What Is a Vault Toilet? How Does it Work?

Vault bathrooms are properties that provide people with a non-public, odor-free toilet wherever in community. These properties are normally stationed around town parks, campgrounds, or other general public areas missing drinking water. Vault bogs are constructed in such a way to supply you with highest privateness whilst out in nature. Their name suggests how they are made—a massive concrete vault, usually 5 ft deep, with a concrete slab and a non-public booth on the surface. The concrete slab constructed directly on leading of the vault is why these bathrooms are normally odorless.

Nonetheless, there are some guidelines on making use of vault bogs appropriately, steering clear of smells, clogging, and preserving a cleanse surroundings.

How Does it Work?

Vault bathrooms are waterless, non-flushing bathrooms with underground vaults that shop all the waste. These toilets have two main parts—the underground portion named the vault and the above-ground booth. These constructions operate by digging up a gap in the ground that will provide as a vault with fantastic capacity—from 1,000 to 13,000 gallons. To include steadiness, a concrete slab covers the vault totally. The ideal terrains for vault bogs are slopes because they maximize and enhance the stream of squander. The waste collected in the vault will continue to be there till the squander management firm will come to services it and pump it. It is necessary to empty these bogs relatively regularly based on their ability.

man holding toilet tissue
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Controlling Odor

The very first point that comes to head when thinking about vault bathrooms is the scent. While it is extremely hard to eliminate, you can reduce the odor to a tolerable sum. The most critical part of controlling odors is maintaining a thoroughly clean surroundings inside of the vault toilet as considerably as feasible. Emptying the pit frequently and cleaning the bathroom following each and every use would be a excellent start. Always maintain the lid down to avert odor from spreading when no one is utilizing the bathroom.

One more alternative method of decreasing odor would be pouring a huge amount of activated carbon on the waste—carbon will help trap the gasses, decreasing odors in the long phrase. Other techniques for reducing the smells would be:

  • Adding organic fillers to convert the hydrogen sulfide into odorless nitrogen gas.
  • Running long underground pipes that transport the odor away from the toilet to places such as forest zones.
Rural composting toilet
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What are the Different Types of Vault Toilets?

Vault bathrooms are fairly normal properties that don’t have several versions, although some customization is available. They can occur in single bogs or double vault methods, and they can even be made into unisex structures that every person can use. The resources employed for creating vault toilets can also vary, depending on the particular use of the facility. They can be made with wood frames, cross-linked polyethylene, or bolstered concrete structures. The choices are huge, but each option is an superb resolution that will continue to be sturdy in zones in which there is a higher quantity of traffic.

Where is it Used?

Considering that vault bathrooms are not the most practical and functional alternative for a typical rest room, they are helpful in community spots the place water is not available at all times. You can typically locate these structures in camping places, public parks, and trailer parks—the 3 most frequent places where you find a vault bathroom. These bathrooms are popular in outdoor regions due to the fact of their all-natural appear, resembling a modest log cabin. Even though vault bogs don’t give a cozy experience, they are handy in spots in which you won’t come throughout a common toilet.

composting toilets
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Advantages of Vault Toilets

There are many positive aspects of employing a vault toilet, specially when you are out on a campsite and need a personal outdoor rest room. Whilst numerous folks could be skeptical about vault bogs, these structures are pretty helpful.

  • Vault toilets are very easy to clean and maintain.
  • Vault toilets provide maximum privacy for the user since they usually come in the form of a single booth with a locked door.
  • It is convenient to use a vault toilet in a rural area to have quick and easy access to the toilet at all times.
  • Vault toilets are energy efficient and don’t use any water to function.

Disadvantages of Vault Toilets

Whilst the benefits are important, some downsides to vault toilets might make a big difference when deciding whether to develop 1.

  • If there is heat, the vent pipe can carry out the odor, meaning that the vault toilet may begin to smell on cloudy days.
  • When people throw waste and garbage in the vault, it can cause a blockage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Person composting toilet
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How Deep Is a Vault Toilet?

Vault bogs are generally 5 feet deep, with a concrete slab placed right on prime of the vault, providing an odor-totally free and simply obtainable bathroom.

Is It Expensive to Build a Residential Vault Toilet?

Vault toilets have a tendency to be pricey when created on household land. There is a great deal of operate that needs to be completed by a specialist to dig up a vault for this type of toilet. You would want an excavator to dig and produce a concrete pit and a craftsman to build a tiny wood log on leading. It can grow to be a large investment decision when all the components and labor add up. These facilities are most useful and useful in community spots simply because they are resilient and lengthy-long lasting.

What Is the Difference Between a Pit Toilet and a Vault Toilet?

Though these two bathrooms are rather equivalent, a handful of obvious distinctions can support you explain to them aside. Even though vault bathrooms are created with a concrete tank, a pit bathroom has an unlined hole beneath the soil. This helps make pit toilets a lot safer for the environment since the waste decomposes soon after some time, even though the vault bathroom demands to be emptied regularly. Pit toilets tend to scent far more and have flies continually, which is standard considering that the waste is actively decomposing in the floor.

An additional big difference among these two bathrooms is their daily life span—while vault bogs are permanent structures with regular servicing offered, pit bogs have a lifestyle span of a greatest of close to five a long time, following which they have to be moved to a different area.


Vault toilets can be amazingly beneficial in public locations, and when managed adequately, they can also provide a comfy experience. Since they are really durable, they will endure a whole lot of use and tear and preserve performing effectively for a prolonged time. Remember that it is important to maintain and thoroughly clean them often.



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