If you are not connected to a municipal sewage system, you probably have a septic tank like me. Otherwise, you are missing an essential component of wastewater treatment systems and may be using an outhouse toilet. I have noticed that the septic tanks I have seen around my neighborhood have two compartments, but I didn’t know why until I researched the topic.
Traditionally, septic systems contain single-compartment tanks, but it has become increasingly popular to use two-compartment tanks in recent years. Let’s go over the reasons why dual-compartment septic tanks have become so popular.
Better Solids Removal and Effluent Quality
One of the primary benefits of a two-compartment septic tank is improved solids management and effluent quality. In single-compartment tanks, there is still a risk of undecomposed solids spilling into the drainfield. With a second compartment, there is additional space which provides additional time for solids to settle and break down. This leads to clearer effluent flow and better protection of the drainfield. The vertical wall positioned two-thirds from the tank inlet (see picture) helps trap solids more effectively.
Reduced Maintenance Costs
Another advantage of two-compartment septic tanks is the reduced maintenance costs. The larger size of the tank means you need to do fewer pump-outs. Two-compartment tanks are usually 1500 gallons compared to 1000 gallons for a single-compartment tank.
Overflow of contaminated effluent from a single-compartment tank can end up in the drainfield. If the drainfield gets plugged, it can result in costly repairs, but a dual-compartment tank avoids these issues.
Efficient Use of Space
I don’t like that our septic tank takes up space in our backyard. In fact, I asked if you could have one under your house -don’t try. It turns out that, despite being slightly larger in size than single-compartment tanks, two-compartment tanks only require a little more space. The extra investment in space is well worth the long-term savings from reduced maintenance costs and improved drainfield protection.
In some towns, you don’t have the choice to install a single-compartment tank. The risk prevention offered by two-compartment septic tanks is so important that they require all new systems to use them. It’s important to check with your local government before installing a new septic tank to make sure you comply with any regulations.
In conclusion, two-compartment septic tanks offer several benefits over single-compartment tanks, including better solids removal and effluent quality, reduced maintenance costs, efficient use of space, and compliance with government requirements in some areas. Although slightly more expensive initially, the long-term savings and improved performance make it a worthwhile investment for homeowners.