Dry Composting Septic Tanks or Chambers

Dry Composting Septic Tanks / Chambers

Under the draft programme for government agreed on the 14th of June 2007
Agreed between the Green Party and Fianna Fail

“Introduce a scheme of support for the replacement and upgrade of septic tanks older than 15 years with newer systems.”

The following are your choices

Solid Separation



The tank contents are always flooded. Composting chamber is self-draining.
No air gets into the flooded tank. The contents remain fully drained.
There is no oxygen in the septic tank. The contents are fully aerated.
The septic tank, therefore produces bad smells of ammonia and rotten eggs. It smells of compost only, like the floor of a forest. There are no bad smells.
It must be emptied every 1 to 2 years. Compost is emptied every 3 to 5 years.
There are high costs for proper sludge disposal. It produces safe compost at no cost.
Sludge removal costs will rise in future. Costs are €250 approx at present, rising to €500 or greater in future. There will be no disposal costs because no sludge is produced. There are no moving parts requiring maintenance.
Councils may well begin to charge taxes for inspecting and managing septic tanks. There is no reason to expect your local authority to charge householders for making compost.
The septic tank sludge contains millions of harmful bacteria & needs special handling and management. The finished dry compost contains no harmful bacteria, and is safe to handle, assuming a long composting period.
Septic tank sludge poses a public health threat. Compost is a safe material for flowers.
Septic tank effluent produces a very high number of harmful bacteria. Composting chamber effluent poses a less concentrated bacterial count.
Septic tanks produce a biologically harmful sludge waste. The Herr faecal composting system creates a safe resource for gardening.
Untreated Septic Tank effluent can threaten local group water schemes and wells because of the mixing of flush water and faeces. Separating faeces from water as quickly as possible is an important first step in minimising threats to rivers, lakes and safe water supplies.
Septic tanks have little to offer to sustainable agriculture due to high harmful bacteria threat and the problem over time from heavy metals. Compost from Herr System has no harmful bacteria or heavy metals and therefore will be increasingly used in future for sustainable agriculture.
Not all Local Authorities have the treatment capacity to manage all the sludge from their county. Much sludge, therefore is still being spread on fields. The Herr composting system does not require any expensive additional local authority treatment, management, or intervention.
Sewage sludge is difficult to manage and expensive to make completely safe. Complete heavy metal removal is the greatest unsolved problem for municipal and septic tank sludge. Long period composting of faeces is safe for agriculture, low-cost and reliable. Ultimately, like the concept of Zero Waste- this will be seen by Government as sustainable and environmentally responsible.


faecal-matter-separatorThe photograph shows the faecal composting system

  • Using no moving parts.
  • The faeces and toilet paper are separated from flush water.
  • The wet faeces and toilet paper are dropped into one of two chambers and is fully composted by earthworms over the following three to five years.
  • The separated waste water goes on for further treatment in the reed beds.