All About Vault Toilet | What Is A Vault Toilet | How Does a Vault Toilet Work | Where Are Vault Toilets Used

All About of Vault Toilet

What Is A Vault Toilet?

What Is A Vault Toilet?

A Vault Toilet is a toilet without a flush and water system placed in rural areas. Facilities of a municipal sewer system is not available in these areas.

A Vault toilet is a type of simple pit latrine where human waste goes underground. Vaulted toilets can also be found in forest service campgrounds apart from Villages.

The privacy vault toilet is used by many park services. A vault toilet is a single-section toilet in which a single person can use this toilet at a time.

In the vault toilet filled Hand sanitizer dispenser can be found. Sinks with running water can also be found in the vault toilet.

A vault toilet is considered one of the best ways to build a bathroom in a remote area. The vault toilet needs regular maintenance. It also needs regular cleaning.

A vault toilet is a non-movable toilet compared to another outhouse. An outhouse is transferable and can be moved to another area when the hole of the outhouse is filled.

Vault toilets are permanent. But nowadays, portable vaults also becoming popular. This type of vault needs regular cleaning and emptying by a company of waste management.

Vault toilets are used for both males and females. Vault toilets are an easy option in those rural areas where there is a lack of running water.

How Does a Vault Toilet Work?

How Does a Vault Toilet Work?

In Double vault toilets, two waste tanks are available in which more waste can be held in more populated areas. In busy areas, double vault toilets can be found.

The vault toilet is a closed holder made of strong solid. The tank can hold human waste and toilet paper, but it cannot tolerate trash.

A cut hole was made Into the floor, which is above the tank. The top of the roof has a large opening pipe, which helps free the gases from the waste. Vault toilets no longer in use are left, and a solid chunk closed the tank Uptothe underground.

The whole waste is held in the vault tank until it is cleared or taken by the municipal council. The vault toilets tank doesn’t need everyday cleaning. After one or two weeks, waste management trucks come and take all the waste with them.

Human waste can be held into the vault toilets temporarily in that areas where sewer lines or running water are not available. The environment is not also harmed by this type of Vault. Camping areas and adventurous parks also go for Vault toilets.

These toilets are economically friendly and also give privacy to the people. Maintenance and cleaning of the vault toilet are also cheap.

That’s why Nowadays, camping areas and recreational parks choose vault toilets. Other types of organic waste also go into the vault toilet apart from human Waste, which is important for cleaning the camp areas.

Vault toilets are usually unscented, but not every time. To make the vault toilet unscented, air must enter the toilet properly.

It will make the toilet unscented because air will take the smell from the toilet. Sun also helps in removing odors. People should never dump those waste Inside the vault toilet, which waste are not decomposable.

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Where Are Vault Toilets Used?

Where Are Vault Toilets Used?

Vault toilets are generally used in remote areas and recreational parks. Where easily water is not accessible. So vault toilets need less water for use.

That’s why it is a good choice for people. Vault toilets are made in natural settings in the environment. Vault toilets are permanent buildings without running water supply.

Vault toilets are placed in those areas where easily accessible good roads are available. This helps the sewage pumping trucks to reach the vaults easily.

When people go camping or to the adventure park, they don’t need to worry about the washroom because of vault toilets. People do not need to go back to their houses to use the washroom now, they can use vault toilets nearby them. It is one of the easiest options for them there.


There are many advantages of vault toilets. In rural locations, Washrooms are not easily available so vault toilets can be a saver for the people.

That’s why in camping areas you can find vault toilets. A vault toilet can be placed with just a simple roof, four walls, and a door with a simple lock there are enough things for the vault toilet for using.


Vault toilets provide privacy to people. Vault toilets are smaller in size that’s why only one person can use the toilet at a time which ensures privacy.



The maintenance of the vault toilet is easy as compared to traditional toilets. This is also one of the reasons for building a vault toilets.



Vault toilets can be built on a low budget. Vault toilets need low cost as compared to bathrooms. Vault toilets are also affordable because vault toilets can be placed without a water supply.

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Vault toilets can be easily found in rural locations like camping areas. These types of areas demand vault toilets. People do not have to go to another place for using the washroom.

Cost Effective

Cost Effective

Vault toilets can be built with water supply. Flush is not needed in the vault toilet that’s why not much money is required for the vault toilet.



Vault toilets are built not to smell. Vault toilets do not smell much but sometimes smell can be found sometimes.



Vault toilets are transportable Because it is made up of plastic. Vault toilets can be used in different places.

Environment friendly

Environment friendly

Vault toilets do not need a water supply for flushing, saving lots of water daily. A lot of water can be saved using a vault toilet. It is a good option for people to contribute to the saving environment.



