Understanding a Few Options for an Alternative Septic System


A septic system typically flushes water and solid waste from a home's plumbing pipes to a type of tank, where the solid matter may settle and the liquid is then drained to a nearby leaching field. The inside of the tank may contain chemicals that help to break down this solid matter so it can be better drained from the tank, and the tank itself then needs cleaning out and emptying on a regular basis. While this is a very basic septic system, it's not your only choice for a septic tank. Note a few alternatives you might consider for when there is no available leaching field in your area or for cutting down on the waste that winds up in that field.

Aerobic tanks

An aerobic tank is one that introduces oxygen to the tank; oxygen can kill certain bacteria and can also allow liquids to dissipate. An aerobic septic tank will typically have a type of pipe or tubing that juts up from the middle and which is then connected to a pump that actively pushes air into the tank. In some cases, chlorination or another chemical treatment is also used with the oxidization in order to further break down solid materials and kill bacteria. The aerobic action itself produces no harmful chemicals or residue.

UV rays

Ultraviolet rays also kill bacteria and can help to break down solids in a septic tank. A lighting source is connected to the tank and chlorine might also be added for even more breaking down of waste. As with an aerobic tank, the UV rays in this type of tank are very safe and produce no harmful chemicals or residue. These are both eco-friendly options for septic systems.

Grey water systems

Grey water refers to water from a home's sinks and tubs that is not safe for drinking or cooking or other such reuse, but that can be used to flush toilets. One alternative septic system connects to the home's plumbing with two separate systems; the pipes from the tub and sinks are connected back to the toilet tank. The toilet then uses this water for flushing, and the waste from the home's toilets are the only waste to be connected to the septic system. Note that a grey water system usually involves a filter or chemical treatment such as chlorine so that the water deposited back into the toilet tanks is cleaner than when it's collected. This grey water system reduces the use of the septic tank and the amount of waste emptied into a leaching field.

For more information, talk to a professional like Biosystems 2000.


26 August 2016

Converting to composting toilets

We aren't on the main sewer line on our property and it's always been an issue getting the septic tank emptied in winter when the road gets muddy and trucks get bogged. As a result, we decided to switch to composting toilets in the home. It's been a great option to get our toileting waste minimised and to help the environment at the same time. It's a bit of an adjustment period when you move to a composting toilet so I thought I'd start a blog explaining the process. I hope it will be useful for other people who have septic tanks and are contemplating making the switch.