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Handy Hints and FAQ’s

What is a Septic Tank?

A septic tank digests the solid waste from toilets, baths, kitchen and laundry. The liquid waste passes through the septic tank to be disposed of, or further treated prior to being discharged to effluent disposal fields.

ems Effluent Managment Systems LTD, Hastings, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

How much waste are we talking about?
People who have always lived the rural lifestyle will generally use between 60 -100 litres each per day, e.g. a three bedroom home with 6 people could use 600 litres/day x 365 days/year = 219,000 litres. City people used to all the mod cons, and who have never had to think where their water comes from or where there waste goes to, will use between 180-220 litres each per day. This means the same household could create 438,000 litres of liquid waste from their septic tank per year.

Where does it go?
Not down a convenient pipe the local council has provided that's for sure! It must be disposed of on your site, without causing a smell, without running into the neighbours pool or ending up near yours or somebody else's well. The effluent management system you choose above all must have long-term viability, not be a health risk and should be designed to meet your particular site requirements.

What systems are available?

  • Conventional septic tank
  • Conventional septic tank with filter
  • Small ones/Large ones
  • Two chamber systems
  • Three & four chamber systems
  • Home treatment plants (plenty in this category)
  • Sand filters
  • Low pressure-dosing systems
  • Systems using chlorine
  • Non-chlorinated options
  • Composting toilets
  • Electro loo'sz
  • Gray water systems
  • Black water systems

Prohibited operations and discharges of your septic tank

  • Any storm water, including roof and rainwater tank overflow and surface drainage waters.
  • Any back flush waters from a swimming pool or water softener.
  • Any discharge or back flush from a spa pool.
  • Any disposable napkin, clothing or plastic sheeting
  • Any trade waste.
  • Any petrol or other flammable or explosive substance whether solid liquid or gaseous.
  • Any disinfectant, antiseptic, germicide powder or any household cleaners that contain phosphates, chlorine, sodium.
  • Household products that do not clearly state on their label what they contain or how environmentally friendly they are, should be avoided.
  • Any other matter or substance which, in the opinion of the Local Authority would impair the effective working of a effluent tank.
  • Food waste disposal unit discharges
  • Spa baths with a capacity greater than 120 litres

Effluent Management Systems Ltd does not recommend the use of waste disposal units with effluent tanks.

As a septic tank or effluent tank is a living system that relies on a healthy bacteria population to breakdown and process all incoming solids it is advisable to carefully consider the above points.

     Effluent Management Systems Ltd
     6 Hazelwood St, Hastings, New Zealand
06 879 8022
06 879 8026


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