Vault toilets are much different from standard flush toilets. These toilets are non-flush, use no water, and store all waste in a large airtight vault. You’ll most commonly find vault toilets installed in recreational areas, parks, campgrounds, and other places where water is not accessible. A huge upside to vault toilets is the reduction in water consumption. Not only that, but these toilets also help reduce environmental pollution.
Let’s go into some details about vault toilets.
How a Vault Toilet Works
Although they might sound complicated, vault toilets are quite simple to use and understand. Basically, the toilet connects to an external vault underground. These vaults can usually store up to a thousand gallons of waste. What’s more, there are vaults capable of storing as much as 12,000 gallons of waste. Still, the capacity of a vault depends on the intended use and design. Once the vault is full, the municipal council or other group who installed the toilet will pump out all the waste. Because they can hold so much waste, the vaults don’t require pumping too often. In most cases, twice a month will suffice.
From a user’s perspective, vault toilets are not too different from other types of toilets. The user will still have a toilet seat to sit on, but they won’t need to flush waste away as it will go directly into the vault.
- Privacy – These self-contained toilets always come in single units. Therefore, only one person can use it at a time. The single use stall ensures great privacy.
- Convenience – Vault toilets offer a way to use the bathroom even in spaces without plumbing access. For example, vault toilets are often available in most recreational centers and parks, making sure everyone has access while enjoying their time outdoors
- Portability – Typically these toilets are made out of plastic, so they are portable and can be transported to different locations. This feature can really come in handy at various events where you may only need the toilet for a few days
- Cost-effective – As they don’t require water, there is no flushing when using a vault toilet. Because you won’t have to install running water to use this type of toilet, they often cost much less compared to more permanent bathroom options
- Outdoor Elements – Typically installed in outdoor settings, these toilets can offer a varying user experience that depends on the weather and other outdoor elements. For example, the bathroom could get very warm if it’s a very sunny day. There’s also a small risk of bugs or other creatures finding a way to enter the stall
- Movement – Although plastic vault models are very movable, the ones that are not made out of plastic are impossible to move around without a lot of equipment
- Sanitation – As these toilets don’t use water, they require constant maintenance and cleaning. They’re also not as pleasant to use compared to other bathrooms with running water and electricity
How To Properly Maintain A Vault Toilet
As these toilets are waterless, they are prone to developing bacteria and other disease-causing organisms. Therefore, if not emptied and sanitized regularly, they become an ideal territory for microbes to multiply. To ensure a vault toilet is clean and bacteria-free, it must be emptied periodically and disinfected with septic treatment products. Including hand sanitizer in the toilet area is also an easy way to help keep the stall space more hygienic as well.
Due to their design, vault toilets are economically advantageous and even environmentally friendly. As most of are ADA-compliant, they are also considered safe for use by everyone. Furthermore, they are quite easy to maintain, extremely durable, and cost-effective. Especially for parks, campsites, and other outdoor spaces, a vault toilet is a huge convenience for everyone enjoying the great outdoors.