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For many people, the garden is a place of retreat, a hobby and part of their lifestyle. People who spend a lot of time in their green oasis or, for example, own an allotment garden that can only be reached after a long drive, are increasingly considering setting up a toilet in their allotment garden. Since the waste product is waste water, the question arises whether this is even allowed or whether legal requirements have to be observed.

Classic toilet in the garden illegal?

Under the classic toilet in gardens one understands septic tanks. These are septic tanks in the ground, which are provided with a collection container that collects the wastewater or gray water and allows it to seep into the ground over a longer period of time. This can pollute the groundwater, which not only has a negative impact on its quality, but can also lead to serious illnesses for users of the water in the area. After the amendment of the Wastewater Disposal Act, such a toilet with waste water is not allowed under any circumstances and using it presents a problem offense However, wastewater must first be defined here:

  • Wastewater is polluted water
  • the contamination can be varied
  • faeces
  • heavy metals
  • soap residue
  • oils
  • leftovers
  • other waste

While soap scum is always gray water, feces and urine only become sewage once they come into contact with water and enter the septic tank. Since an allotment garden according to the federal allotment garden law only waste water free may be operated, all toilets that produce gray water in any form are prohibited. For this reason, even sinks or showers are not permitted in allotment gardens. Using such a toilet is a criminal offense and the toilet must either be repaired accordingly or removed entirely as these are simply not permitted. Since, according to the Federal Allotment Garden Act, allotment gardens are generally not connected to the sewage system, such toilets are not permitted.

Conditions for installing a toilet

If you spend a lot of time in your own allotment and therefore have no access to a toilet, you don't have to despair. You only have to observe a few points that comply with the requirements of the Wastewater Disposal and Federal Allotment Law:

  • Toilet must be drain-free
  • must not attract vermin
  • must not represent an odor nuisance for other garden owners
  • Waste collection containers must be sealed
  • Disposal takes place either via removal or further processing

As you may realize, these toilets are anhydrous Variants that are quite similar to an outhouse. However, these are alternatives that, thanks to the current state of the art, are ideal for your own garden and are permitted without any problems. These are the only way to set up a toilet in the garden that does not pollute the groundwater.

If you had access to the sewage system you could install a real toilet, but this is not really possible in allotments or is very expensive.

tip: Of course, you can also simply find out where there is a toilet near the garden, which can save costs and, above all, possible trouble in the long run. It doesn't always have to be the clubhouse, because gas stations, department stores and even libraries can be used to do business if there is no public toilet available.

Alternative to the classic toilet

If you don't have the capital to meet the necessary requirements of an environmentally friendly outdoor toilet, which is also not illegal, there are other alternatives. These toilets do not use water at all and can therefore be placed in the garden without hesitation. Yes one dry toilet you have to empty it yourself, which is not really for everyone. However, there are some benefits that come from using a dry toilet that aren't all that gross in and of themselves.



These toilets process the faeces and urine into humus, which can then be used in the garden or to make compost. This makes these toilets ideal for self-contained or people who like to use natural fertilizer.

odor formation

The toilets are equipped with a ventilation system that is powered by electricity. Alternatively, there are variants that do not require electricity and only protect against unpleasant odors through the placement of the ventilation pipes. The containers catch the stench and direct it outside. The functioning of the toilet prevents excessive moisture in the container, which significantly reduces odor formation.

Few bugs

The toilets are designed in such a way that vermin cannot or only with difficulty get into the collection container. Because of this, you don't even have to worry about flies in your toilet.

intervals of emptying

A person produces around 120 to 150 g of feces and up to 1.5 l of urine per day. The collection containers are designed in such a way that they can hold around 400 to 600 large toilet trips. As the contents compost, the contents can remain there for up to two years. We recommend emptying every six months or every three months.


The collection containers offered are cleaned with a high-pressure cleaner after being transported to a place with access to the sewage system. They are coated in such a way that dirt cannot penetrate the material and can therefore be reused without any problems.

Types of dry toilets

The above points connect all types of dry toilet. There are two of them that you can easily set up in your garden and after the correct installation, including the ventilation, do not even stand out as a toilet:

  • composting toilet
  • Separating toilet

The only difference between these two toilets is that collection container. While all waste, including toilet paper, ends up in the collection container in the composting toilet, the separation toilet separates it. Urine and feces end up in different containers and can be used independently of each other. While the droppings decompose into humus, the urine mixed with rainwater should be used as a nitrogen supplement. Alternatively, it is possible to transport the urine home and dispose of it accordingly.

Difference composting toilet vs. outhouse

How is the composting toilet different from the smelly outhouse? After going to the toilet becomes something new plant material placed in the sump to control excess wetness.

Usable material:

  • bark mulch
  • straw
  • litter

An outhouse, on the other hand, simply collects all the waste products in a vat, resulting in the release of ammonia and hence the foul odor. This is also not permitted for the allotment garden, since the neighbors may feel disturbed by it. For this reason, the composting and separation toilet are an ideal alternative so as not to bother the groundwater and the neighbor's nose.

tip: Another advantage of the dry toilet is the problem-free decomposition of the toilet paper, which can simply be disposed of after doing the job. This simply rots away over time and can be used to fertilize the plants in your own garden.

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