Preppers You May Not Be Able to Do That in Your Backyard

Preppers Backyard

The following are just a few of the things that may require permission, or permits to do in your own backyard if you live within a municipality, city, or county that has certain residential codes, policies or laws enacted.


Did you realize that many states have regulations concerning backyard composting or composting in general? Typically, the regulations state no permit is required unless composting amounts reach a certain weight or cubic feet. If you plan to sell or give away composted material then the regulations do change however, so check first.

Certain waste such as solids, or human waste cannot be composted regardless of location without a permit and special facilities, in most cases. Therefore, before you begin composting human waste in your own backyard check with your city.

The composting site, which can be your backyard must not be offensive or create a nuisance or give off odor that some would find offensive according to some regulations.

Arkansas for example states: “Backyard composting and operations that compost less than 50 tons a year of yard trimmings, silvaculture and agricultural waste are exempted from permitting, but must give written notice to the department”. 

California states: “Agricultural sites that compost 2,500 to 10,000 cubic yards a year of municipal green material or sewage sludge must register with the state”.
“Agricultural composting operations that process more than 10,000 cubic yards per year of green material to sell or give away require a special standardized permit”.

Raising Chickens

“Ain’t Nobody here but us chickens” (by Alex Kramer and Joan Whitney, 1946), oh wait only if it is allowed in your community however.

Given the rise of the preparedness community, food safety issues, and the rise in food costs particularly eggs, people are turning to chickens, and some believe it or not, are finding out that not everyone loves chickens.

Most of the problems come from neighbors, who well, find that while they can cluck away about what a lousy neighbors you may be, chickens are not, however, allowed to cluck away where your neighbors can hear them.

The laws of course, vary by communities and cities. You may find that you can raise chickens, but only after you have met certain requirements. Typically, the number of chickens is regulated and the number is usually based on lot size. This seems to be a common theme throughout the country.

The laws are being challenged by homeowners, but some communities have an out when it comes to chickens because all they have to prove is that they are a public nuisance. A boilerplate clause when it comes to nuisance ordinances may include noise restrictions, manure handling, will the chickens and will their waste attract rodents, insects and spread diseases or create odor. Mostly all nonsense of course, but again your worst enemy may very well be your neighbors, and there are lawsuits ongoing about this very problem in some parts of the country.

Wind Turbines

If you purchase and have installed a wind turbine from a reputable dealer the safety and electrical code requirements for an electrical generating system will likely be met. The components to pass inspection by code enforcement typically have to meet the requirements under the National Electrical Code (NEC).

However, zone restrictions are another matter entirely. The system itself may meet certain electrical standards, but your property owners association or your neighbors, for example, may have a different view on the turbine sticking 20 feet up in the air.

You can even get in trouble for painting a playhouse and swing set the wrong color (apparently purple is not acceptable), in certain parts of the country, so you do have to check first and apply for and receive the proper permits if required.

Check the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) web site for additional information.

Make some phone calls before going through the expense of having one installed however. You do not want to do all of this only to find out there is an ordinance against wind turbines.

As stated earlier your neighbors may be the ones that object the most. If one gets it in their head you have obstructed their view, then you could find yourself in court regardless of the regulations.

Private Wells

According to the EPA they do have the authority to regulate public water systems, but do not regulate private drinking water wells. In other words a private well is not subject to EPA standards. However, certain state and local governments do regulate the use of private wells for drinking water (EPA, n.d.).

Most states leave the testing up to the homeowners, but you should check, and each state will have information on how to test, when you should test, and what to look for if your well is located in certain areas. Keep in mind if certain surface water sources have become contaminated, it may mean your well could become contaminated as well. The above listed website will have information pertaining to all states concerning private wells.

EPA. (n.d.). Retrieved 2015, from