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Laws need to Change in Arkansas and something needs to be done about this

 
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I'm not sure how many of you are aware of this, but composting human waste in a reasonable manner and harvesting rainwater for household use is illegal in Arkansas. I've been homesteading/living off-grid in Arkansas are several years, and a few weeks ago I had a visit from a Health Department official warning me that my way of life is illegal. I'm not sure if I'll be persecuted for living naturally and in accordance with the principle of preserving nature, but things are getting real. There are probably hundreds or thousands of Arkansans living a lifestyle similar to me, oblivious to the Health Department regulations, but it's only a matter of time if changes aren't made to the laws. Homesteading is all about self-sufficiency and living life as a settler. I cleared my land and built my cabin entirely by myself and with family. But if you're required to have external engineers and inspectors develop and build a water and waste management system for you to be legal, then true homesteading is essentially illegal in Arkansas.

My homestead is very simple, I catch rainwater off my roof into a reservoir, I have a water pump that pumps the water into my cabin. It goes to a sink, shower, and urinal. I put the water through a Berkey filter to drink. I use only natural biodegradable soaps. This rainwater then goes down my drains and into a DIY underground leach field.  For solid waste, I use a Nature's Head composting toilet, and I have composting bays so that each batch will sit for 1 year to become fully finished compost before it is disturbed. Well in fact, almost every facet of this system is illegal under the Arkansas Health Department regulations.

Let's start with perhaps the most atrocious law, AR Code § 17-38-201 (2014).

(g) The State Board of Health shall allow the use of a harvested rainwater system used for a nonpotable purpose if the harvested rainwater system:
(1) Is designed by a professional engineer licensed in Arkansas;
(2) Is designed with appropriate cross-connection safeguards; and
(3) Complies with the Arkansas Plumbing Code.


So essentially, using rainwater for anything other than gardening is illegal. And even if it's used for gardening, you must jump through an expensive and prohibitive number of hoops to make it legal. There is NO excuse for this. I won't go on, because this law makes me speechless.

Now let's move on to the composting and disposal of graywater. The Arkansas ACT 402 OF 1977, RULES AND REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO ONSITE WASTEWATER SYSTEMS, DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVES AND INSTALLERS.
If you review the "9.11. Composting/Incinerating Toilets" section of that bill, you will see that you must only use pre-manufactured composting toilets authorized by the Health Department, NSF 41 standard certified. I was also told that you need to jump through hoops to have your toilet system permitted. The problem is, one of the only composting toilet brands which are NSF 41 certified are Sun-mar toilets. The problem with these toilets is that they don't have a mechanism to divert urine. And generally speaking, mixing ALL of your urine in with the compost typically creates a disgusting mess. Completely unhealthy compost. You can read horror stories of people using these toilets in the reviews online of toilets like the Sun-mar Excel. They have a tendency to crack and spill toxic sludge on your floors. Personally, I use a Nature's Head toilet, and I have a flush urinal which feeds into my underground leech field (since urine is completely natural and sanitary, plus it's good for the soil). I've been doing it for many years, it's a dream to use, I've never experienced any odors. But the Nature's Head cannot pass NSF certification because it doesn't "compost" the urine, you're supposed to pour the urine out like any reasonable person would. Another major issue with the composting laws is section 10.7.3.

The stabilized compost from a composting toilet must be buried onsite or deposited
in an approved sanitary landfill.

That means that having composting bays on the ground to finish processing your compost after you dump it out of your composting toilet is illegal. It's also illegal to use this rich, healthy, clean soil for your ornamental plants or above-ground vegetables. If it's "stabilized" compost, then it's simply soil. But in the eyes of the law, it's still some kind of waste product.

On to the graywater issue. Here's an interesting, ridiculous and scary facet of Arkansas Health Department laws, apparently doing something as simple as peeing on the ground on your land is illegal. That is my understanding of the laws anyway, it's considered illegal dumping sewage/black water. Obviously you'd never be fined for that, but you COULD under the laws as they are. And that's scary. But what I'm doing, I certainly could be severely punished for. Me draining off shower water, and water that I've washed my hands or brushed my teeth with into an underground leech field is illegal. Any water coming out of a house from a pipe is considered wastewater, even if it's perfectly clean water you could drink. And all wastewater must go into a septic system.