Inside the vault toilet, many things can be added for easy use like people can add light to the toilet. Sanitizer machines can also be added to the toilet. These features make the use of vault toilets easy.


Apart from the advantages of the vault toilet, some disadvantages are also there. One of the highlighted disadvantages of the vault toilet is not the supply of running water. It is also right that running water had advantages because it saves lots of water which is good for the environment.

And it also helps in placing the vault toilet anywhere without a running water supply. But it is also good to have a proper bathroom with a flush and a sink for washing hands after using the toilet.

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To pour out the smell the sun heat is required which can make the toilet hot. During monsoon, it can also start to smell. During summer this can be an issue for the people. But in winter heated toilet can not be an issue.



If garbage is put into the toilet it can create problems for using vault toilets. Garbage can block the vault toilet. It is very vital not to throw any types of garbage in the vault toilet.



Without proper working of the ventilation can cause a smell inside the toilet.



It is not that easy to move the vault toilet. Only plastic vault toilets are easily movable toilets.



Vault toilets are built without running water supply that’s why regular cleaning is required for toilets. Cleaning can be also a difficult task because many vault toilets in parks do not have the sufficient amount needed for cleaning.

Difficulty in Waste Management

Difficulty in Waste Management

Vault toilets are smaller in size compared to the regular bathroom so vault toilets get filled quickly by waste. When a large number of people use the vault toilet it gets filled quickly. They can get blocked and it will be difficult to unblock them later. And this may cost high.

All Vaults Are Not Moveable

All Vaults Are Not Moveable

Vault toilets are known for their portability it can be easily moved to any other place as it made from plastic. It can be cleaned easily also. But many other types of vault toilets are not moveable.

How to Remove Waste?

How to Remove Waste?

The size of the underground tank is between 1,000 to 10,000 gallons. This Waste is not good for the environment. It is harmful to the environment.

The vault toilet holds the all waste in its tank unless the waste removal truck comes and removes the waste from the tank.
Waste management trucks take all the waste with them.

After taking all the waste they transfer the waste to water treatment facilities. The public vault toilet is managed and handled by the local municipal council.

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Ways to Reduce Vault Toilet Odors

Ways to Reduce Vault Toilet Odors

Reducing odor comes in the maintenance of the vault toilet. A vault toilet needs proper maintenance to get the best out of it. As there is no utilization of water in these kinds of toilets so they begin to give out an odor.

It also produces toxic gas which is not good for the environment. The waste gets broken down in the vault and it starts releasing gases, which cause a concentration of hydrogen sulfide.

This odor can be reduced by adding an organic filler. It converts hydrogen sulfide into odorless nitrogen gas. You can also use a huge amount of activated carbon in the waste.

Activated carbon traps gasses in the open spaces of carbon, which helps in reducing the odor. To reduce the odor you can also place a burning flame around the vault. You can also fit underground pipes at the top of the tank. It helps in moving the odor away from that place.

How To Care For A Vault Toilet?

How To Care For A Vault Toilet

Vault toilets need maintenance on a regular basis; otherwise, they will be ruined. So here are some tips to take care of vault toilets:-

You have to clean the toilet regularly, no matter what. Vault toilets are prone to bacteria and disease-causing organisms. So then need proper cleaning for hygiene purposes.

The waste of the vault needs to be cleaned frequently. Otherwise, the toilet will start to stink. You need to disinfect the toilet every day. Otherwise, it may cause diseases.

You have to take care of the building too. You have to check the four walls and the roof properly for any type of leakage. If there is any leakage, immediately repair it.

Check the concrete for any types of underlying cracks. If you find any, without wasting any time, fill the crack and seal it properly. Otherwise, the crack can spread down the vaults too.

Check the building properly for any kind of rot or weather damage. Windows, doors, and the base are areas prone to rot and weather damage. So ensure that they are intact.

Ensure that the site has vehicle access. If there is no access to the vacuum truck, then the waste cant is pumped out from the vault. In public toilets, small parts easily broke. So check the door knobs and locks on a regular basis to ensure that they are not broken.

Tips For Using A Vault Toilet

  • Don’t throw tissue paper and wet wipes into the vault toilet. It is not a trash can; the tissues and wipes can clog the toilet.
  • Don’t make it dirty by throwing things around it; if it won’t clean then it can cause many diseases.
  • Don’t use public vault toilets that are without locks. Your safety is your responsibility.
  • Always bring your own sanitizer. The sanitizer in the vault toilets is more likely of low grade. It is necessary for proper hygiene.
  • Bring your own tissue paper for hygiene. The vault toilets can be of low quality and low in hygiene.
  • Always check for insects. There can be flies, bees, or spiders.
  • Carry your belongings inside the vault toilet if there is any facility for it. Otherwise, you have to find a safe place outside the vault toilet to keep your stuff.

