Long Drop Tips

If you have any creative tips or advice on how people can enhance their Long Drops please leave a comment below.

Here are some instructions on how to Make A Simple Composting Toilet, kindly provided by David Lee.

Here’s a pdf (2.8MB) version of the 1930 book ‘The Specialist‘ about long-drop building, kindly provided by John Groom.

23 Responses to Long Drop Tips

  1. Milton Kirkman says:

    Hi All,

    One tip to keep the odour down either a sprinkle of ashes or sawdust after every No.2. Ashes are the best. Good on the Kiwi Spirit! No-one has forgotten you guys!

    • Barbara says:

      Garden lime sprinkled on top every-time keeps things sweet….also we were told to keep the hole above the water table (if possible)…so that means relocating the loo around the garden every once in a while (again if possible).

  2. Renee says:

    Love you guys!!!! Put a smile on my face all the way from Ottawa Canada!!!!
    I can see a calendar in this… fund raiser…

  3. su mitchell says:

    Not so much a tip as an appeal.. the cash-strapped councils over here (UK) are planning to shut down the public toilets. How about you kiwis invade, take over the government, and set up your Long Drops, for the benefit of all of us?

  4. Carolyn says:

    I have an older style canvas toitet tent that I want to loan/give to someone.
    It can be collected from an address in Edgeware
    PH Carolyn 3277128

  5. VIP Pit toilets (ventilation Improved Pit) are being built all around the pacific by rural communities as a first step towards safe sanitation under guidance from Live and Learn Environmental Education Inc, health departments and other NGO’s. The design is very simple, we have a construction guide available if anyone is interested just email me at paul.lewthwaite@livelearn.org.

    The key feature not mentioned in tips so far is the Vent Pipe, it needs to be about 100mm diameter and extend straight from the pit to 500mm above the roof, put it on the sunny side and paint it black to improve the vent performance.

    Good on you all in CHCH who have got on with taking control of your own sanitation needs.
    Paul L

  6. sweetpea says:

    Another couple of tips from a regular long drop user.

    Leave the door open (if you have one) for added ventilation and light.

    Don’t keep the toilet lid down unless you like a seat wet with condensation.

  7. Karen says:

    For so many reasons I have never been prouder to be a Cantab and a Kiwi…….and this is yet another one.

  8. David Lee says:

    Hi guys

    This is a pdf download of my composting toilet setup, after watch the truckload of chemical toilets being off-loaded from Army trucks last week in CHCH.

    I was surprise CHCH went down the chemical toilet option, as it’s expensive and requires collection and off-side disposal.


  9. Nicola Williams, Auckland says:

    Wow, you guys are awesome!
    There is definitely a silver lining to this cloud.

    Keep up the awesomeness!

  10. Penelope says:

    All the photos bring back so many memories of my childhood and although it is sad to see you guys having to resort to these methods of sanitation you make me proud to be a Kiwi. The number 8 wire mentality is still strong in this wonderful part of NZ. Kia kaha to you and your loos!

  11. Peter says:

    Yes I agree. This number 8 fencing wire mentality is still alive and well. We need to take this to the next level now and make some of these concepts into an economically viable alternative. Bring back night soil?, treatment plants are mostly about separating the solids from the water and liquids, so why mix it in the first place??. We separate our rubbish here in Christchurch into waste , recyclables and green. So what about adding another bin for semi treated waste??. Food for thought, and saves having all these sewer pipes breaking and leaking around the place each time there is some form of natural disaster.

  12. craig daniel says:

    Nice work Kiwis….the beach umbrella made me smile awhile. We manufacture all the plastic components that are required for VIP toilets and also UD’s( urine diversion) this helps a lot to reduce smell. http://www.envirosan.co.za check us out for some ideas.

  13. Miranda says:

    Hi there, you guys should get the top 12 long drops and make into a calendar as a fundraiser for the earthquake appeal

  14. James says:

    These guys have been running workshops around the different recovery centres. Really good toilet design for the medium term. http://www.composttoilets.co.nz

  15. Doris says:

    Its 40 years since I used a long drop in the Haast. Was always scared of falling down because they were really deep. Good on you though.

  16. Doris says:

    50 years since I used one in the Haast Always made a fast trip

  17. The scariest long drops I’ve ever seen were on a nature reserve in Nova Scotia; they must have been dug out by a big 360 tracked machine. When you looked down the pan there was at least a 20 foot drop into an enormous cavern. Nasty!

  18. All hail the mighty Cantab spirit!

    Its really heartwarming seeing such creativity in the face of such adversity.

    A day with out an idea is a day wasted.

    I deal with (I’m an organic gardener) these guys who have an awesome product that uses effective microorganisms to digest waste byproducts which is really useful for compost and dealing with all the dog poo my Kelpie leaves lying around. It works for human waste too and I fully recommend it for what you guys are doing with your long drop toilets as its superb for keeping odour under control in those circumstances.

    I can’t see why the CCC has gone running around with chem toilets when a well set up composting loo will be the best option. Perhaps they’re worried about polluting the aquifers? I don’t know.

    But try the compostzing I have used it and I can say its very effective. zingbokashi.co.nz

    Steve Callagher

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