This is a serious problem. Under the regulation of the Health Department, I'm guilty of polluting the earth with no ability to prove innocence. I have to comply with their draconian, cost prohibitive regulations. If I am to compost, I must compost their way which is unscientific and unclean. The only other option is to install an expensive septic system which I am against from a standpoint of principles. Septic systems are creating a toxic waste pit under your land, which leeches off into the ground. I'm sure septic repair companies could tell you all of their horror stories which would make anyone understand this. Composting is the perfect way to protect nature and yet it's illegal in The Natural State.

I'm not sure who is in charge of the Health Department and who voted them in or put them in power. Perhaps this is an issue which will need to go to the state legislature. I'm not well versed on what political actions need to be taken, but I want to become politically active on this issue. I'm sure that there are a wealth of homesteaders in Arkansas who are living under the radar, and are afraid to become politically active or speak out in fear of prosecution. I am too. But after having a Health Department official come to my house, I am even more scared but I am motivated to do something about this. Perhaps the legislature or Health Department simply needs to be nudged and educated, because there is a wealth of research on how safe and environmentally friendly it can be, the research from Carleton University is an example. I'm not a well-spoken person, I'd prefer to keep to myself and live my life but I'm beginning to feel the need to speak out. I know in my heart of hearts that I'm living my life the way I should be, and I know that if anyone really took the time to see how I do things that they would agree I'm protecting the health of the environment around me much more than my neighbors.

Are there any other Arkansan homesteaders who are willing to do something about this? Is there anything we can do? Are there any existing activist groups? Also, does anyone have any information or advice as far as what actions Health Department could potentially take against me and how I can defend myself and my way of life? Please share any information or thoughts you have!

EDIT: I was browsing the State Legislature's website (arkleg.state.ar.us) and the way to change these laws is starting to become more clear to me. You can browse all of the Senate and House of Representative legislatures in the state, and you can see a list of all of the bills they sponsor. I even found the original bill which enacted the rainwater harvesting regulations. It was sponsored by Senator Altes who unfortunately is no longer a senator. But anyway, this website has email and phone numbers for all of the legislatures in Arkansas. These are the people who can draft and sponsor bills/acts to change these Health Department regulations. So needless to say, I've begun politely emailing senators, providing them with information Also cordially questioning them on how they feel about laws like the rainwater harvesting one, and trying to see if they can find a way to justify why it exist or what purpose it serves. Please, if you care about these issues, get in contact with the state legislatures and perhaps we can make a change. You can even email them anonymously.
 
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Did something happen to call attention to your lifestyle?
Otherwise, no matter the law here, we have found the enforcement in rural areas non existent.

Early seventies through 2015 we lived on three different properties with either outhouses or composting toilets...the earliest 'homestead' not even the tax assessor came up the trail to check on us, just asked what we were doing up there

We lived for fifteen years at our last home on forty acres with a sawdust toilet indoors and an outhouse for potlucks and parties and even had occasional public events there using the outhouse....not a whisper of a complaint.

We have always had some form of rain water catchment...barrels and buckets quite publicly visible.  

I agree the law is too restrictive but that's Arkansas legislature for you as illustrated in more recently passed legislation in other areas




 
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Did something happen to call attention to your lifestyle?  



That was also my first thought.  The law is very much the same here in France and I would imagine probably in the whole of Europe.  Rain water for anything else than gardening and washing your car is a no-no.  I don't even dare to look into the regulations for humanure.  Still, many people here live under the radar, so to speak and enjoy the kind of life that you described.

I am not much good for fighting laws in Arkansas all the way from France, but I wish you good luck with your dealings with the authorities and hope that you will find help somewhere, somehow.
 
Marcus Welch
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Judith Browning wrote:Did something happen to call attention to your lifestyle?
Otherwise, no matter the law here, we have found the enforcement in rural areas non existent.

Early seventies through 2015 we lived on three different properties with either outhouses or composting toilets...the earliest 'homestead' not even the tax assessor came up the trail to check on us, just asked what we were doing up there

We lived for fifteen years at our last home on forty acres with a sawdust toilet indoors and an outhouse for potlucks and parties and even had occasional public events there using the outhouse....not a whisper of a complaint.

