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Self Contained VS Split Systems

Researching different types of composting toilets means learning the jargon. If you’ve contacted us regarding our composting toilet systems, you may have heard our staff refer to a split or self-contained system. These are the two main categories to filter composting toilets on our website, and it’s the quickest way to narrow down a set of options to meet your requirements.

So, what do these categories mean? What’s the difference between them, and how do you know which one is right for you?

What's a Split System?

Our split systems easily include some of our most popular composting toilets. As the name suggests, the toilet is in two parts: the pedestal in the bathroom and the compost chamber located below the floor connected by a waste chute. A split system will always require underfloor clearance (minimum space varies depending on the model); for example, we don’t usually recommend these for anyone building on a concrete slab.

One of the benefits of a split system is that the waste is kept entirely out of your bathroom, so there is no transporting waste (composting or incinerated) through your house. Also, as the chambers sit under the floor they are much larger, resulting in a more efficient composting process and easier maintenance.

A variation of our split system is our continuous composting tanks that sit below the pedestal in the bathroom but work just a little differently from the usual batch systems: you can read more about them here.

Installed Clivus Multrum High Profile (CMHP) chambers underneath a house
Clivus Multrum™ High Profile (CM HP) chambers sitting under the bathroom

What's a Self-Contained System?

Installed Separett Tiny® inside a bathroom
Separett Tiny® installed inside a bathroom

A self-contained unit is just that; everything contained within the pedestal. These units tend to be much smaller than the split systems but can fit easily into most spaces, especially when space is a precious commodity.

We recommend self-contained units when no underfloor clearance is available, so everything is contained within the pedestal in your bathroom; they are also ideal for caravans and RV homes where your underfloor clearance is the road beneath you.

Chambers are limited to the dimensions of the pedestal, which is why they tend to be smaller than split systems. But with careful consideration, these can be just as effective as long-term solutions for small households.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Ecoflo Wastewater Management acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of this Country. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today. 




Ecoflo was the first company in Australia to sell composting toilets certified to the rigorous quality testing of Australian Standards. If you want to be certain your composting toilet has adequate capacity and is safe, you need a waterless composting toilet certified to the tough performance criteria of AS/NZS 1546.2:2008.

Shop our range of certified toilets here