How to Save Water With a Composting Toilet: A Step-by-Step Guide


Are you interested in finding a method to conserve water while also benefiting your garden and potentially reducing your water bill?

A composting toilet may be the perfect solution for you! Composting toilets is an efficient and eco-friendly way to reduce water usage, and the composted material can be used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden.

Affiliate Disclaimer:

This article contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through the links in this article, we will make a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you.

Composting toilets can provide an effective solution to reduce your household’s water consumption. They use a fraction of the water traditional flush toilets use, without sacrificing hygiene or comfort. The compost heap created from solid waste is enriched with natural materials which helps create healthy soil in gardens and farms. This also reduces landfill waste, helping protect the environment even further! 

A composting toilet allows households to be more eco-friendly while still enjoying convenience and cleanliness. The innovative design makes it easy to maintain so that you don’t have to worry about replacing parts or cleaning too often.

I provide various model options that cater to both domestic and commercial needs. This makes it easy for homeowners to choose a model that fits their specific requirements. Take your eco-friendliness up a notch with our composting toilet solutions – check out my website now and find the perfect model for you!

how-to-save-water-with-a-composting toilet

Saving Water With a Composting Toilet

What Is a Composting Toilet?

A composting toilet is a waterless, self-contained system that uses natural processes to break down waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. With a composting toilet, you don’t have to worry about flushing and wastewater disposal—it’s all handled naturally within the unit itself. All you need to do is empty the solid waste container periodically.

I suggest you check the FAQ section at the end of the article for more information about the composting process.

These specially designed toilets are able to quickly break down the organic material and work in a fraction of the time of traditional flush toilets. They are easy to maintain and take up much less space, making them ideal for smaller locations. Additionally, most composting toilets are designed to run on electricity (although some models don’t require any power at all). I will get into that later in the article.

Reasons You Need To Know When Saving Water With a Compost Toilet

There are some important reasons that you must know when it comes to saving water with a compost toilet. Understanding the importance of composting toilets will help you make a wise decision when it comes to choosing one for your home.

  • Composting toilets require little to no plumbing, so installation is simple and straightforward.
  • These toilets use minimal energy and a fraction of the water used by a traditional flush toilet.
  • Composting toilets are hygienic and odorless when properly maintained.
  • Composted waste can be used in your garden as a natural fertilizer that adds important nutrients to the soil.
  • Composting toilets can save you money on your water bill.
  • These toilets are easy to maintain and require little effort, making them ideal for busy households, off-grid applications, or hunting cabins.
  • Composting toilets are environmentally friendly and help reduce waste that would otherwise go to landfills.

I will explain how to select the best toilet for your requirements based on the reasons mentioned earlier. Additionally, I will discuss often overlooked aspects of conserving water while using a composting toilet.

Step-by-Step Instruction to Saving Water With a Composting Toilet

I can provide you with 7 step-by-step processes to help you choose the right composting toilet for your needs. By using a composting toilet, you can conserve water and potentially lower your water bills.

1. Choose a Composting Toilet That’s Right for You

The first step in saving water with a composting toilet is to select the right model for your needs.

If you are currently living off-grid, a non-electric composting toilet might be the best option for you. Take a look at the available selection of the best composting toilets for off-grid living.

Compost toilets come in different sizes and designs, so you need to consider factors such as:

  • space requirements
  • cost
  • capacity
  • and type

There are a few different types of composting toilets available. There are two primary categories: self-contained and central composting toilets.

Self-Contained Composting Toilets


This toilet type comes as a single or two-piece unit and contains the toilet itself, a compost bin, and an access door. It operates similarly to a traditional toilet but uses a flush-and-fill mechanism to break down waste into compost. The composting toilet system can be powered by electricity, battery, or manual operation.

Self-contained toilets are usually installed indoors but can also work outdoors. They are more affordable compared to central composting toilets. It’s essential to keep in mind that every two to four weeks, two people should empty the self-contained toilet.

Central Composting Toilets


The composting toilet inside the building is connected to a bigger composting system located outside. The waste from the toilet is sent to the central composting system to be processed. These kinds of toilets, called split systems, work like regular toilets that are linked to a septic tank.