We have always had some form of rain water catchment...barrels and buckets quite publicly visible.  

I agree the law is too restrictive but that's Arkansas legislature for you as illustrated in more recently passed legislation in other areas



I was told by the Health Department official that a realtor got footage of my property and sent it to him. I believe they may be getting ready to try and sell nearby property. I do live on a smaller lot and my house is visible from adjacent land, but the only thing out of the ordinary to see is the water tank hooked up to the gutter, as well as a generator running. It doesn't even look much like a homestead, it looks like a neat and tidy, modern tiny house/cabin. I'm tucked away in the woods as well. Perhaps that's where I went wrong, I should have tried to get more acreage even if I couldn't afford it at the time. But you're lucky, all it takes is some who doesn't like you to fly a drone over your homestead and get video of it for them to report you and have the Health Department coming after you.
 
Judith Browning
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all it takes is some who doesn't like you to fly a drone over your homestead and get video of it for them to report you and have the Health Department coming after you.



Marcus, that may be the biggest difference right there...most of our life was before drones.  We once had the sheriff's department ride up on horseback to see what 'them hippies' were doing up there but nothing came of it.

I'm really sorry that this has happened.  I wouldn't expect there to be any actual penalty though?

Sounds like a realtor ploy to get more cash for a sale? and if they start building up around you your own taxes will likely go up.  

How is your place accessed? Our old spot was always called 'unimproved' I think, meaning no utilities.
Arkansas has the homestead tax credit that is an interesting use of the word as it applies to anyone owning land that they are living on, no matter ones income.
 
Marcus Welch
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Judith Browning wrote:

all it takes is some who doesn't like you to fly a drone over your homestead and get video of it for them to report you and have the Health Department coming after you.



Marcus, that may be the biggest difference right there...most of our life was before drones.  We once had the sheriff's department ride up on horseback to see what 'them hippies' were doing up there but nothing came of it.

I'm really sorry that this has happened.  I wouldn't expect there to be any actual penalty though?

Sounds like a realtor ploy to get more cash for a sale? and if they start building up around you your own taxes will likely go up.  

How is your place accessed? Our old spot was always called 'unimproved' I think, meaning no utilities.
Arkansas has the homestead tax credit that is an interesting use of the word as it applies to anyone owning land that they are living on, no matter ones income.



True, things are different now with drones. But it seems like rural Arkansas has worked on the "good ol' boy" system for a long time. The local sheriff may think a family is a little different, but if they're good people then you wouldn't have anything to worry about regardless of regulations. But then if the sheriff has it out for you, or the Health Department, or your neighbor then they can find a way to throw the book at you. It just depends how much of a stickler your local area/people who know about your homestead are for following regulations to a tee. But it's surprising to see that the rainwater harvesting law was passed in 2014. These kind of laws can just slip into the books without anyone noticing, and without any logical basis. I know I'm doing right by myself, my neighbors and the environment but I still have to live in fear. It shouldn't have to be like this. I guess it does help coming on this forum and seeing other Arkansans who are doing things like I am.

Right now my house is assessed as unimproved, but that's just because they don't know about it. From my understanding any land with a permeant structure is improved land, but I think it's on the tax assessor to figure that out and make adjustments. My parents said that they built their regular house and it took them like a decade or more to change their assessment. I'm not too worried about taxes though, I'm worried about being fined exorbitant amounts of money. I think the way it works is, if the Health Department feels like taking action they need to have an official observe some kind of illegal activity like dumping waste, and then they issue a warning, maybe like 30 days. And if you don't fix the issues they probably start fining you per day/week/month until it's fixed. Not sure exactly. The law says the penalty is between $100-$1,000 but how often they can fine you I'm not sure. It's also a misdemeanor. But I just wonder, does the Health Department official have the right to trespass on your property to inspect it for violations? I can't find the laws around that anywhere. When the guy was here I didn't ask him to leave, I told him I compost but that I do it properly. He said something along the lines that he would have to see something on the ground to take legal action. What exactly constitutes "something", I don't know. They probably have a lot of leeway to make their own judgements which I suppose is a good and bad thing.  
 
