Dept. and allow them to come and verify, if they want. After 1 year or 2 years of successful 'provisional status' then they give you permanent status. Just some thoughts...

Author: Krsteele04 (Krsteele04)
Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 5:33 pm
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No - not to have a compost pile, but here's our situation:

We live in a rural area in Humboldt County in northern CA. We are building a new house and despite being in a remote location, our property is right off a main road so we can't get away with no permit. We want to have a compost toilet and greywater system with no septic system. In order to get our building permit, we have to have an approved septic or alternative "experimental" system. Humboldt passed an ordinance a while ago that allows composting toilets as part of an "experimental" program but in the many years have yet to issue a single residential permit. After we submitted our plans, I was told that no way would they issue a permit for a system that involved hauling 5 gallon buckets of human refuse. They seem to only be willing to permit one of those commercial varieties which - from reading your book - often don't work well. They've only ever issued one permit for a composting toilet to a business and they abandoned it after a short time b/c they couldn't keep temperatures hot.

The official with the county seemed like they would be open to a design that has been permitted by another county somewhere else. I was hoping to find anywhere that would have permitted a system like the one we want to use.

Do you know of any case? Or even of any success with permitting something similar?

Of course we could do what we want after we get the permit and our house is built, but they'd probably make us drop thousands on a septic system we don't even want - what a waste that would be.

Author: Joe (Joe)
Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - 8:22 pm
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Do you need a permit to have a compost pile where you live?

Author: Krsteele04 (Krsteele04)
Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - 1:31 pm
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Has anyone out there ever received a permit for a composting toilet system with collection buckets that are transported to a composting chamber like the Humanure Hacienda Jenkins describes?

We are seeking a permit and need to find an example of somewhere that has issued a permit for this.

If you've been issued a permit for your composting toilet system can you please let me know.

Thanks!

Kristen

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