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Grid Down Sanitation Plan

Grid Down Sanitation PlanSanitation. We all know about it, but no one really wants to talk about it. We eat, we use the energy, we excrete the wastes. “Ewwww gross”, trust me, I have children, I am painfully aware that this is gross. We really need to discuss our Grid Down Sanitation Plan.

Grid Down Sanitation Plan

How will city and suburb dwellers contain this tide of human offal? I’m sure outhouses will become all the rage again for those with yards, but what about the scores of apartment and condo inhabitants? There are a serious number of people in a small amount of square footage.

There are portable camp toilets and 5 gallon buckets tricked out with toilet seats make for a portable, indoor potty, but it will fill up eventually. Where will they empty these delightful packages of poo?

I am assuming the lazy folk will dump them out windows or from balconies, leading to hygiene and health woes below and in the surrounding areas. Imagine parking lots and common areas full of human waste, then the rain comes.

“Oh good, the rain will cleanse this mess”, you think to yourself.

Ah, No! The rain will wash this waste into our waterways and into surrounding areas. Delivering diseases and pathogens to the rest of us.

There must be a large common waste pit, far far from drinkable and potable water. Now this might not be the best idea, but it’s the only one I have for now.

Urination Grid Down Sanitation Plan

If you are like most men, then you tend to pee anyplace that you think no one can see you. There is a rule of thumb though.

  • Urinating should occur a minimum of 200 feet (300 feet is much better) from water sources, campsites, and trails.
  • For Urine, digging a pit is optional for small groups of people. Large groups should dig a pit or slit trench.

Poo (the big #2) Grid Down Sanitation Plan

Dig and Bury are the key to healthy happy decomposition of human excrement.

Digging a cat hole and burying feces is a very common  waste disposal method in places with no restroom facilities (think campsites).

  • Dig your cat holes 6-8 inches deep and minimum of 200 feet (300 feet is much better) from water sources, campsites, and trails. The cat hole should also be about 6 inches in diameter. This size hole will be easy to bury when your business is done.
  • Choose a location and dig your cat hole in a spot that seems to be nice rich soil.
  • Choose a location and dig your cat hole in a spot that has decaying wood (downed trees, dead stumps) and/or nice thick brushy areas.

A small garden shovel (or trowel) should be a part of your bug out bag gear or hiking gear. If you can find a  trowel with a blade just over 6 inches it makes it much easier to determine the depth and width measurements of your cat hole when digging.

The nice thing about cat holes are that they are easy to disguise afterward, so no one knows you were there.  They also disperse waste, enhancing decomposition.

I really don’t mind doing my business outside, I just really want to be reassured that someone brought some toilet paper for my tushy!

If you plan to bug-in, then your Grid Down Sanitation plan can be to go old-school, and dig an outhouse in your back yard.  I think I will too, because that’s how I roll!

See Related Post: Camping toilets after the grid goes down


  1. Howdy, I unexpectedly discovered your blog!I’m looking to get tips for adequate writing pattern for my own web page and whatever you have written definitely provided some ideas. You’ve got a great website so keep up the good work!

  2. Good article. Most people never consider human waste disposal until they go on a camping trip or until a “grid down” situation is force on them.

  3. @Geek Prepper: before writing such things

    – “Now this might not be the best idea, but it’s the only one I have for now”

    – you might have liked to research what has been done in previous civil emergencies when municipal sanitation has failed.

    There are Internet photos and texts of emergency action taken after the fatal recent earthquake in Christchurch NZ by local govt. That earthquake killed dozens and broke water mains.

    CONUS libertaritards waiting for NORTHCOM to sweep them gunless into FEMA camps seem not to have attended these govt. sessions.

    However, Christchurch householders received workshop tuition about separation of faeces from urine at excretion, as the latter product is harmless. That is, when a plastic bucket with urine:water in the ratio 1:3 is full at the end of a day, it can be safely poured on plants (this method assumes a water supply of some type which is not driven by mains pressure, as there was none due to the earthquake)

    Householders were also shown how to construct a simple composting faeces toilet using the 200 litre “wheelie bins” common in that country of NZ. The key is to achieve correct air circulation to foster faeces breakdown. There is more than one way of achieving that and all are simple and low-tech.

    The Internet contains detailed construction plans from Christchurch and photos of workshop attendees.

    In conclusion, there is much international research on human waste disposal absent regular sanitation as it is a vital problem for disaster relief in poor countries, due to the danger of water-borne disease in refugee camps, etc.

    That research is merely a Google search away, no further.

    It is sad that this blog entry contained no such knowledge.

    • We’re all learning these things together, so I thank you for providing this information. I’ll check it out and see if it’s something that we can add to this post.

  4. Just discovered your website and have enjoyed your posts!

  5. The other thing that people don’t realize if the urban grid goes down is the fact that many areas run pumping stations for the effluent to get it to their processing facilities. If you’re staying in your home, you have to determine a way to block the flow of effluent back up from the sanitary sewer system as many people will continue to try and use it thinking the government will take care of it. Right up until it starts flowing into the lower level of their houses.

    Good article.

    • This is a very good point. There is a plumbing device for this, but a check valve might be an idea.

    • Lumber yards or plumbing supply houses have inflatable pipe plug for the sewer lines. A do it yourself project – no need for a plumber. You will need to know what the diameter of the sewer pipe is.

  6. If you have enough leaves and waste paper (newspaper, wrapping tissue, old magazines), and wood chips (e.g., mulch) or sawdust etc., you can construct a Composting Toilet that will allow your waste to be further composted in a back-yard compost heap which can reduce or eliminate pathogens if properly set up, even in a city lot.

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