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Marcus Welch wrote:I'm not sure how many of you are aware of this, but composting human waste in a reasonable manner and harvesting rainwater for household use is illegal in Arkansas. I've been homesteading/living off-grid in Arkansas are several years, and a few weeks ago I had a visit from a Health Department official warning me that my way of life is illegal. I'm not sure if I'll be persecuted for living naturally and in accordance with the principle of preserving nature, but things are getting real. There are probably hundreds or thousands of Arkansans living a lifestyle similar to me, oblivious to the Health Department regulations, but it's only a matter of time if changes aren't made to the laws. Homesteading is all about self-sufficiency and living life as a settler. I cleared my land and built my cabin entirely by myself and with family. But if you're required to have external engineers and inspectors develop and build a water and waste management system for you to be legal, then true homesteading is essentially illegal in Arkansas.

My homestead is very simple, I catch rainwater off my roof into a reservoir, I have a water pump that pumps the water into my cabin. It goes to a sink, shower, and urinal. I put the water through a Berkey filter to drink. I use only natural biodegradable soaps. This rainwater then goes down my drains and into a DIY underground leach field.  For solid waste, I use a Nature's Head composting toilet, and I have composting bays so that each batch will sit for 1 year to become fully finished compost before it is disturbed. Well in fact, almost every facet of this system is illegal under the Arkansas Health Department regulations.

Let's start with perhaps the most atrocious law, AR Code § 17-38-201 (2014).

(g) The State Board of Health shall allow the use of a harvested rainwater system used for a nonpotable purpose if the harvested rainwater
system:
(1) Is designed by a professional engineer licensed in Arkansas;
(2) Is designed with appropriate cross-connection safeguards; and


How are they going to police every single mud puddle a person has in there yard or rain drop. That falls from the Sky and tell them that's illegal and throw them into jail or prison over something so lame and pathetic. Our government are a bunch of democratic satanic hypocrites.
(3) Complies with the Arkansas Plumbing Code.


So essentially, using rainwater for anything other than gardening is illegal. And even if it's used for gardening, you must jump through an expensive and prohibitive number of hoops to make it legal. There is NO excuse for this. I won't go on, because this law makes me speechless.

Now let's move on to the composting and disposal of graywater. The Arkansas ACT 402 OF 1977, RULES AND REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO ONSITE WASTEWATER SYSTEMS, DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVES AND INSTALLERS.
If you review the "9.11. Composting/Incinerating Toilets" section of that bill, you will see that you must only use pre-manufactured composting toilets authorized by the Health Department, NSF 41 standard certified. I was also told that you need to jump through hoops to have your toilet system permitted. The problem is, one of the only composting toilet brands which are NSF 41 certified are Sun-mar toilets. The problem with these toilets is that they don't have a mechanism to divert urine. And generally speaking, mixing ALL of your urine in with the compost typically creates a disgusting mess. Completely unhealthy compost. You can read horror stories of people using these toilets in the reviews online of toilets like the Sun-mar Excel. They have a tendency to crack and spill toxic sludge on your floors. Personally, I use a Nature's Head toilet, and I have a flush urinal which feeds into my underground leech field (since urine is completely natural and sanitary, plus it's good for the soil). I've been doing it for many years, it's a dream to use, I've never experienced any odors. But the Nature's Head cannot pass NSF certification because it doesn't "compost" the urine, you're supposed to pour the urine out like any reasonable person would. Another major issue with the composting laws is section 10.7.3.

The stabilized compost from a composting toilet must be buried onsite or deposited
in an approved sanitary landfill.

That means that having composting bays on the ground to finish processing your compost after you dump it out of your composting toilet is illegal. It's also illegal to use this rich, healthy, clean soil for your ornamental plants or above-ground vegetables. If it's "stabilized" compost, then it's simply soil. But in the eyes of the law, it's still some kind of waste product.

