Allotment garden owners know the problem: A toilet in the garden is not a matter of course. The connections for a conventional toilet are often not available or the installation of a water toilet is not permitted.

Legal basis

When deciding on a toilet variant, you are not only bound by personal preferences, but in many cases also by various legal bases. This applies above all to the numerous allotment and allotment garden owners. If you look at the Federal Allotment Garden Act (BKleingG), however, there is no clear regulation regarding the supply of water and waste water disposal. Nevertheless, the legal text contains a passage that must be taken into account when looking at it from a legal point of view:

Section 3 (2) of the Federal Allotment Garden Act

“In the allotment garden, a simple design arbor with a maximum floor area of ​​24 square meters including a covered outdoor seating area is permitted; … It must not be suitable for permanent living in terms of its nature, especially its equipment and furnishings.”

The Federal Court of Justice rejected the question of whether arbors in allotment gardens may be supplied with electricity and water at all, on the grounds that the expansion of the arbors through comprehensive development (electricity, water and sewage disposal) into small private homes is expressly not permitted. In practice, however, many allotment gardens have so far looked different. For this reason, it is imperative to adapt to the new situation.

Alternatives to the water toilet

The question arises as to how sanitary facilities can be provided in gardens where there is no water connection or an option for waste water disposal or where a water toilet is not permitted. Are there alternatives and which of them meet the high standards of hygiene and comfort?


When it comes to a waste water-free toilet, one or the other may think of the outhouses that used to be common in courtyards and gardens. This is a collection pit in the ground where faeces and sewage are collected, which then seep into the ground. Hence the name septic tank. Since such a cesspit pollutes the soil and groundwater to a large extent, it is now prohibited by law. Only a septic tank for rainwater is still allowed. But their construction also requires official approval.

Requirements for a toilet system

Before choosing a specific toilet for the garden, you should think about how one or the other toilet variant works. As an alternative to a toilet with flushing water, there are underground and above-ground, drain-free containers or mobile dry toilets. So that you can enjoy the garden toilet for a long time, comfortable use is important. A particularly easy handling is shown above all in the uncomplicated emptying and cleaning.

Alternatives without water flushing

There are dry toilets for all areas in which a toilet has to function without water. The new generation of this toilet is environmentally friendly and does not require any chemicals. Depending on the design, the toilets can be divided into different types.

Dry toilets with combination tank

Conventional dry toilets are allowed almost everywhere. They collect the urine with the faeces together in a single container, which is located under the toilet seat. Depending on the version, the collection containers hold between 20 and 200 liters. Somewhat problematic with this system is the joint storage of urine and feces. Because if these are not separated, unpleasant odors can quickly develop.


  • in the residual waste bin
  • alternatively on the compost
Note: It is not allowed to use untreated human feces directly as fertilizer. They must first be composted before they can be spread.

Conventional Compost Toilet

The goal of a composting toilet is to return the human legacies to the nutrient cycle as valuable fertilizer. With this toilet variant, solids and liquids end up in a single collection container. Conventional composting toilets should have an exhaust system that ensures good ventilation of the compost and fresh air in the toilet. It is also important to add so-called natural structural material, which absorbs liquid, loosens the compost and provides a carbon source for the microorganisms involved in composting.


As a rule, the collection container is designed with a compostable inlay that can be disposed of in the composter together with the contents.

Dry toilets with urine separation Dry separation toilets (TTC)

All types of dry composting toilets are also allowed in the garden. As the name suggests, dry composting toilets collect solid and liquid excretions separately. The urine is collected in the front area of ​​the toilet and fed into a collection container via hoses or pipes. The small amount of solid waste ends up in a separate container at the rear. Add a bit of bedding to the solid waste every time you go to the toilet. The litter ensures quick drying and prevents bad smells.

Note: Do not use mineral cat litter. Not only is it heavy, so the bag might tear, but it’s also not easily compostable.


  • Urine: in any regular flush toilet
  • Solids: in the residual waste bin or on the compost

By the way: If some urine runs into the solids tank, that’s not a problem. Just put a little more litter on top.

Composting toilets with integrated composter (humus toilet)

In this variant, a special composter is integrated under the toilet seat. Since the urine must not get into the collection container, it is actually a form of dry composting toilet. However, unlike the traditional dry composting toilet, the solids remain in the container and decompose on the spot. This solids container is often equipped with a sloping floor, on which the rotted parts slide down and can be removed through a flap.


  • Liquid tank: in any standard flush toilet
  • Interval: once a week or more depending on usage
  • Solids container: once a year
  • direct use as compost to fertilize the beds possible
Note: If the intervals for the solid fuel tank are shorter than one year, the waste must first completely decompose on the compost.

Chemical toilets

In a chemical toilet, all the leftovers collect in a tank. Various chemicals are used to combat odors. Some caution is required here. The chemicals must never come into contact with the skin and eyes and must also not be allowed to enter the sewage system. You must empty the contents of chemical toilets at specially designated disposal stations, such as those found on most campsites. Compared to other garden toilets, this means a lot more work, not to mention the environmental impact of the chemicals.

frequently asked Questions

No conventional toilet cleaners may be used for cleaning, but only biological cleaners that work with plant-based surfactants and natural fruit acids. When buying the toilet, make sure that the tanks do not have any corners or edges where bacteria can easily collect. In addition, it makes sense to hose down the tanks with a garden hose from time to time.

Not every material is suitable as a grit for a dry toilet. On the one hand it has to be light and biodegradable, on the other hand dry and absorbent.

– sawdust
– litter for small animals (made of straw granules or wood shavings)
– garden or potting soil
– Terra-Preta
– fine bark mulch
– pelleted compost litter

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