Skip to main content

I bought 10 acres in a forest area. Can I make a out house the old fashioned way?

Graham, WA |

The property is in a forest area and is pretty dense in growth. I would like to use it daily but there is no bathroom or shower. Can I dig a hole and put a toilet over it with a shower stall next to it? I dug down and found the clay table is 28 inches down. If I can how big a hole and what else is acceptable to be ok with our State and Society. Thank you all wonderful attorneys for answering my 100 plus questions

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    First, contact your local building department to see if an out house is acceptable within the local building codes. Besides local restrictions, if you are in or near a forest, federal jurisdiction may come in to play as well. Make sure you check with all government agencies who have regulating authority. If an out house doesn't work for them, have them consider a port-o-potty with a makeshift shower as another option.
    If you don't get a permit the government can claim environmental harm and impose substantial fines and onerous mitigation measures.


  2. Unfortunately in most areas of Washington a pit toilet is not permitted for residential use - only in wilderness camping areas. To know your exact rights I suggest contacting the Pierce County Health District concerning their regulations. If you plan to go ahead and do this regardless of the health regulations, then you need to be cautious about sharing too much specific information about the property location with the County when you contact them.


  3. I agree with the previous answers and there are composting toilets and on-site sanitary disposal systems. but what you described will not be acceptable. However you rent a port-a-potty or an old trailer with systems and use that while you are getting settled.
    Good Luck

    If this answer was helpful, please mark as helpful below. Please be sure to indicate the best answer Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes

Real estate topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics