Comparing Two Options for Septic Tanks

by Fern Devito | Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 | 532 views

photo of a septic tankWastewater systems such as septic tanks play a crucial role in maintaining the health of New Zealanders and the environment. Leaky, damaged or poorly maintained ones can be harmful. They can allow harmful bacteria to penetrate homes. Also, they can pollute the environment.

These systems can last for many years, but when they become inefficient, it may be necessary to look for a replacement. Two options are passive and standard septic systems.

What Is a Passive System?

If you’re buying a new septic tank, one of the solutions that you can choose is the passive system. This is different from the standard method, which you will learn later.

In hindsight, the system separates two types of water called grey and black water. The latter refers to solids and fluids that come from the toilet. This mechanism begins very early in the treatment process. The solids proceed to a different pathway, where it becomes humus. The fluids then move on to more levels of filtration and treatment.

This system is considered passive since it allows only natural processes to take place, it treats the water, and it decomposes the biomaterials. It doesn’t require any power, so it promotes savings and easy maintenance.

What Is a Standard Septic Tank?

Currently, most of the houses in New Zealand have the standard septic tank system. Like the passive method, it separates the various components of wastewater. These include solids or sludge, which sink to the bottom, and the scum, which floats above the surface. The middle part is what ends up in the drainage or soakage fields. Those that undergo a more advanced treatment process might end up much closer to the soil surface, where evaporation can speed up the waste removal.

Because it’s popular, its mechanism may be much easier to understand. However, it does have some challenges. You need to make sure your that soakage field is capable of absorbing the fluids. Also, because the sludge stays at the bottom, it might require pumping every three years.

A septic tank is a crucial part of the home, so choose wisely. When in doubt, you can always ask experts such as contractors to help you decide.

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