Home WORLD Water-Only Access Off-Grid Lake Cabin On a Small Lake

Water-Only Access Off-Grid Lake Cabin On a Small Lake

Last summer, we visited friends on a small lake north of Toronto where the underlying Canadian Shield (mostly granite with a thin layer of soil) meant roads would be prohibitively costly and the only way in was by boat.

source/image: Kirsten Dirksen

Surrounded by rock, trees and water, the home consists of a rather simple cabin and two tiny outbuildings for guests (one being a “bunkie”, tiny bunkhouse, in Ontario parlance).

Due to the granite floor, the plumbing and septic was reliant on the lake and composting. It begins with a pump in the lake bringing water into the home. Here it’s filtered by two sediment filters (of 20 and 5 micron), run through an active charcoal filter and treated with UV light before becoming drinking water for the home, as well as flowing through the kitchen sink and bathroom.

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Since the igneous rock under the home prevents any kind of septic, the house has a vacuum-flush toilet that sends the waste to a shed behind the home to be composted. This toilet is connected to lake water. The toilet in the backyard cabin uses the same vacuum-flush system, but the bowl is filled between flushes from a pitcher./Kirsten Dirksen