Map Options

Map Type:
Download SVG:
map placeholder
Conditions Required
Pemit Required
Legal with NSF approval

Outhouses Legality by State 2024

Outhouses Legality by State 2024

How Does The U.S. Regulate Off-Grid Living?

Outhouses are generally considered off-grid modifications for the release of human waste. Few states make the distinction between the two extremes of legal and illegal; most have adopted an approval or permit system. Generally speaking, if the area is highly metropolitan, has a large population, or is concerned about water usage, their laws will be more strict in regard to outhouse installation.

For off grid-living, there are different types of outhouse toilets. Traditional outhouses, bucket toilets, compostable toilets, and tank/septic systems are all popular options. Compostable toilets should have NSF certification to be used

In What States Are Outhouses Legal?

  • Alabama: outhouses are illegal.
  • Alaska: Outhouses are allowed but strict rules apply.
  • Arizona: Legal with a permit. Certain modifications may apply.
  • Arkansas: Legal with NSF approval.
  • California: Legal with a permit. Outhouses are illegal throughout most of the state.
  • Colorado: Only NSF-approved compost toilets are allowed for less than 7 days.
  • Connecticut: Legal with the local department of health. Waste from compost toilets must be buried.
  • Delaware: All outhouses are illegal
  • Florida: Legal with NSF approval.
  • Georgia: Only NSF-approved compost toilets are allowed. Waste from compost toilets must be buried.
  • Hawaii: Outhouses are illegal
  • Idaho: Pit privies are legal
  • Illinois: Only NSF-approved compost toilets are allowed.
  • Indiana: Extremely restrictive, only allowed if no sanitary sewer is available.
  • Iowa: Permits may be needed for “alternative toilets.”
  • Kansas: Pit privies are illegal, but vault-type outhouses are allowed
  • Kentucky: Outhouses are illegal, but still found in many parts of the state
  • Louisiana: No regulations.
  • Maine: Permit is required
  • Maryland: Only allowed in dwellings without water under pressure
  • Massachusetts: Generally illegal
  • Michigan: Each county sets its own law. Certain modifications may apply.
  • Minnesota: Legal with few regulations.
  • Mississippi: Legal with local or state approval. They must be used only in remote areas of the state and require a permit.
  • Missouri: Extremely restrictive, only allowed if no sanitary sewer is available.
  • Montana: Legal
  • Nebraska: Legal with a permit and inspection.
  • Nevada: There are regulations about when waste disposal systems can be used. Permits are also required.
  • New Hampshire: Outhouses are legal
  • New Jersey: Illegal, but may be allowed under certain circumstances
  • New Mexico: Legal with a permit.
  • New York: Legal with few regulations. Water from sinks and showers is required to be connected to the public sewage system for treatment.
  • North Carolina: Outhouses are legal
  • North Dakota: Legal with few regulations and requiring a permit.
  • Ohio: Illegal, with few exceptions
  • Oklahoma: Permit is required
  • Oregon: Legal with a permit and possible inspection. Certain modifications may apply.
  • Pennsylvania: Legal with NSF approval. Connection to the municipal sewage system is usually required.
  • Rhode Island: Illegal
  • South Carolina: Legal, but only when used with a septic system.
  • South Dakota: Illegal
  • Tennessee: Illegal, but may be used if no running water is available to the dwelling
  • Texas: Legal with NSF approval. No permit is required for single-family usage in counties with less than 40,000 people.
  • Utah: Legal, but only able to be built and used in certain areas
  • Vermont: Legal with few regulations and a permit.
  • Virginia: Outhouses are legal
  • Washington: Illegal in most areas of the state
  • West Virginia: Outhouses are legal
  • Wisconsin: Legal, with relaxed regulations.
  • Wyoming: Outhouses will require a permit if self-contained

Outhouses Legality by State 2024

Download Table Data

Enter your email below, and you'll receive this table's data in your inbox momentarily.

