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Many buildings utilise a septic tank in order to treat sewage. The basic principle is to reduce the presence of any solids in the waste. They generally do not treat waste as efficiently as more modern methods, such as wastewater treatment plants.
In a standard tank design, sewage flows into the first chamber of the tank. Over time, sludge from the sewage settles at the bottom and scum floats to the top. Sludge is mostly bacteria and fecal matter, while scum consists of fats, grease and oil.
Effluent is what people call the watery component between the sludge and scum. The tank requires the emptying of sludge periodically. It is possible to drain the effluent into a drain field – which are generally underground. This is the fundamental design of a septic tank.
The design of the septic tank is relatively similar between types.
However, there are many variations. For example, some septic tanks are part of a domestic sewage system but operate alongside other forms – such as wastewater treatment plants. Wastewater treatment plants provide further treatment to reduce pollution.
People differentiate types of septic tanks by the design, or technological technique, they use or the material of which they are made.
The main materials people use to construct septic tanks are:
The most common material that people use in the construction of septic tanks is concrete. Concrete has many desirable characteristics for the treatment of sewage.
The advantages of a concrete tank include:
Concrete septic tanks are a durable and long-lasting design, they are also relatively simple to install because concrete is extremely durable. This durability also means that concrete tanks can withstand ongoing maintenance.
Plastic is another material that people use to manufacture septic tanks. Plastic tanks have advantages that can help facilitate effective sewage treatment.
These advantages include:
Opting for a plastic septic tank design provides a low-cost option that resists many environmental challenges. A lower cost and simpler construction process can make the undertaking of upgrades or maintenance on the tank more manageable.
The short answer is that there is no best. Drawing up a viable plan, depending on the land and surrounding areas groundwater level, is an essential first step. While concrete tanks are long-lasting they are expensive. Similarly, plastic tanks are cheaper but may require more maintenance.
If you need some assistance with the design on your septic tank installation, or you’d like to add a wastewater treatment plant, then don’t hesitate to contact us. With extensive experience across the UK we are experts in the field.
It is also possible that people looking to buy a property will consider the condition or design of the septic tank before making an offer. For more information on this you can read our guide on ‘Selling a House with a Septic Tank’ here.
Additional disadvantages of each include:
The choice depends on a person’s individual circumstances. There are also a few other less common materials that people use in septic tank design, such as steel or fiberglass.
There was also an older Victorian design using bricks, which was the standard in the UK at one point but now is not common and is largely obsolete.
Once the wastewater comes out from the building, the basic principle of a septic tank is fundamental to most constructions. However, there are some variations that can differentiate their designs.
One of the ways that basic septic tank designs can differ is in how many compartments they have. Every tank, by definition, has at least a single compartment.
However, some will have 2/3 compartments. Additional tanks provide more effective treatment. As a result a 2 tank septic system design will provide a higher purification level for the wastewater. Additionally, a 3 compartment septic tank design will provide an even higher level of purification than that.
These design variations are mostly in how the outlet distributes the wastewater. Sometimes these differences can be quite subtle. Examples of different septic tank drainage systems include:
Other examples of drainage system variations for septic designs include evapotranspiration, where the effluent is ventilated through soil, and a wetland system that imitates the environment of a natural swamp.
As you can see, there are many different types of septic tank design available. Each one has its own merits, depending on a person’s individual situation and needs.
To get started on your septic tank system get in touch with us today. Or, if you’re not sure where to start, feel free to view our services or contact us for some friendly advice.