What is the difference between a septic tank and a sewage treatment system?
Septic tanks have for many years been the only option for properties with no connection to a mains sewer. The septic tank collects solids and oils in the sewage and discharges the untreated water content into a soakaway. As the water seeps through the ground, bacteria in the water is filtered out so that, in theory, by the time the water reaches a watercourse it presents no environmental or health hazard.
However, environmental concerns are resulting in stricter legislation and sewage treatment systems are becoming more popular.
In a sewage treatment system, wastewater and sewage are fed into a primary tank where the solids settle and the remaining liquor flows into a secondary biozone chamber. Here, a pump aerating the liquor encourages bacterial digestion of organic matter, which breaks it down and purifies it.
By the time the effluent water leave the third humus chamber it is 95% clean and suitable for discharge into a watercourse, ditch or land drain, subject to Environment Agency consent.
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