This type of composting toilet is frequently utilized in scenarios where there are many individuals, such as a large family living without access to the main power grid. The main storage unit is larger than that of self-contained toilets, making it suitable for frequent and heavy usage.

2. Choose a Toilet That is Waterless/Dry Flush

Another important factor to consider is the toilet type. Traditional flush toilets use several gallons of water for every flush while composting toilets only require a small amount of water or no water at all.

Therefore, if you’re looking for significant water savings, it’s best to select a toilet that is either waterless or dry flush. Waterless composting toilets use bacteria to break down waste, and they don’t need water for flushing. On the other hand, dry flush toilets may require a few liters of water for rinsing after each use.

Consider looking into the Laveo Dry Flush toilet. This toilet is considered the best portable dry flush option on the market.

3. Composting Toilet Placement

When deciding where to install your composting toilet, consider factors such as space availability, ventilation needs, and climate.

It is important to place the composting toilet in a location that receives regular airflow and sunlight to prevent odors. In cold climates, it’s best to position the toilet indoors or put it in a sheltered area. If you’re installing a self-contained composting toilet, you need to make sure that the waste bin is easily accessible for emptying.

Here’s an example that could be helpful. If you have two bathrooms in your home – one being a master bath and the other a guest bathroom – you may want to consider converting the toilet in the guest bathroom to a composting toilet.

There are several reasons for this.

First, it will help reduce the amount of water used in your home. Second, since the guest bathroom isn’t frequented as often as the master bathroom, you won’t need to empty the compost bin as often. Finally, it’s worth noting that the guest bathroom could be located nearer to either the front or back door of the house, which would reduce the distance you have to carry the compost bin.

If you’re constructing a new home, cabin, or off-grid house, it may be practical to position the bathroom near one of the exits or entrances. This will make it easier to empty the compost bin and reduce the distance you have to carry it.

4. Use the Right Compost Medium


Using the right compost medium is essential to ensure that your composting toilet works properly and doesn’t produce odors. Different types of soils and compost materials can be used.

One common misconception is that using a large amount of water is necessary to flush and compost solid waste in a compost toilet. That is simply not the case.

The most commonly used materials are sawdust, wood chips, and peat moss. Peat moss is a lightweight material and can be used to cover solid waste, while sawdust or wood chips are ideal for absorbing liquid waste. It’s also important to make sure that the compost medium is dry to prevent odors.

5. Using Spray Bottles for Cleanup

Using a spray bottle with water or vinegar and essential oils is an easy way to clean your composting toilet. Be sure to use only non-toxic cleaners in your composting toilet. This step is important as it will help to reduce odors and keep the toilet clean.

It’s also important to give the toilet a good scrub every once in a while to remove any stubborn stains or bacteria. Using a spray bottle not only takes less water but is also a much more efficient way to clean the toilet. Lastly using less water for cleanup in the toilet bowl will allow the composting process to work more effectively.

6. Empty the Compost Bin Periodically

Composting toilets require regular emptying of the compost bin. Depending on your type of toilet and how often it’s used, this task should be done at least every two to four weeks.

The compost created can be used in gardening or other landscaping projects. It is important to remember that the compost should be allowed to sit for about six months before it can be used for plants so that any potential pathogens that may still be present are eliminated. Be sure to wear gloves and a mask when handling the compost material, as it can contain bacteria.

To avoid unpleasant odors and save water, make sure to empty the compost bin regularly. If you let the bin get too full, it will become a breeding ground for bad smells. To save water in the long run, it’s advisable to regularly maintain the holding bin.

7. Disconnect Any Existing Sewer Pipes You Don’t Use

If you’re replacing a traditional flush toilet with a composting one, it’s important to disconnect any existing sewer pipes that you won’t be using. Disconnecting old plumbing can help prevent a number of potential problems, such as flooding and water waste.

Once you’ve disconnected the old plumbing, make sure to properly seal the pipes to prevent any unwanted odors. Additionally, be sure to install a vent pipe and run it through an exterior wall of your home to allow the composting process to occur without any issues. Ventilation may not be necessary for some composting toilets.

Key Considerations For Successfully Saving Water With a Composting Toilet

When considering a composting toilet, there are several key highlights to keep in mind.

By taking all these steps, you can save water and help reduce your environmental impact. With the right preparation and maintenance, a composting toilet can be an effective way to save both money and water in the long run.

