Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

If a septic tank can't be installed on your site

If a septic tank can't be installed on your site


Waterless toilets – Chemical and composting toilets

Chemical toilets or composting toilets are an option you might consider if you want temporary or mobile sewage treatment, or if your site is remote and away from sewers, electricity or running water.

Waterless chemical toilets are self-contained systems that rely on chemicals (biocides) to control foul odours. They are often used by caravans, and at locations like campsites, construction sites and at other large events.

You should dispose of the chemical toilet wastes at a central disposal point, common in camping and caravanning sites, or by disposal to the foul sewer. You should contact the sewer provider before emptying to the foul sewer.

You must never dispose of chemical toilet waste into a watercourse, surface drain, the ground or groundwater. Your duty of care for waste means that you must dispose of this waste in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.

Composting toilets use natural processes to convert waste matter into compost. They are useful at remote sites, where there is no public sewer or mains water supply.

They may require maintenance and the addition of materials such as sawdust to aid the composting process. Some may produce concentrated fluid fertiliser or dry compost for use. These should not be discharged to a watercourse.

In this Guideline

How septic tanks work

What shouldn't go into a septic tank

Maintaining your septic tank

Register your septic tank

What can go wrong with a septic tank

New tanks - Planning waste water and sewage treatment

Treatment of septic tank discharge where no soakaway is possible

If a septic tank can't be installed on your site

Septic tank legislation

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