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Disaster zone toilet options: this article describes how to make an emergency toilet in a disaster zone or how to flush existing toilets in an emergency. Emergency services needed in area of flood, hurricane, storm, & wind damage control & building inspection include ways to provide toilet facilities. This article gives options including possible use of building toilets or various makeshift toilets and sanitary facilities that can be used if there are not other or no better toilet facilities available in an emergency or in a disaster zone such as following a flood, hurricane, or earthquake.
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Emergency Toilet Flush Methods, Disaster Zone Toilets, & Camping or Portable Toilet Procedures for Use in an Emergency
Question: Disaster zone toilet guide - emergency toilet flushing procedure & alternatives - can I use lake water to flush toilets?
Can I use lake water to flush my toilets. We still have no power, heat or water in Stamford, Connecticut - S.D., Stamford CT 11/5/2012
Reply: Suggestions for emergency flush procedures for conventional toilets when heat, electricity, or water are not available
Here are some suggestions for & warnings about using lake water or other reasonably-clean water from other sources to flush toilets in an emergency.
In short, S.D. yes you can use lake water to flush a toilet. Rather than living with un-flushed toilets, you can use lake water, snow melt, rainwater collected at a downspout, etc. to flush conventional water type toilets (or urinals or bidets) in a building connected to a public sewer or private septic system. But be sure to read our warnings and procedures (next) that may help avoid a mess.
Watch out: If you know that your public sewer or private septic system is still flooded or under water, do not try flushing water type toilets in the building or you will probably find that the toilet will overflow into the building.
Watch out: even if your septic system is itself is no longer visibly flooded, nevertheless the septic tank may have become flooded, even filled with mud and silt, and the drainfield may still be saturated - meaning that there is still a significant risk of a sewage backup into your building when you try flushing a toilet. See SEPTIC SYSTEM FLOOD REPAIR for procedures for checking out and repairing a septic tank that has been flooded.
If you are pretty sure your septic tank and fields are at least not under water, or that the public sewer is no longer under water and flooded, you can test the private or public sewer system to see if you can safely begin flushing toilets:
Watch out: if you flush via the toilet tank and flush valve and the toilet starts to back up or overflow, quickly
Other emergency toilet options for use when your home or building have no power, water, etc. include these expedient methods for holding feces, toilet paper, and if necessary, urine
In the event that there are no public toilets or sanitary facilities working nearby or simply for convenience if there are those who need to make frequent use of an indoor toilet during an emergency, one of the disaster-toilet methods described below may work for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about emergency toilet options for use in an emergency or in a disaster zone
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