By definition, a tiny house is usually a compact version of the traditional house, containing everything you might need in a much smaller space.
A big part of the appeal of tiny houses is the reduced carbon footprint, because it takes a lot less fuel to keep a smaller area warm.
In addition, a lot of tiny houses are off grid, which means that they will have ways to make their own power.
This guide focuses on answering some commonly asked questions regarding how tiny houses access water, and where the sewage goes.
If you are considering moving to a tiny house or even building one of your own, then this article could be particularly useful at raising some factors that you might not have thought about yet.
On The Grid
One of the most simple ways in which tiny houses get water is the same as any regular house.
Hooking a tiny house onto the grid allows easy access to electricity, water, and anything else that you might need.
This can be highly beneficial during colder months if your tiny house is not yet fully insulated, or if you want to remain in touch with the modern world.
Most people who do not plan on moving their tiny house and who want to set one up in a permanent location will often opt to connect to the grid.
Off The Grid
For those who are more concerned about their environmental impact, you might want to make your tiny home self-sufficient.
Solar panels are among the most common forms of renewable energy, although sourcing water is often more difficult than installing solar panels.
There is definitely a little more research that needs to be done in order to figure out the best way to collect water or to tap into the natural resources around you.
Depending on where your tiny house is located, you might be able to collect rainwater and hook it up to your house.
This is only applicable to those living in more rainy areas, and another option is to install a well or connect your tiny house to underground water reserves.
Most tiny houses come with the option of being self-sufficient if preferred. This has the added benefit of being able to move the tiny house to wherever you like.
It is a lot easier to spend more time exploring your surroundings and appreciating the smaller things in life when you know that your tiny house is self-sufficient and as sustainable as it can be.
If you want to collect rainwater for your tiny house, it might be worth investing your time into finding a reliable rain filtration system.
In order to make rainwater drinkable and sanitary to wash with, you will need to put it through a series of filters. Finding a way to automate this process is something that takes a little research to master.
Do Tiny Homes Have Water Tanks?
Most of them do, and depending on whether you want a more mobile option, there are different options.
A lot of tiny homes have their own built-in water tanks to store water for washing and other amenities.
However, these can be pretty small, which is why some people focus on upgrading the size of their water tanks, or connecting to the mains of a campsite.
Water sources aren’t always guaranteed, so it can be beneficial to have additional water tanks stored within your tiny house.
Portable water storage containers can provide reassurance and access to essential water if you cannot access a main supply.
One of the benefits of the mentioned storage tanks is that they are collapsible. This means that they can be stored a lot easier and take up less space when you are done with them.
Is A Tiny House Portable?
Unless you decide to keep your tiny house in a permanent place, then it is likely that you can move it anywhere you like.
Tiny homes that you can buy often come on a frame that allows you to attach it to the back of any towing vehicle.
This means that you can take your tiny home to a lot of different places, or be self-sufficient in a permanent spot if you choose.
A big part of the appeal of tiny houses is that they are mobile and have a lot of options for water use as well as storage.
A pump system within the water tank means that you can have access to running water wherever you choose to get set up.
How Do Tiny Homes Get Water?
Some options have already been covered, and there are a few to choose from depending on your situation.
If you opt for more of a permanent dwelling within a fixed location, you can connect your tiny home to the main water supply just like any house would.
For colder climates, check the pipe insulation and how likely they are to freeze, as this could be problematic during the winter months.
Another option which has been briefly mentioned is to fill up the tanks and primarily use that. This has the benefit of not needing to worry about utility costs.
However, a drawback can be that you will need to keep spare supplies on hand. Most campsites and RV stations will offer water hookups to their main supply.
This means that you can connect similarly to electric, and keep your tanks full without worrying so much about the costs.
Additional options include setting up rainwater collection systems. Within a tiny house, this is usually done by redirecting the guttering to encourage the rain to fall into a tank.
A big part of the appeal of this method is that it is environmentally friendly and can be a great way to live off the grid.
That said, you will need to set up a filtration system in order to make the water drinkable.
Accessing natural water reserves that are nearby is another similar option, but it is worth checking the legalities of water collection beforehand.
How Does A Tiny House Deal With Waste Water?
Grey water, or the waste water from sinks and showers, is probably the easiest to dispose of.
This is because most campsites have no issue with people emptying their water waste onto the ground.
Most people are relatively relaxed about where this goes, because it has not been mixed with sewage.
Feeding the water back into the ground is a way to encourage plant growth and natural soil drainage. Some places are less lenient, and will have water ‘dump stations’.
You will need to set up waste water storage, similar to sewage, or black water.
Disposing of this follows a similar procedure to black water disposal and for off grid living, it might be worth researching where the nearest site is.
For those on the grid, of course, this isn’t something you should be overly concerned about.
Being connected to the mains makes for easier waste water disposal, as it will be identical to how a regular house deals with their gray water.
How Do Tiny Homes Handle Sewage?
Sewage waste, or blackwater, can be a little more complicated to dispose of. Obviously, for those on the grid, a series of pipes will allow easy sewage disposal.
For those who want to keep their options open and offer a more portable or off grid lifestyle, you will need to ensure that your sewage storage is intact and to research the nearest blackwater disposal site.
Depending on the size of your tank, you might need to make a trip to the nearest site a few days a week.
Chemicals can help break up the waste and attempt to tackle the smell, although nobody wants to deal with the aroma given off.
Composting toilets are a common alternative to mains toilets that helps eliminate odors.
Relying on natural processes means that you will only need to dispose of a form of compost every few weeks.
Using sawdust means that there is very little smell, and many people enjoy using more natural methods of off grid living.
Is It Safe To Drink The Water From The Tank?
Most people choose to buy filtered water when they are traveling with their tiny house.
This is because it is guaranteed to be safe, and more water can be saved for washing dishes and other amenities when needed.
That said, as long as you ensure the water source is safe and reliable, and your water storage tanks are clean, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t drink the water coming out of your faucet.
To summarize, there are a few options for those wanting to move into a tiny house.
Natural options for getting a water supply include rainwater harvesting and filtration, whereas others rely more on main supply or even tank storage.
Tanks can take up a lot of space, which isn’t exactly in abundance within a tiny house.
Of course, main connection remains an option, however that limits the location and means that you will need to fund the installation and integration of pipe systems.