What is a Long Drop Toilet?
A Long Drop Toilet or Pit Latrine is possibly the earliest form of off grid or outside toilet. Long Drops have been used for centuries across the world and are still favoured by some to this day in remote or off grid areas.
A Long Drop is an extremely simple idea, it is basically a large hole with a toilet structure positioned over the top.
Urine, solid waste and loo roll all fall into the hole from the toilet above, the urine will soak into the surrounding soil while the solid waste will slowly decompose. Being underground with limited airflow and colder temperatures a slow anaerobic (without air) composting process will occur, while this will slowly breakdown the solid waste the toilet will still eventually become full.
At this time the toilet structure is either repositioned over another hole or moved aside for the hole to be emptied.
A Long Drop Toilet is not particularly well suited to high usage situations, which is why we don’t advise them in commercial settings, they are better suited to private or family use.
Just like everything they can take a bit of looking after, if the pit becomes smelly or flies have become attracted to it we suggest covering over with soil, a layer of soil (previously excavated from the pit) around 5cm thick over the top of the solid waste should do the trick.
The size of the hole/pit you dig for your Long Drop obviously determines how long your pit will take to fill, the deeper the better, but a minimum depth of 1 meter is required. The pit will sometimes require a shuttering to prevent it falling in on itself, we make a product called the Pit Liner this is a reusable shuttering made from recycled plastic, however you can easily make you own with wood, bricks or slabs, or even old car tyres.
To Install an Outhouse over a pit you will require a solid level base we recommend a couple of sleepers sunk in the ground with the pit dug in between them. The dimensions for building your pit to work with one of our Long Drop Outhouses are pictured below.
This image shows a Long Drop Outhouse base constructed from 200mm x 100mm sleepers sunk in the ground. While you can construct your base with whatever materials you choose the top of the pit will need to measure 600mm x 450mm to be used with our Outhouses
The diagram on the left shows how the pit needs to be posstioned in relation to a standard size Long Drop Outhouse and the diagram on the right is for the XL model