In this day and age, it’s difficult to imagine that there are over 1 million US residents who don’t have indoor plumbing. Those of a certain age remember, in the not-too-distant past, the use of outhouses, chamber pots, slop jars, wells, and stand-alone wash basins to handle a household’s basic needs.
Indoor Plumbing: The Statistics
According to a recent article by the Washington Post, figures available from the most current American Community Survey estimate that about 630,000 households lack indoor facilities. These households do not have one or all of the standard plumbing options, including a toilet, running water, shower, or bathtub.
The latest figures from the Census Bureau state that on average, 2.6 individuals reside in a home. This figure equates to an estimated 1.6 million people residing in the 630,000 households that manage everyday living without the use of full or partial indoor plumbing.
Reasons for Lack of Plumbing
There are many reasons for households to not have all or part of the indoor plumbing options. You might be surprised to learn that some people do not want to have access to what millions of people take for granted. Here are a few of the reasons:
- Lack of funds to renovate an old-fashioned homestead to include a water and sewer system
- Remote residences in areas that provide minimal or no access to water lines and sewers, such as residences in the desert, mountains, and forested areas
- A preference to be environmentally conscious and planet-friendly by using natural processes, such as hand-pumped wells for water or drainfields for waste decomposition
- Communal cultures adhering to a tradition that does not include plumbing
- A preference to commune with nature versus relying on city utilities
- A home that has access only to a well to manually pump water
Alternatives to Indoor Plumbing
For waste, chemical toilets and waterless, or composting, toilets are viable alternatives to traditional toilets on city water lines. Homes with a well can have a hand pump attached for manually pumping water for cooking or washing clothes by hand.
For bathing, homeowners may use 5-gallon jugs of purified drinking water to operate a battery-operated portable hot water unit powered by propane that can be used with an outdoor shower kit for bathing.
Having a septic tank system installed eliminates the need for city water and allows for use of portable equipment. Whether you’re building a new home in a remote area without access to city water lines and need a septic tank system installed or renovating a vintage building that needs to be tied into city water lines, the Pink Plumber’s professional staff is available.
For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.
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