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.
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
- 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
- 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.