How Do I Choose an Appropriate Onsite Wastewater
The basic requirement of an onsite wastewater system is a septic tank, a treatment unit, a filter, and a dispersal unit. Choosing an appropriate onsite wastewater system depends largely on the location of your property. If you are located on a slope or rocky area, then you have to ask a consultant engineer for assistance. Septic tanks are normally placed underground but if the work of installation is too costly, the consultant may suggest putting it above ground.
Septic tanks are watertight and covered. A leaking septic tank can bring contamination to nearby lakes and rivers because of harmful bacteria. The maintenance of this onsite wastewater system is your responsibility as the homeowner. You should look for ease of maintenance and if the design offers that, then it would save you expenditure in the near future.
One other thing to consider is gravity. The flow of wastewater normally should be from top to bottom. The layout of the treatment and filter unit should follow this flow. But if the surrounding area is too rocky and narrow, then pumps are needed. Another option is to get a combined unit that offers treatment as well as filtration. Treatment of wastewater is to blow air and mix it together with the wastewater.
Natural bacteria breaks down solids and cleaner wastewater will flow to the filtration unit. Sand or peat is used to filter out pollutants and trap suspended solids. Wastewater is then discharged into the surrounding soil. This basic principle applies for flat ground residences. The only difference is that the septic tank is hidden underground and accessible through a manhole.
Septic tanks separate out the solids from the liquids. The solid becomes sludge and after sometime, the tank needs to be cleaned out through the use of pumps. Over time, the treatment unit, sand or peat filters need to be changed or cleaned.
A study by consultant engineers is required for any choice of onsite wastewater systems. This is because of regulatory requirements. Each state may have different regulations and engineers are trained to advise you and submit the necessary documentation. But the one thing they do best is conduct a thorough site evaluation and design a suitable onsite wastewater system for you.
When I ask myself, How do I choose an appropriate onsite wastewater system?, the answer to that depends on my requirements. Consult with an expert to know your choices.
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