Composting Septic System – Cost of Worm Farm Septic Tank Systems

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It may be out of necessity because you live in a rural and remote area or because you want to become more self-sufficient and live an eco-friendly life.

Whatever the reason, one aspect of your life where you may be looking to make changes is with the wastewater and sewage system you have in your home.

If it is not feasible to have a traditional system or you are looking for alternatives, one of the most popular right now is worm farm compost septic tanks.

Are they as good as they sound, though?

In the following post, we are going to look at them in greater detail.

What Is a Composting Septic Tank?

A composting septic tank is a sewage and wastewater management system that makes it easy to convert all organic waste, wastewater, and sewage into high-quality liquid fertiliser.

It essentially does the same job as the main sewage line, but processes the waste products and wastewater independently and is, therefore, a good option for homes that do not live close enough to the sewage line or have no access to it at all.

Many are put off by the upfront costs, however, while are quite high, it is still cheaper to install your composting septic tank than it is to connect a rural and remote home up to your main sewage line.

You also need to consider the fact that once it has been installed and set up, as long as you look after it properly and keep it in good working order, a septic tank will last a long time.

It is estimated that a well maintained composting septic tank can last approximately 30 to 50 years.

Cost of Worm Farm Septic System

As we have already noted above, the cost of a worm farm septic system represents a considerable investment.

The cost is something you will need to think about and determine if you have the budget available.

Before you write it off as too expensive though, here is the breakdown of the costs and what you are getting for the money you spend:

How Much Does the Composting Septic Tank Cost?

The cost of just the worm farm compost septic tank can be anything from $1,100 to $2,000.

That is a lot less than a composting toilet, but that is just for the tank itself and not the plumbing and installation costs (which composting toilets generally don’t need).

How Much is Installation?

The cost of installing and plumbing in a worm farm compost septic tank, however, is incredibly expensive.

You are looking at investing between $27,000 and $55.000 depending on the size and layout of the system you need for your property.

So, does that mean you should have a composting toilet instead or opt to connect to the main sewer line? Not necessarily.

The latter option is far more expensive than even installing an eco-friendly septic tank.

The former option of a compost toilet may be cheaper, but some may require water to work properly (not all), as do many worm farm compost septic tanks.

The septic tank system is an automated process, that makes it easier to maintain and keep running over a longer period than composting toilet systems. 

How Do Worm Farm Septic Systems Work?

In the simplest terms, everything is piped from the worm farm septic tank system into an active colony of compost worms.

That includes everything from clothes washer water and dishwasher water to bath, shower, and toilet water as well as the waste products that are found in these systems.

To look at, one worm is not something special and you might not understand the full potential they have or the appetite they have.

Worms can eat at the very least half their weight in food in a day.

When you have a fully active colony of compost worms, that’s several tonnes of critters all with that same voracious appetite.

Worms will eat just about anything, indiscriminately, which makes them perfect for a septic tank system.

A worm’s favourite food is bacteria.

They just love it and guess what, a sewage system is full of it.

Even the worst types of bacteria you can think of like enteric virus, salmonella and e-coli, compost worms will gobble it up.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, once that nasty bacterium has passed through the worm’s body and they produce their cast or waste product, the bacteria has been completely killed off.

Composting Toilet vs Worm Farm Composting Septic Tank System – Which Should You Get?

This is a difficult question and does not have just one right answer.

You need to consider your situation, lifestyle and budget when determining which is best between a worm farm compost septic system and composting toilet.

Composting toilets work by treating human waste under aerobic conditions.

On the one hand, a composting toilet is far more eco-friendly and does not cost as much to buy and install.

However, some use a lot more water to operate properly. Though most do not composting toilets do not and are actually known as “dry toilets” by some that don’t require flushing.

But the negative of that is that composting toilets smell bad at times, though this can be mitigated with organic materials like coconut coir, sawdust and peat moss or similar to cover the smell of human waste (by improving the carbon to nitrogen ratio).

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It also goes without saying that you should put down your toilet seat to avoid smelling your toilet wastes – especially, solid waste!

The money you save in the initial setup for a self contained composting toilet, a percentage of that will be lost in the ongoing running and maintenance of the composting toilet.

On the other hand, a worm farm septic tank system is much more expensive initially and not nearly as ecologically friendly. With that in mind read our review about Little Rotter worm farm right here.

One thing that it does have in its favor, though, is the fact that it is a dry waste system and does not need water to work, unlike some composting systems or sewer systems.

The hungry little compost worms do all the work for you and are almost completely self-sufficient.

The choice between compost toilets vs septic tanks is down to personal preference in the end. Both follow a composting process.


So, let’s summarize what we have discussed about a composting system for your home.

When it comes to comparing traditional septic tank systems to a worm farm septic tank system or even just a composting toilet, there are a lot of different factors you need to consider before you make the right decision.

You need to determine if you have the budget, but also if you would rather spend a lot of time maintaining the system or would rather use that time on something else.

With worm farm composting septic tanks, you don’t need to worry about constantly topping them up with water, or to flush toilets, or the cost of all that water consumption.

You just need to invest in a nice and thriving worm colony and then you will have a water system that is regularly cleaned of pathogenic organisms.

Both options are pretty environmentally friendly and, when emptied, the compost produced, you can dispose of back into the environment to help improve growth of your plants and provide more fertile soil.

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