Eco-Toilet Savings Add Up

Good news is hard to come by these days, especially when we talk about large infrastructure projects with huge construction, operating, maintenance and repair costs.

But here is some really good news for residents and businesses in the proposed sewer area around Little Pond: the state has approved Falmouth’s Opt-Out for residents and businesses that switch their regular flush toilets to eco-toilets in that area. This means that those with eco-toilets do not have to hook up to the sewer, do not have to pay for betterments, and do not have to pay for any sewer fees.


How much of an incentive is that??

Between $22,820 and $37,840!

Here are the present estimates for annual savings over a 20-year period with a 0 to 5 percent interest range: 70 percent betterment per year of $641 to $1,242 plus hookup; $200-$325 plus sewer fees; $300 plus electric; and $0-25 equals $1,141 to $1,892 per year.

Those who take advantage of this huge cost saving opt-out option also avoid various other costs, which are not included in the above estimates, such as plumbing changes in and around their homes, grinder pump repairs and replacements, and landscape repairs, which Chatham residents, who have been dealing with sewer construction and large disruptions recently, say can be substantial.

Other advantages: 

• No worries about sewer fee increases, which will be significant in the near future.
• Water savings of up to 30 percent.
• Much fewer septic tank pumpouts, because most eco-toilets keep all human waste out of the septic tanks.
• Participation in the Falmouth eco-toilet demonstration project will pay up to $300 for one septic pumpout and up to $5,000 toward the cost of installing eco-toilets.
• Barnstable County Health Department has a 0 percent loan for anyone in Barnstable County who wants to switch from regular flush toilets to eco-toilets. So if the installation of eco-toilets costs more than $5,000, a 0 percent interest loan is available for the rest.
• No more bathroom odors! Yes, indeed, no more bathroom odors and no more flushing noises, no more toilet overflows and stoppages.
• Recovering the valuable nutrients in human waste, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
• This is a huge win, win, win for the residents and the environment. 

For more information on the eco-toilet incentive program, please contact technical liaison Sia Karplus at

Hilde Maingay
Common Way


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