Drainage System Installation Options for Tiny Homes


Living in a tiny home doesn’t mean you have to forgo all of the conveniences of modern life. In fact, with the right planning and execution, you can have a tiny home that is just as functional as any other type of dwelling. One important consideration when designing or renovating a tiny home is the installation of the drainage system.

Here are some of the drainage system installation options to consider for tiny homes.

On the Grid or Off the Grid?

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when planning your tiny home’s plumbing is whether you want to be connected to the municipal sewer system or go off-grid with a septic tank and leach field. There are pros and cons to both approaches, so it’s important to do your research and decide what’s best for your particular situation. This depends largely on your location.

  • Connecting to the sewer system is the more convenient option. You won’t have to worry about maintenance or emptying your septic tank, and you’ll have access to city water, which also makes drain cleaning services and other drainage services more accessible.
  • However, going off-grid can be a more environmentally friendly option and may even save you money in the long run. If you’re planning to live in a rural area where sewer hookups aren’t available, an off-grid system is probably the way to go.

Dump Station for Blackwater or Greywater

Many tiny homes are built with holding tanks for blackwater (from toilets) and greywater (from sinks, showers, and laundry). These tanks must be emptied periodically, which is usually done at a dump station. A dump station typically consists of a concrete pad with a drain in the center that leads to a sewer line or septic tank. There are also often hose bibs for hooking up a water supply.

If you’re planning to install a dump station in your tiny home, keep these tips in mind:

  • Ensure the drain is properly sized for the holding tanks in your home.
  • Ensure the sewer line or septic tank can handle the volume of waste that will be flowing through it.
  • Ensure the site is properly graded so that water will drain away from the home and not pool around it.

Greywater Back to Ground

Installing a back-to-ground drainage system for greywater is also another great option for tiny homes. This means that the water from your sinks, showers, and washing machines will be collected in a holding tank and returned back to the ground around your home. It can also be redirected and used to irrigate your landscaping.

This is a great way to reduce water waste and keep your tiny home environmentally friendly. The greywater back-to-ground system is also relatively easy and inexpensive to install. If the drainage is slow, install a french drain and fill it with rocks for natural draining. If you’re interested in this option, check with your local building codes and regulations to see if it’s allowed in your area.

Composting Toilet

Composting Toilet

A composting toilet is a great option for those who want to be as self-sufficient as possible. Composting toilets break down human waste into compost, which can then be used as fertilizer for your plants or disposed of every few weeks. A waterless version of a composting toilet is also available, which means you don’t have to worry about hooking it up to a water supply.

This means relying on a microorganism process that works on any solid waste and breaks it down into a safer compost that can be disposed of. Ensure there’s proper ventilation so the process can occur correctly and have a bin or container for the solid waste. This is an ideal solution for blackwater drainage for those who want to be eco-friendly and sustainable.

Choosing the Right Drainage System Matters

Unlike regular homes, tiny homes are more susceptible to flooding since they have a smaller area. This is why installing a drainage system that effectively channels water away from your home is important. Consult a professional about the best drainage installation option for your tiny home before making a final decision.

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