Composting toilets are a type of wastewater treatment system that use little or no water and generally do not require hookup to a sewer or septic system. They work by providing an enclosed environment that allows the natural process of aerobic decomposition to occur.
People buy composting toilets for many reasons. Some may be looking for an alternative system that alleviates or minimizes the need for water to flush the toilet. Others may be seeking a system that produces a finished compost that can be handled safely without the need for direct discharge to the environment. Whatever your reasons and whatever system you choose, there is one important point you need to keep in mind -- make certain that the system you select will do what it claims. How can you be sure the composting toilet you purchase will be effective?
NSF Certified vs. Meets NSF/ANSI Standards
Don't be confused by systems that claim to meet or to be certified to NSF/ANSI standards. The composting toilets that are evaluated by NSF in accordance with NSF/ANSI Standard 41 must do more than just pass a test. Systems that are NSF certified are verified to meet not just one, but all six of the requirements shown in the chart below:
|NSF Certified||Requirement||Tested to NSF Standards|
|Yes||The toilet system can handle the stated capacity for an extended period plus occasional overload.||??|
|Yes||The toilet system has no offensive odors.||??|
|Yes||The composted output has been demonstrated to meet required bacterial content levels.||??|
|Yes||Advertising, literature, and labeling are not misleading.||??|
|Yes||Product undergoing testing is not accessible to the manufacturer.||??|
|Yes||Test results are confirmed by parallel testing of toilet systems operating in the field.||??|
Look for the NSF Mark
NSF International puts the composting toilet products it certifies through a comprehensive evaluation process, providing assurance that they will perform as claimed. Make sure the composting toilet you buy is NSF Certified. By looking for the NSF Mark on the product, you can be assured that your composting toilet is independently certified to meet strict public health standards for design and performance.
For a list of companies and products certified to this standard, please visit our consumer product database.