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For those building a home, or moving to somewhere more ‘off the grid’ than usual, you might need to consider where your wastewater and sewage will go and how it will be processed. It’s possible that the closest sewer system is too far away or just not feasible financially. You have three options in these cases: cesspools, septic tanks and sewage treatment plants (STP).
A cesspool, a septic tank and a sewage treatment plant are all used to get rid of wastewater. However, the main difference between these three types is how they treat this waste.
A cesspool is nothing more than a large storage tank. These pits do not process solid wastes. It only has one pipe connection, so all waste from the property flows into it and remains there until removed by a sewage disposal professional. This removal process needs to be carried out every few months, depending on the cesspool’s capacity and how many people are using it.
Over time sludge builds up in this type of holding system which requires regular removal to prevent contamination of groundwater below your home with harmful bacteria.
A septic tank, unlike a cesspool, has two pipe connections, one for the inlet and another for the outlet to ensure that there are no blockages. The baffles job inside the primary chamber is to hold back any solids until they settle. At this point, the effluent enters a secondary chamber where liquid waste can flow out unhindered. This occurs through a soakaway onto gravel beds via perforated pipes before being filtered out through soil layers.
This kind of tank still needs to be regularly emptied by a tanker but less often than a simple cesspool as some of the effluent is discharged during the treatment process.
Sewage Treatment Plants
A sewage treatment plant, like a septic tank, has an inlet point and an outlet point. It also has two internal chambers. The primary chamber will store the waste coming from the property before it moves to the secondary chamber for the actual treatment. Oxygen is introduced which boosts natural bacteria that break down solids at increased rates within the secondary chamber.
Once the sewage has been treated, it’s discharged into a soakaway. If the quality of this discharged effluent is high enough to cause no damage to the environment, it may be discharged to a watercourse.
A sewage treatment plant will still need to be emptied but, as the treatment process is more effective in this kind of plant, it may only need to be emptied every 12-18 months.
More and more people are choosing to build their dream home in the countryside as cities across the world are becoming increasingly crowded. This trend will continue as the population increases. Therefore, it is important homeowners and home builders understand what sewage systems exist on today’s market so they can choose which system best suits their needs.
Take a look at our PuraTank range of waste treatment tanks and give us a call if you need to discuss which option is best for your property.