Utah County paves the way for more outhouses

UTAH COUNTY, Utah – Outhouses in the outdoors -- more of them could be popping up in Utah County.

Whether you’re spending the day at Sandy Beach on Utah Lake or exploring American Fork Canyon, you could soon take advantage of an added amenity – an outhouse.

“The summer recreation season is starting and there is a need in a couple of specific areas right now,” said Ralph Clegg, Executive Director for the Utah County Health Department.

He says outhouses aren’t anything new.

“There's hundreds maybe even thousands of privies across the state. You find them in Boy Scout camps, Girl Scout camps areas like that," said Clegg.

But there are recreational areas where it’s just not practical to have anything else.

“Because number one there's not water available and they need the water to operate and two, they're too close to some water sources,” said Clegg.

In order for the county to bring more outhouses on the line in these areas, they have to tweak the law enacted in the 1950’s.

“Currently, under state law there's a provision to allow for both vaulted privies and for earthen privies," said Clegg.

Health leaders would only allow for vaulted privies which have a cement wall. Earthen privies, essentially a hole in the ground, would not be allowed.

“This regulation just gives us the opportunity to make sure they're structured properly, installed properly. We're inspecting them and we're taking care of them properly,” said Clegg.

If the plan is approved, the outhouses could come online in June. The public can weigh in at a meeting with health leaders on May 22nd.