Outhouses Legality
Outhouses are illegal
Outhouses are allowed in many areas
ArizonaPemit Required
Outhouses are legal in Arizona. However, they are usually only permitted in certain situations
Pit privy latrines, similar to outhouses, are also allowed in many areas.
CaliforniaPemit Required
Throughout most of California, outhouses are usually illegal. They are generally only allowed in pri...
Outhouses are essentially illegal in Colorado. They can only be used as a temporary method (no more ...
ConnecticutConditions Required
Dry vault privies are technically legal in Connecticut but only for nonresidential use. This makes i...
All types of outhouses are illegal in Delaware. The state's onsite wastewater laws don't specificall...
FloridaLegal with NSF approval
outhouses are legal in Florida if they are approved by the NSF.
GeorgiaConditions Required
There are also regulations about how and where the outhouse can be constructed, such as keeping it a...
Pit privies are illegal in Hawaii. With few exceptions, portable toilets are also illegal.
Pit privies are legal in Idaho.
IllinoisConditions Required
Outhouses – including pit and vault privies – are legal in Illinois. However, the law stipulates tha...
In almost all cases, it is illegal to have an outhouse in Indiana. There are a few exceptions where ...
IowaConditions Required
“Every private sewage disposal system shall have as a primary treatment unit a septic tank” and “All...
KansasConditions Required
Pit privy outhouses are illegal in Kansas, but vault-type outhouses are still legal under State law.
Even though outhouses are still found throughout many parts of Kentucky, they are actually illegal.
Outhouses, called “pit privies”, are still legal in Louisiana. They are only allowed in homes that d...
MainePemit Required
Outhouses are legal in Maine, but you need a permit.
MarylandConditions Required
Outhouses are generally not legal in Maryland. They are only allowed in dwellings that do not have w...
Outhouses, including pit and vault privies, are illegal in Massachusetts. They are considered “nonco...
Outhouses are generally allowed, but each county will issue its own permits and inspections, so be s...
Composting toilets and outhouses are legal in Minnesota.
MississippiPemit Required
Outhouses are technically legal in Mississippi, but only in very remote areas where the building has...
In almost all cases, outhouses are illegal in Missouri. They are only allowed in places which are: N...
Outhouses (called pit privies) are legal in Montana. However, unlined pit privies are only legal for...
NebraskaPemit Required
both composting toilets and pit privies are legal in Nebraska, you may need to have them permitted a...
NevadaConditions Required
Composting toilets, pit privies, and other alternative waste disposal systems are generally legal in...
New HampshireLegal
New Hampshire is one of the few states in the USA where outhouses are still legal.
New JerseyIllegal
Outhouses are completely illegal in New Jersey. There are only a few very limited exceptions for cam...
New MexicoLegal
Outhouses, including unlined pit latrines, are legal in New Mexico. The state considers outhouses to...
New YorkConditions Required
Installing any of these off-grid toilets is generally legal in New York.However, there are regulatio...
North CarolinaLegal
North Carolina is one of the few states where outhouses (called privies) are legal.
North DakotaPemit Required
Pit privies are legal in North Dakota. However, the pit privy must have a watertight structure in th...
In almost all cases, outhouses are not legal in Ohio.
OklahomaPemit Required
Outhouses are not mentioned in Oklahoma's onsite sewage rules and regulations. However, they could b...
Outhouse latrines are legal in Oregon. They are referred to as “pit privies” in the law and require ...
PennsylvaniaConditions Required
Outhouses are called pit privies under Pennsylvania law. They are almost always illegal. However, ma...
Rhode IslandIllegal
Outhouses are illegal in Rhode Island. Even campgrounds are generally required to have flush toilets...
South CarolinaLegal
Outhouses are legal under South Carolina State law. They are called “privies” and defined as a build...
South DakotaIllegal
Outhouses, or pit privies are prohibited by South Dakota regulations.
outhouses are not legal in Tennessee. They are allowed as the only form of waste removal if you do n...
TexasConditions Required
an outhouse may not be built within 75 feet of a drinking water well or a human habitation other tha...
UtahConditions Required
Under Utah State law, vault and pit privies are legal. However, they are only allowed for “temporary...
VermontPemit Required
Outhouses are legal in Vermont. You'll need to get a permit from the sewage officer. However, there'...
Virginia is one of the most permissive states in regards to waste disposal. The state law allows out...
In many places in Washington State, outhouses are illegal.
West VirginiaLegal
Pit privies are legal under Wisconsin State law. Local counties may forbid them, but many rural coun...
WyomingPemit Required
Need to get a permit to legally use an outhouse. However, depending on the county, there may be rule...
showing: 50 rows