As you continue to use your composting toilet, you will discover new ways to conserve water. Sometimes testing out different compost materials and finding the right balance could be a good start. No matter what you decide, remember to empty the compost bin at least every two to four weeks, and use non-toxic cleaners for the best results. Most importantly, you will feel better about contributing to a greener planet.

Not only will this help save water but it will also help keep your composting toilet in good working condition for years to come. Composting toilets is an important tool to reduce the amount of water we use overall, and with proper maintenance and care, you can make a difference in the amount of water your household uses.

Taking it to the next level: How to Install A Compost Toilet In a Camper Van or RV

The use of composting toilets in recreational vehicles and camper vans has seen a significant surge in the past 2 years. If you’re looking to take your composting toilet experience to the next level by installing one in a camper van or RV, there are several key steps that should be taken.

  • Decide what type of composting toilet system you want to install.
  • Determine if the composting toilet is intended for extended or short-term use while traveling.
  • Install the composting toilet following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to use the correct materials and supplies for installation, such as sealants and a vent pipe.

Once the composting toilet is installed, it’s important to remember to maintain it regularly. This includes emptying the compost bin when necessary and adding dry materials to absorb liquid waste.

Alternatives to Saving Water in Your Household

If you are not ready to invest in a composting toilet, there are several alternative measures that can help you save water in your household, especially in your bathroom.

Adjusting the water level in the toilet bowl

Lowering the float ball in the tank can help reduce water usage. To decrease the amount of water in the tank, use your hands to bend or press the float rod downwards. This will lower the float ball.

Invest In a Low-Flow Toilet

Low-flow toilets, also referred to as high-efficiency or low-volume toilets, are a great long-term investment if you’re looking to conserve water. They can save up to six to seven gallons per flush in comparison to older toilet models.

Displace Tank Water

A simple way to save water in your toilet is to put a sealed, half-gallon plastic jug filled with water and some pebbles or marbles inside the tank. By using this, the water used in each flush will be reduced by half a gallon. If you count the number of times you flush per day, you can save around 50-90 gallons every month only on toilet water.

FAQs on Water Saving Tips With a Compost Toilet

Do Composting Toilets Smell Bad?

Yes, compost toilets usually do not have a bad smell. By maintaining your compost toilet well and frequently mixing the compost, any unpleasant odors can be avoided. During the composting phase, these toilets feature well-ventilated fans that prevent bad smells.

How To Empty A Composting Toilet?

To empty self-contained toilets, you’ll need to take out the compost bin and dispose of its contents. Some models like the Laveo Dry Flush toilet provide a Biobag inside the bin, which you can remove and dispose of individually.

To get rid of the compost, you can either put it in a compostable bag or toss it onto a compost heap. For central composting toilets, there is typically a container provided to collect the compost, which requires emptying and proper disposal. Additionally, some central systems may feature a filter that needs to be frequently cleaned. In the case of centralized composting toilets, the compost is usually connected to a composting system that can be accessed through a door for removal.

What is the Best Portable Waterless Toilet?

I have found that the Laveo Dry Flush toilet is currently considered the best portable, waterless toilet available. To learn more details about this toilet, you can visit this article.

What Does A Composting Toilet Cost?

Composting toilets can be priced anywhere between $300 to over $4000, depending on their size and features. Installing central systems will be more expensive since installation costs must also be considered. Therefore, it is recommended that you compare and assess different models before purchasing a composting toilet.

Can I Use Compost from a Compost Toilet In My Garden?

After a few months of decomposing, the compost will eliminate all pathogens and become safe to use. However, it is important to verify local regulations and guidelines before using composted human waste in your garden.

Wrapping Up

Composting toilets are an effective way to save water while helping reduce your environmental impact. With the right preparation and maintenance, you can make sure that your composting toilet is working efficiently and effectively for years to come. Alternatives such as low-flow toilets or tank water displacement tips are great options if you’re not ready to invest in a composting toilet.

Remember to follow local regulations and guidelines if you’re going to utilize the composted waste from your compost toilet in your garden. With these tips, you can save water for yourself and the environment while contributing to a greener planet.

Make sure to check out my blog for more tips and tricks on saving water and more.

Similar Posts