In recent years, the use of terms like sustainability, greener environment, and carbon footprint or carbon neutral have become increasingly common as people and companies look at ways in which they can have a more positive impact on the world around them.
Whilst many people will certainly have heard of septic tanks, there is less understanding not only around their use but also the role that they can play when it comes to sustainability. Getting rid of waste is, to put it simply, a necessity, and whether it is done with a septic tank or via the sewer it must be done. However, when done correctly, one of these methods is surprisingly greener than the other. One important thing to remember about septic tanks is that they need emptying from time to time, and it is important to use the services of a reputable company like SRP Hire Solutions to do this.
What is a septic tank?
Whilst the concept of a septic tank may seem alien to some people, it is in fact a relatively simple one. A septic tank is a sedimentation tank underwater that is utilised for wastewater treatment by means of biological decomposition and drainage. It makes use of proven technology and natural processes to treat wastewater products from a domestic or commercial situation.
A septic tank is relatively simple in design and is made up of a normally rectangular or round watertight container underground. They can be made from concrete, plastic or fiberglass. Inside the tank are compartments and usually a T-shaped outlet which is there to prevent scum and sludge from travelling into the drain field area. A septic tank system provides simple onsite sewage facilities (OSSF) – this is a basic treatment and is usually found where there is poor drainage or no connection to the mains sewage network. It is a means of allowing for the safe disposal of wastewater and excreta.
As might be expected, septic tanks require regular maintenance and also regular emptying. It is the responsibility of anyone who has a septic tank to ensure that there is no impact on the local environment from the septic tank. If the drain field becomes overloaded with too much liquid, it is likely to flood. This will cause a backup in sinks and toilets and can also result in sewage flowing to the ground surface.
How are septic tanks better for the environment?
The waste in a septic tank goes through an anaerobic process. This means that bacteria is used to break down the organic material in the sewage. Once this has taken place, the clean water is allowed to seep into an aquifer and then into the groundwater. This means that as well as eliminating waste, a septic tank can recycle water and naturally replenish the water table. This is good for the surrounding environment and wildlife.
The design, installation, and even the maintenance of a septic tank is also much lower than the cost of a public sewage system and a well-maintained septic tank can last between 20 – 40 years. They are as reliable as a sampler for stormwater.
People might be wondering what happens to the “solid” matter that remains in the tank. This needs to be pumped out to empty the tank, and depending on the size of the tank and its usage, the timeframe for doing this will vary. This waste can be added to household mains sewage at a sewage plant for treatment. Thanks to scientific research, there is another use for this waste. It can be used to produce greener energy sources.