Andy and Karen’s home in northwestern Connecticut serves as a model of composting toilet success in a conventional, somewhat upscale home to two adults and three children. The home features two SeaLand microflush toilets connected to a Carousel composting toilet system located in the basement.
In 1993, when Andy, a doctor, and Karen, a jewelry designer, sought permits to build on to their small lakefront ranch-style house, they were told that their septic system had to be upgraded significantly. In fact, about 72 truckloads of sand (900 cubic yards) would have to be trucked in to expand the leachfield. “It was going to change the topography of the land and really tear things up,” says Karen. It was also going to cost an estimated $16,000. The Carousel system saved them $10,000.
With the composting system, they were allowed to use their existing septic tank system for graywater and leachate only. “It was a little bit of a risk, but it appealed to us in terms of doing our bit with ecology and not being greedy with the earth’s resources,” Andy says. “There comes a time when you need to take a stand to make change happen. I was happy to be the first around here to be that person.”