DIY backyard doggie dooley/septic tank

DIY backyard doggie dooley/septic tank – no more poop in the garbage can

DIY doggy septic tank

Bought an old, in-city house in January (lots more DIY projects to come), and got a dog in March. Big dog plus small city lot made for a stinky back yard, and my three teenage children are too busy catching Pokémon to keep the lawn clean. Since I'm not one to ask my kids to do anything they don't want to, and want to make sure they are coddled well into middle age, I decided to find a better method for handling dog poop.

A quick internet search revealed the doggy dooley, and a little more internetting revealed a couple of DIY versions that were the inspiration for the job.

Step one: dig a big hole

I found a 55 gallon barrel on CL for $20. I placed the lid on the ground to figure out where it should go, and then used a shovel to dig a giant hole. I wanted the barrel to be below grade, so the hole needed to be about 5' deep. Fortunately, my teens slept in late, so they didn't have to worry about doing any of the digging.

We have great soil here. Virtually no rocks and the hole doesn't collapse in on itself even at 4' and 5' deep.
We're going to need a bigger hole.

[insert joke here]
Drilling weep holes

Used a drill and 1/4" bit to drill a few dozen holes in the sides. These holes allow water in from the upper soil to mix with the effluent at the bottom. I did this just before noon and the teens were still in bed, so I didn't have to take a break to put sun screen on their delicate shoulders. #winning
Holey buckets

Obligatory dad joke
Almost deep enough

This is a good time to point out that I put the barrel in upside down without the lid. The bottom is wide open to the soil below. This is what will allow the effluent to break down and leach back into the earth from whence all things come. All things, except teenagers, who come from heaven and are like angels roaming around us.
Irrigation control access pod

The opening took a little bit of thought and creativity. I wanted the opening to be too small for a child to fall in, but big enough to use a standard shovel as a poop scooper. It also needed to be able to withstand the abuse from a lawnmower or weed wacker, and ideally could be easily replaced if it broke.

My first thought was a large (like 8") PVC pipe and cap. But the local big box hardware store didn't have anything large enough. I wandered into the landscape section and found these NDS irrigation control boxes. Perfect! No modification required, and this one only cost me $11.

Marking the top

I made two rings. The inside ring is the guide for cutting a round hole in the barrel. The outside ring is where the base of the irrigation control pod will sit. The next picture will show how this worked.

The teens were up and eating breakfast by this point, which they took to their rooms so the noise from the jig saw didn't bother them. That's good because they only had 8 hours of mid-summer daylight left and I didn't want to ruin any of it with my project.

Cutting the top

I used the neighbor's jig saw with a metal blade and that thing cut through the steel like butter.
Top hole with radial cuts

The radial cuts go from the hole to the edge of the larger ring. Next, I bent these up using a set of channel locks.

The result is a flange that seats the irrigation control pod in the center of the barrel. It won't slide around. The pod is tapered, so the backfilled dirt will hold it down against the top of the barrel.
Looking like a radioactive waste site

Oops, forgot to take a pic, but I added gravel to the bottom of the pot before installing the irrigation control pod. The gravel creates a drainage bed.
Starting to backfill

I added soil around the barrel first to secure it in place. Then started adding soil to the top of the barrel.
Finished product

Here it is. It needs a septic starter to begin the process of bacterial breakdown, and we've ordered the starter from online. And the grass needs to be reseeded, but that's another project for another day.

The lid is great. It twists into a semi-locked position and can easily be opened and closed. The yard is presently free of all dog poop, and the smell and flies are quickly dissipating.

I also figured that, worst case scenario, if it doesn't work as a septic tank and just fills up with 55 gallons of poop, I can pull the irrigation control pod and cover the whole thing under a foot of soil.

Best of all, I have three teens who never have to suffer the degrading injustice of picking up dog poop with a little bag again. #lifegoals

Project costs:
Barrel $20
NDS irrigation control box $11
Septic starter $12
Total: $43
For the gravel bed, I used material I had from another project.

Drill with 1/4" bit
Jigsaw with metal blade
Channel locks

Source : jbh425 from Reddit