Waste Water Plants
Wastewater plants are secondary treatment systems and therefore better suited to sites with low groundwater, poor drainage or nearby waterways than septic tanks. They are easier to use than compost toilets, but a bit more sensitive than septic systems. They are probably the most common system used here, though there are minimum drainage and groundwater requirements that will rule them out for some sites, and they do require power.
- All systems require CONSTANT power for an air blower, and intermittent power for an irrigation pump. The amount required will vary between systems, but you will need to factor it into your power generation needs. If the blower stops running, the lack of aeration will change the composition of the microbes that runs the system, causing a very bad odour. It will return to normal sometime after the blower comes back on.
- Some systems are more automatic than others. Any form of automation usually relies on electronics – any fluctuations in your power supply and the damp weather damage them, so it is recommended you choose a system with as few electronics as possible.
- Wastewater needs to be dispersed through an underground dripper system, which will need to be a certain distance from drainage lines and any source of drinking water. The length of the dripper system will depend on soil type and drainage; though will generally not be as extensive as a septic system. Try to restrict trenching to cleared areas away from vegetation, as it will impact the surrounding vegetation.
- If the system gets higher use than it’s designed for, or if drainage is insufficient during a bad wet season, you may need to get the wastewater pumped out.
- MAINTENANCE: The system needs to be inspected every three months, costing between $320 and $560 p.a., depending on the service provider. If the system is not suited to your site or usage, you may need to get it pumped.