Septic Tanks


What is a septic tank? 

A septic tank is typically an underground tank comprising of two or three chambers in which sewage is collected and allowed to partially break down (Anaerobic Decomposition) before it is discharge via a soakaway. However waste which has been treated by a treatment plant can be discharged to a watercourse.

If the septic tank is undersized the septic tank may not be able to break down all of the solids that enter the tank, these solids will be carried through into the soakaway forming a non-permeable seal thus preventing the effluent from soaking away. Over time this will considerably shorten the life span of the soakaway.

Surface water entering the septic tank can have the same effect as installing an under-sized tank. The septic tank would have been designed to manage the waste water of a set number or people so the additional volume created by surface water running into the septic tank can result in problems.

It is important when installing a septic tank to ensure that the tank is the correct size to deal with all the waste and potential storm water that it may be used for.

A Septic tank should be de-sludged and serviced every 12 months, Combined Services can offer ongoing maintenance on septic tanks after installation if you wish.

 

What size septic tank do I need?

At Complete Drainage we use the following calculation to ensure we always install the correct sized septic tank.

C = (180P + 2000)
C = Capacity of the tank in litres.
P = Population served (180 litres per person)

When we install a septic tank we try and abide by the following principles.
The septic tank and soakaway should not be sited within 10 meters of any ditch, drain or watercourse or preferably within 15 meters of any dwelling. Septic tanks and soakaways should not be installed in the vicinity of any well or bore hole. The minimum distance required will depend on specific site conditions.

 

Domestic Sewage Treatment Plants

 

Domestic sewage treatment plants are used in areas of the UK where mains drainage is inaccessible and provide a modern alternative to septic tank systems. Acting as an independent waste water treatment system, domestic sewage treatment plants are designed to receive all of the waste water from residential dwellings and promote the growth of Aerobic Micro-organisms which degrade the receiving waste water producing a treated effluent suitable for discharge to a natural watercourse.

Domestic sewage treatment plants will typically reduce the polluting load in the waste water by more than 95 percent, producing a clear and odourless effluent. In most instances this level of treatment will enable the effluent to be discharged to a ditch, stream or river after approval from the Environment Agency is sought for England and Wales, or SEPA in Scotland. Some sewage treatment plants provide a higher level of treatment for areas such as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) or RAMSAR Site.

There are various types of domestic sewage treatment plants available in the UK, but these all work on the same principle of developing Aerobic Micro-organisms which reduce the polluting load in the effluent, followed by settlement to remove any fine solids from the treated effluent. This treatment principle for waste water is the same as the principle used at main sewage treatment works for towns and cities, but on a reduced scale.

Domestic sewage treatment plants have been available throughout the UK since the early 1980's and are typically referred to as "packaged sewage treatment plants". Over the last ten years there have been substantial advances in the design and manufacture of domestic sewage treatment plants. This together with more stringent regulations has resulted in sewage treatment plants being the preferred option over septic tanks systems for the disposal of waste water for rural locations.

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