Is a Vault Toilet the Same as a Pit Latrine?

Is a Vault Toilet the Same as a Pit Latrine?

Pit latrines and vault toilets are almost similar. There are only a few notable differences that tell them apart. In-pit latrine, a hole in the ground is used just like a vault toilet.

In the vault toilet, a concrete tank is used for the deposition of waste. Whereas in a pit toilet, an unlined hole under the soil is used for waste deposition.

A pit latrine is mostly used when the waste deposition is not in a huge amount. It is used as a temporary toilet. When there is a huge amount of waste deposition taking plates it’s better to use vault toilets. They are best for the permanent toilet system.

In vault toilets, the waste is deposited with time so it is good for the environment. On the other hand,if the pit toilets start to stink, then you have to change the location of the toilet.

Ensure that you fill the old pit properly. Otherwise, it will be difficult to keep the flies away or stink and release toxic gases. You can also add Iye to the waste. It will reduce the odor. Or you can go for proper ventilation which works wonders too.

By this, there will be no smell. The life span of pit toilets is 5 years, it is the best temporary solution for toilets. But if you want a permanent toilet, then you should go for a vault toilet.

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Is a Vault Toilet the Same as an Outhouse?

Is a Vault Toilet the Same as an Outhouse?

Vault house is not like a traditional outhouse but they have some similarities. Though outhouse functions more like a pit latrine. As it does not have a deep tank under the floor to collect the waste and that can be pumped out when the tank gets full.

The outhouse is a tiny room where a seat is positioned over the deep pit. When the pit gets full you have to change the location for a new outhouse just like the pit latrine. And ensure that you cover the old pit properly for hygiene issues.

These don’t have vents, or vaults and can’t be pumped out so these are just temporary solutions. On the other hand, vault toilets are modern form and they are more hygienic than outhouses.

They are strong and sturdy and they are durable for longer periods. In this ventilation and a concrete floor are used and the waste can be removed from the tank.

In vault toilets, because of the ventilation pipes, the toilet doesn’t stink. But in the outhouse, it stinks as there is nothing to prevent the smell in the toilets which directly go up from the pit.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Vault Toilet?

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Vault Toilet?

The cost of Installing a vault toilet can vary according to the design and size of the toilet. A basic set is one room toilet with a 5,000-gallon vault, good ventilation pipes, and a concrete slab floor. All these materials cost around $7,000 to $10,000.

After that comes the cost of the labor, which depend on the location of the site. As most of the vault toilets are built far from residential areas so, the materials have to be transported to the site.

It costs about $25000 to $45’000.The price can go high if the site is very far from civilization. But don’t build the vault toilet very far away.

As you have to pump the waste out and it can be expensive if the site is very far. There will be additional expenses for maintenance, toilet paper refill, and sanitizers.

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How Deep Is Vault Toilet?

How Deep Is Vault Toilet?

The vault toilets are 5 feet deep generally, but many people go for 3 feet deep. But can’t be very deep otherwise the wall cab collapsed to the pressure from the surrounding wall.

Do Vault Toilets Smell?

Do Vault Toilets Smell?

Yes, vault toilets smell, but they can be fixed by some maintenance techniques. To fix this problem you can use a vent pipe so the hot air can rise and go out through it.

But the problem is that on damp days the air doesn’t rise and starts to stink. So you have to use some strategies to control the odor.

Vault Toilet Odor Control

Vault Toilet Odor Control

There are several products you can use to reduce the odor. You can use:

  • Organic fillers that convert hydrogen sulfide into odorless gas.
  • Activated charcoal in large amounts can trap gases in the pen spaces of carbon particles. And it helps reduce the smell.
  • Underground pipes on top of the vault.
  • A burning flame around the vault.


Vault toilets are deep-pit permanent toilets that are used without water. These are strong sturdy and durable for a long period. These are mostly used in public places. They get serviced by the waste management company.

There should be access to vehicles to pump out the waste from the vault. Otherwise, the toilet will start to stink. After the waste is pumped out it is sent to the waste management facility and then they dispose of the waste properly without harming the environment.

The vault toilet is made by using materials like concrete slab floor, bricks, cement, and whitewash that is used in making a house. As a room is built using them.

Then a deep tank for waste collection, doors, and windows are also required. After this, the expense left will be labor. Though you have to maintain the vault toilet properly after is built, otherwise it will be ruined.

In this article, there is all the information regarding the vault toilet. What are vault toilets, how does it works, where are these users, their pros and cons, how to take care of them, etc.,

The information is given in this article. Hope you find the information you are looking for and get value from it. If you have any questions you can ask.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What Are Vault Toilets?

