Water & Waste

Scarcity of clean potable water is quickly becoming a serious issue in many countries around the world. The US and Canada have avoided the majority of these limitations and problems to -date due to abundant fresh water, but highly unsustainable water use patterns and the continued draw-down of major aquifers portent significant problems ahead. Can you envision a future whereby all buildings are designed to harvest enough water to meet the needs of occupants and water can be re-used and purified and re-used again?

Discussion Questions:

What are the different types of water and usage?


How is water used in a typical US household?

  • Drinking water
  • Water for bathing
  • Waste water
  • Water for yards/gardens

How much water does a typical US Household use?

How does water use vary in the US compared with international use?

Rainwater filtration system on our Tiny House

Because the Tiny House you’re building is going to be “off the grid” (meaning it won’t require any outside utilities for electricity or water or sewage), the house uses a rainwater collection and filtration system. Rainwater is collected from the roof, funneled to a tank, then filtered to be drinkable and pumped to the faucet and shower.  The water filtration system we are using for the Tiny House is called a Doulton RIF -10 water filter.

Water Filtration

Rainwater Catchment System

See this document for more information.

Composting Toilets

If the Tiny House is going to be off the grid, what do we do about sewer and waste? Our Tiny House will have a Nature’s Head Composting Toilet for sewer and waste treatment.  Watch this video to learn more.

Note: You can ignore the last two minutes of the video that are about a fan muffler

Tiny House Experts

Stefano Gagliano – Principal, LEED AP, RA and Beatty, Harvey, Coco (BHC) Architects, LLP; New York, NY 

Patrick Murphy – Mechanical Engineer with R.G. Vanderweil Engineers, LLP

Education: Bachelor and Master of Architectural Engineering



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