About The Toilet Zone

From the powder room to the porcelain throne, at home and when traveling, we speak about the unspeakable: the flush, the stink, cleanliness, plumbing, and design.

History of The Toilet Zone

The Toilet Zone is run by two siblings that each offer their years of expertise in different areas: septic systems, toilets, bathroom remodels, DIY and home safety questions. Having grown up large family in rural Minnesota surrounded by dairy farms, we lived just out of town on a small plot of land that had a well for drinking water and a septic tank. We were taught to help out around the house from a very young age and each had chores.

For our father, who grew up in the depression era, being frugal and self-sufficient was just part of life and came as second nature. His parents, our grandparents, were farmers that raised 10 kids and grew all their own food. Our grandmother made all of her own cleaning supplies using simple products that she bought at the general store in town: borax, washing soda, lye, etc. rather than buying store bought cleaning products like Lysol or Comet.

While our father was the first in his family to finish high school, he (and our mother) both went on to get their PhD’s and both taught at a local college. Since they both worked full-time, we were just expected to help doing DIY projects and cleaning the house.

When we were growing up we lived in a toxic free house since our mother just continued as our grandmother did, we used natural cleaning products and grew an organic garden (even though we didn’t use the word “organic” – it was just  “the garden”. We drank well water and had a septic tank.

Since our parents were both teachers and had summers off, they hauled the whole family up to northern Minnesota to spend our vacation at a cabin on a lake near Canada.  For the first two decades we didn’t have indoor toilets so grew up using an outhouse. We later upgraded to a composting toilet. We tried different models and fine tuned the composting cover material we used. 

Finally, years later we built a septic system with a flush toilet.  Over the years we learned our fair share about different kinds of toilets and the challenges of a large family living off the city sewer system.

We started this blog by sharing bits and pieces about installing a septic system, recommendations on septic-safe products and some small household projects we were working on. Since the beginning, the blog has grown and we have expanded our scope. Our main focus is still how to maintain a septic system and keep a clean and toxic-free home without relying on harsh chemicals.  We also talk about the bathroom itself, and how to maintain it.

We hope you find our site useful. If there are any topics you’d like us to cover or questions we could answer please let us know. No question is too dirty or stinky!

Why The Toilet Zone?

This is one of the most common questions we get and rightly so…why would anyone have a site all about toilets and why the name?

Growing up in the 60s and 70s, we were all huge fans of the quirky tv show The Twilight Zone and the host Rod Sterling. The name for this site was a play on words…it was kind of a weird show and a lot of our friends and family thought we were pretty weird for writing all about toilets…so the name started out as a joke but has grown into a serious website…

Who we are:

Mary: I live in a rural area near where I grew up. While I do live a modern lifestyle and my day job keeps me in front of a screen all day, I do try to live a simply. I love to cook and bake and still use the same recipes my grandmother did. I make all my own soaps and cleaning products and try to keep our home as toxic free as possible while using simple ingredients that have worked for generations. I love to research products and test them out for our readers as well as pass on useful information that people can use.

Matt: I live on a small hobby farm raising Australorp chickens and other animals. I still grow a huge garden in the summer and can vegetables for the winter. My day job is in excavation, digging sewer trenches, basements and building foundations for homes. I’ve also dug and installed many septic tanks and water wells. I’m not an expert carpenter but do a fair bit of project work around the house. On the site, I offer my experience working with septic systems and well water.  

You can contact us here.