How to Install a DIY Rainwater-Flushing Toilet System (Video)

Rainwater flowing from a down spout into a rain barrel covered with a mesh filter

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From safe and legal greywater recycling to urban humanure toilets, we've featured plenty of DIY plumbing aimed at more efficient water use.

But this DIY rainwater flushing toilet from the UK is about as low-tech and effective as it gets. Using an upstairs balcony to house a barrel cistern; a simple gauze filter system; some charcoal for purification, and then some gravity-fed piping to a downstairs toilet cistern, the system automatically feeds the toilet cistern with rainwater whenever it's available. When rainwater runs out, the homeowners simply switch back to the mains water.

Simple, huh?