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According to an article headlined (by B. Bryne), which has shown up in several web locations, Alaska leads the nation in the number of outhouses (per person). In fact, 12% of  Alaskans interviewed in the 1990 Census had  three times more than any other state. Next was West Virginia at about four and a half percent. Unfortunately, the last two decennial Census surveys didn’t continue to check on septic system with their questioning!

Yet in the 2014 American Community Survey (known as the ACS), almost a half million citizens lacked complete plumbing facilities. This survey offsets the Census, which is taken at the beginning of each decade and has a somewhat different sampling method. The latest ACS found that Alaska leads in the percentage of people without running water; in fact, 3.8% of our state’s residents go without.

The Census and ACS look at the U.S.  But for a worldwide perspective, almost 950 million people are without an indoor toilet. One option to an outhouse for Alaskans (that have access to 110v electricity) is to check into composting toilets. The small bit of electricity is usually used to operate a dryer and small fan for ventilation in the decay vault. While there are samples of homemade experiments on YouTube, you can buy a fiberglass, manufactured unit for around a couple thousand dollars.  These units have about a quarter century of success and are used in Scandinavia, Alaska, and Canada due to compromised soils that make septic field placement difficult!

If you are interested in outhouse construction, give me a ring at 474-6366 and I can relay unto you what I have collected. (There may be a  future publication on outhouse construction/considerations …).

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