On to the graywater issue. Here's an interesting, ridiculous and scary facet of Arkansas Health Department laws, apparently doing something as simple as peeing on the ground on your land is illegal. That is my understanding of the laws anyway, it's considered illegal dumping sewage/black water. Obviously you'd never be fined for that, but you COULD under the laws as they are. And that's scary. But what I'm doing, I certainly could be severely punished for. Me draining off shower water, and water that I've washed my hands or brushed my teeth with into an underground leech field is illegal. Any water coming out of a house from a pipe is considered wastewater, even if it's perfectly clean water you could drink. And all wastewater must go into a septic system.

This is a serious problem. Under the regulation of the Health Department, I'm guilty of polluting the earth with no ability to prove innocence. I have to comply with their draconian, cost prohibitive regulations. If I am to compost, I must compost their way which is unscientific and unclean. The only other option is to install an expensive septic system which I am against from a standpoint of principles. Septic systems are creating a toxic waste pit under your land, which leeches off into the ground. I'm sure septic repair companies could tell you all of their horror stories which would make anyone understand this. Composting is the perfect way to protect nature and yet it's illegal in The Natural State.

I'm not sure who is in charge of the Health Department and who voted them in or put them in power. Perhaps this is an issue which will need to go to the state legislature. I'm not well versed on what political actions need to be taken, but I want to become politically active on this issue. I'm sure that there are a wealth of homesteaders in Arkansas who are living under the radar, and are afraid to become politically active or speak out in fear of prosecution. I am too. But after having a Health Department official come to my house, I am even more scared but I am motivated to do something about this. Perhaps the legislature or Health Department simply needs to be nudged and educated, because there is a wealth of research on how safe and environmentally friendly it can be, the research from Carleton University is an example. I'm not a well-spoken person, I'd prefer to keep to myself and live my life but I'm beginning to feel the need to speak out. I know in my heart of hearts that I'm living my life the way I should be, and I know that if anyone really took the time to see how I do things that they would agree I'm protecting the health of the environment around me much more than my neighbors.

Are there any other Arkansan homesteaders who are willing to do something about this? Is there anything we can do? Are there any existing activist groups? Also, does anyone have any information or advice as far as what actions Health Department could potentially take against me and how I can defend myself and my way of life? Please share any information or thoughts you have!

EDIT: I was browsing the State Legislature's website (arkleg.state.ar.us) and the way to change these laws is starting to become more clear to me. You can browse all of the Senate and House of Representative legislatures in the state, and you can see a list of all of the bills they sponsor. I even found the original bill which enacted the rainwater harvesting regulations. It was sponsored by Senator Altes who unfortunately is no longer a senator. But anyway, this website has email and phone numbers for all of the legislatures in Arkansas. These are the people who can draft and sponsor bills/acts to change these Health Department regulations. So needless to say, I've begun politely emailing senators, providing them with information Also cordially questioning them on how they feel about laws like the rainwater harvesting one, and trying to see if they can find a way to justify why it exist or what purpose it serves. Please, if you care about these issues, get in contact with the state legislatures and perhaps we can make a change. You can even email them anonymously.

 
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Marcus Welch wrote: all it takes is some who doesn't like you to fly a drone over your homestead and get video of it for them to report you and have the Health Department coming after you.



Air space is owned by the government. Anything treetop level and below belongs to me. Drones are targets. They will be shot down and maybe stomped.
Invasion of privacy and criminal trespass are crimes which is what the realtor did.

I think the reason folks won't get involved is because they don't want found out. Your rice bowl got dumped, they're still hanging on to theirs.

There is always some reason behind laws. May not be a good, moral or sane reason, but there is a reason. What is the reason behind the rainwater catchment law? What is the reason behind the composting toilet law? I've found that understanding the why sometimes sheds light on seeming stupidity.
I've also found most of the clerks sent out to inform citizens of their transgressions are barely aware of the why's either. They're just blindly doing their jobs and memorizing laws. Not an objective thought in their main brain housing unit.
First things we need are a leader, an objective and an organization....
But, on the other hand, he saw nothing on the ground. That suggests you might have heard the end of this.
I have a septic tank installation I had inspected. It couldn't go down deep enough because of bedrock. The inspector didn't sign anything, he point blank told me to install it as deep as I could get it, keep my mouth shut and left. I haven't heard a word for years, but I kept my mouth shut, too.
 
