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Hammer Handle

Dirt Floor Outhouse Questions

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I have called quite a few people, including the county I live in and no one seems to know if my outhouse is legal or not.

There is an outhouse on the land I owe and it has been there for probably over 40 years. I have owed this land for about 10 years.

It has an all dirt bottom. What are the rules about how far away from the lake I have to be? Is the dirt bottom legal? Who can I contact?

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My guess is that you are grandfathered in on your current situtation. If you need to replace the structure then you will need to check with your local county and they will have the set back rules for you. As far as the dirt floor, it is probably fine until you make a change then you will need to come up to code. Try contacting the environmental services dept of your county, they handle septics and wells and should be able to help you.

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Good point but the codes probably have changed since you bought, so what you have may be "legal" for now. Otherwise on most sales things need to be up to code upon sale of land/cabin, etc.

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I think each county regulates their laws for outhouses and the floor issue. But I think anytime type of outhouse or septic needs to be 100ys from lake shore.

This is what I've always heard, but honestly don't know if its law or not.

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Hammer go to the state Health Dept.They have all regs for you.They also have control over all waste systems including outhouses,I was refused one,they are trying to phasing them out.

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I checked with a friend of mine who works in the zoning dept

in the county i live in and she said it depends, most counties the outhouse has to be 100 yds from the lake, but again that may depend on the lake and township, but as a rule 100yds to be safe, in the grand fathered part i was always under the assumption that in order to sell the property the seller had to bring the property and house etc up to code and not the buyer

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What county are you in? I built my cabin nine years ago in Cook County. I don't have lakeshore but still had to have an outhouse inspection. What they were looking for is that I was at least three feet above the groundwater. I built on the highest point of the land. They told me they wanted to be able to stick a tape measure down and see that it came out dry. With all the rock in the ground there, I dug a hole three feet deep and pounded a sharpened barbell down until I had gotten done to six feet. As I assumed, I was well above any ground water but they wanted to inspect anyway. It took a few tries to be able to find a spot I could get the barbell past all the ledgerock and boulders.

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