Vault toilets are waterless toilets that collect waste in an underground tank or vault. These non-flush toilets are commonly found in remote areas like campgrounds and national parks.

Pit Toilet Vs Vault Toilet

Whether it’s built to accommodate one person or many, an outhouse is basically a shelter built over a hole in the ground. If the hole is lined with a water-impermeable container, it’s known as a vaulted toilet, whereas if it’s simply left as is, it’s called a pit toilet.

What Is a Vault Toilet Camping?

Vault toilets are waterless toilets that collect waste in an underground tank or vault. These non-flush toilets are commonly found in remote areas like campgrounds and national parks. Vault toilets are also sometimes called “camping toilets” or “vault privies.”

What Is a Vault Toilet?

A vault toilet has a sealed container buried in the ground with a building over it. All waste is contained until the waste is removed by pumping. The design of both vault and pit toilet buildings are the same for odor control, maintenance, and service to the public.

What Does a Vault Toilet Look Like?

Vault toilets are in permanent structures similar to a small wood cabin. You’ll even find that they have a chimney-like structure, which is actually a large vent pipe. Many of them are brown so as not to stand out too much within the natural areas they’re in, such as state parks, national forests, and trailheads.

How Deep Is a Pit Toilet?

The shelter is also called an outhouse. The pit is typically at least three meters (10 ft) deep and one meter (3 ft) across.

What Is a Toilet Flapper?

A toilet flapper is the part of your toilet that seals the opening between the tank and the toilet bowl. When the toilet is flushed, a rubber tank ball or flapper lifts out of the way, and water rushes into the bowl.

Do Chemical Toilets Smell?

A cassette toilet does not stink as long as you use it for number one only. Using it for number two might create a problem unless you intend to dump it shortly after using it. If you add chemical treatments to the toilet and dump it often, you will probably never notice any unpleasant odors.

Can You Put Bleach in Toilet Bowl?

Simply measure out half a cup’s worth of bleach and pour it into your toilet bowl, using your toilet brush to scrub it into the bowl and beneath the bowl’s rim, also allowing five minutes to pass before you flush it all away.

Can You Put Bleach in the Toilet?

“The biggest don’t when it comes to toilet tanks is bleach—do not use bleach or products containing bleach inside the tank, as it can corrode the internal parts of your toilet. If you are aiming to remove tough stains from the tank, I also recommend white vinegar diluted with water.”

Do Vault Toilets Smell?

Most vault toilets are about five feet deep. The building is installed on the slab with connections to the vault for the toilet and vent pipe. This type of system provides a permanent, odor-free and accessible toilet at a fraction of the cost of site-built structures.

How Deep Is a Vault Toilet?

In a typical vault toilet installation, the vault is buried underground with a concrete slab poured directly over it. Most vault toilets are about five feet deep. The building is installed on the slab with connections to the vault for the toilet and vent pipe.

How Much Does a Vault Toilet Cost?

$25,000 – $45,000 is a good price range for an all in vault toilet. But that price could go much higher if your building one really far away from civilization. Remember, vault toilets need pumping so don’t build them too far out of the way. And don;t forget about the maintenance cost to pump the toilet.

How Do I Stop My Pit Latrine from Smelling

How to Keep Your Pit Toilet from Smelling
  1. Use Vinegar. Natural vinegar has long been known to control foul odor.
  2. Lime. Lime can also be used to eliminate the odor.
  3. Use Air Freshener Tablets. Keep these air freshener tablets hanging near the pit.
  4. Ventilation.
  5.  Integrate crushed BIOCHAR.

How Are Vault Toilets Cleaned?

Ali liquid waste drains down through the soil and all solid waste remains until the hole fills up. A vault toilet has a sealed container buried in the ground with a building over it. All waste is contained until the waste is removed by pumping.

Why Does Toilet Still Smell After Cleaning?

Even the cleanest homeowners occasionally encounter this toilet problem – an obnoxious odour that leaves you asking, “why does my toilet smell?” These toilet smells can come from an unused toilet, bacteria, mold, clogged drain, broken toilet seals, blocked vent pipe or cracked toilet bowls.

How Did They Clean Outhouses?

Most outhouses were cleaned periodically. On certain wash days, leftover soapy water was carried to the outhouse and used to scrub everything down. In addition, some outhouse owners kept a bag of lime with a tin can in the outhouse, and occasionally dumped some down the holes to control the odor.

How Deep Does an Outhouse Hole Have to Be?

For the pit outhouse, dig an excavation that measures 3 1/2 feet x 3 1/2 feet and is five feet deep. This hole may later be cribbed in, but the cribbing is not absolutely essential. A properly managed privy is at least as healthful for people and land as a septic system and is far more than a place to evacuate waste.

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