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If they can legalize pot, they can legalize "homesteading" in all aspects ... it *will* take time and effort, as the pot industry can attest. There are numerous small wins as evidenced in some things (earthbag, cob, and such) getting through building codes, and our own (western, water-short) state finally approving rainwater collection for homeowners.

Our approach on wastewater was to go ahead and put in a septic system in the approved manner with inspections. It is now on their documentation at the county health department (with a copy sent to the county building inspection department). This is the "don't wait on bureaucracy to approve the alternatives" approach. It doesn't preclude fixing the madness, but it does bypass it handily.

We put the septic system in ourselves, and saved at least half the cost (labor + profit) ... at the time, septic systems without any design issues were running about $5k for a contractor to put it in. But, the "approved" design is so easy (tank, infiltrators, and pvc pipe), that we just bought the materials and did the labor ourselves.

Thus, if anyone (nosy neighbor) ever calls in and complains, the 1st thing either inspector will do is look at the records, see the approved & inspected system, and inform the complainant that things look good (on paper). It is doubtful that it will go further than that.

We then proceed to do greywater, humanure, etc ... these are "experimental" systems, as the septic system is the "primary" ... even though we never used the primary. All the other systems are keeping us from ever having to pump out the septic system tank, or worry about leach field problems, etc.

We do live on 40 acres, as some of our property goals were "western mountainous state, and on pine forested land", "neighbors at least 20 acres away", and "no restrictions, HOA/LOA" of any kind". That has worked out very well for us.
 
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I am interested if the OP has any follow up on his run-in with the county. I am appalled at the thought of a realtor trying to drive away neighbors to have better luck making a sale, but I guess that is the world that most of the rest of the country lives in. People dont want to even think about where their waste goes, so they literally bury it, and then hire someone else to deal with it when the system breaks down or fills up. As a scientifically minded person, I do get that public health is a priority, and open defecation is to be strongly discouraged. But I think the level of poop-phobia could stand to be dialed back a hair.

I live in rural Oregon on enough acreage that my homestead is not really visible, so I have had zero interection with the local authorities. I rarely ever run a generator, and I wonder if that could have been part of what started this whole ordeal? I just recently got a dual fuel inverter generator as a backup, and man that thing is quiet. You can stand next to it and basically have a normal conversation. Oregon also has laws preventing flying drones over private property - but just a heads up - drones are technically considered aircraft; and shooting down aircraft can land you in a lot of trouble, regardless of their altitude. It would be pretty satisfying though. With google earth, though, anyone can now see over your fence and check out what you are up to. I did cause a pretty good lense flare one year when I left my solar oven outside all summer, but it really only obscured my patio area :)

 
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Jt Lamb wrote:If they can legalize pot, they can legalize "homesteading" in all aspects ... it *will* take time and effort, as the pot industry can attest. There are numerous small wins as evidenced in some things (earthbag, cob, and such) getting through building codes, and our own (western, water-short) state finally approving rainwater collection for homeowners.
Our approach on wastewater was to go ahead and put in a septic system in the approved manner with inspections. It is now on their documentation at the county health department (with a copy sent to the county building inspection department). This is the "don't wait on bureaucracy to approve the alternatives" approach. It doesn't preclude fixing the madness, but it does bypass it handily.
We put the septic system in ourselves, and saved at least half the cost (labor + profit) ... at the time, septic systems without any design issues were running about $5k for a contractor to put it in. But, the "approved" design is so easy (tank, infiltrators, and pvc pipe), that we just bought the materials and did the labor ourselves.
Thus, if anyone (nosy neighbor) ever calls in and complains, the 1st thing either inspector will do is look at the records, see the approved & inspected system, and inform the complainant that things look good (on paper). It is doubtful that it will go further than that.



Absolutely agree Jt Lamb.  When we built our off grid compressed earth brick house in 1986, we just called them bricks [not a lie] and our plumber installed our "approved" septic but then installed a baffle separating the black and grey water.  The grey water outlet was covered in the earth back fill.  Years later the black water backed up and we found that the absorption pit was clogged.  Local rules allow for the installation of "approved" systems.  We found a reed pond in another local government area so that is what we went with.  So far we have had 3 letters saying that the local building inspector will be visiting the area to do an inspection but in 10 years, no visit.  We are so far from the utilities that we have no choice but to use tank water.  Drinking water can cause bird borne diseases but it is rare.  A friend of mine in the state health department has postulated that a lot of the regulations come from risk aversion due to ignorance rather than  sound science.  The poly cutting boards are an excellent example of this - And who is to say that they were not inspired by someone toting spurious pseudo-facts who was looking to make a quid?

Check what legislation has precedence and if it is in a superior jurisdiction.  For example, here in Australia, the Environmental Protection Agency is a Federal organisation and because it is not a jurisdiction of the states or local government, all subordinate legislation cannot be any less or in disagreement with the Commonwealth EPA Acts.

Step 2 is to identify what your environmental organisation says you can do and the date of the legislation.   Then go to the legislation that directly impacts on you and look for mismatches.  It is a bit time consuming but does pay dividends.

Just hang in there and remember that honey catch more flies than vinegar.  And above all make them think that they have thought up the newest best thing on the block.
Cheers
 
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Just curious what city you are nearest to and which county.
 
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I looked at lots of properties in lots of places before landing where I am. I saw all kinds of stuff. I was very keen about asking and learning about codes and zoning and building regulations everywhere I looked after dealing with such things in Florida like it being illegal to park a pickup truck outside your house when I first moved there.
anyway government wants to keep certain people out and attract other people with regulation. I remember looking at property in west North Carolina and one rule on building was you had to spend at least 75 dollars per square foot and minimum house size was something like 1500 square feet, and that was quite a few years ago. most places like where im at you do whatever you want as long as you have or put in a septic system on property. if you want to get hooked up to electricity the power company has to inspect what they are hooking up to first.  I think these are some of the minimalist rules there are.  but if you know how to build properly that no problem. but an example of where no codes or inspections rubber meets the road is just a few miles from me where a inproperly done concrete work came crashing down destroying the bulk of a house that im sure no insurance policy will cover.  just a few things I learned over a few years and driving at least 25000 miles looking at properties.
 
Paul Fookes
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Tirzah Schmaltz wrote:Just curious what city you are nearest to and which county.



To whom are you asking the question Tirzah?  My info is in the signature block on the left hand side.
Cheers
 
bruce Fine
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we are wondering where Marcus is
 
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We are having the “Ozarks Homesteading Expo” in conjunction with the Benton County Fair in Sept 28-Oct 2, 2021. One of our topics is Rainwater Collection” and possibly Composting Toilet. I will pass this info on to our presenter ... he may get some questions about this.
 
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A couple of years ago, I found a YouTube video of Brad Lancaster in Tucson, Arizona. Kirsten Dirksen does the interview & tour, ‘ Dryland-harvesting home gathers sun, rain, food, & more.’ I believe Brad was able to get the laws changed and get the local authorities on his side. Here is the video I originally watched:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KcAMXm9zITg

Here is another video:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uYmgYF-mQfI

I’d encourage you to contact him: www.harvestingrainwater.com

He probably knows people who know people and can help you get headed in the right direction.

Or contact Kristen too.

I’ll be praying for you and your situation. Our world is crazy!

I found a meme recently about illegal & legal during the Holocaust... I can’t find the meme but this quote is similar enough,  

“Equivocation and the flowing robes of state-sanctioned license have a long history of working to justify any inhuman endeavor.  Inhumane acts have been precipitated regularly and repeatedly within civilized societies--nearly as a standard of operation and sanctioned by shiny laws.  It was illegal to hide Anne Frank in the 1940s; it was legal for her to be murdered.  That is not ironic: that is literal.  It is real.” - https://18pdr.blogspot.com/

Many legalized products/procedures/things these days are indeed inhumane...

*deep sigh

But continuing on that topic is likely for the cider press.

May you find unexpected favor with the authorities,

 
I have gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, keep me here with this tiny ad:
Mike Oehler's Low-Cost Underground House Workshop & Survival Shelter Seminar - 3 DVD+2 Books Deal
https://permies.com/wiki/48625/Mike-Oehler-Cost-Underground-House
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