- Last updated:
- 16 Dec 2018
This type of system is called an aerated wastewater treatment system. It's called an aerated wastewater treatment system because it relies on large volumes of air being pumped into the system and that air allows vast numbers of bacteria to grow and break down the solids within the wastewater.
All the water from your home will drain down to the treatment plant. The water will be treated into the treatment plant and as you can see it is not a very big footprint, it only takes up a small portion of the yard.
From the treatment plant, the wastewater will either be gravity fed or pumped to the land application area.
In the treatment plant, the wastewater will go through either three or four stage process. The wastewater enters the chamber and here we have our first major mechanical component, it's called a blower/aerator.
The blower/aerator pumps air into the wastewater and it is a very important part of the process. After the wastewater is aerated and churned up it needs to settle to let the solids settle out. That happens in this chamber. The solids settle out and there is clarification of the wastewater. In this chamber we should have nice clear effluent. From clarification, the effluent goes across to the chlorination chamber where the effluent is chlorinated to kill any pathogenic organisms that could harm the family. After chlorination, the effluent goes directly to a pump chamber where the effluent is pumped to the land application area.
It's a very simple and effective system and the best part about aerated wastewater treatment systems is that we get to reuse the wastewater on our garden areas.
As you can see aerated wastewater treatment systems offer a great solution as an on-site sewerage facility combined with an appropriate land application area.
However you must remember that these systems contain mechanical components. As we have discussed there is an aerator and a pump and there are also electrical components. These systems need to be kept clean and maintained. The garden areas also need to be maintained. So at the end of the day the best system in the world will not operate effectively unless it is properly maintained.
Every on-site sewerage facility will have one of these, this is called a land application area. A land application area is just a fancy name for somewhere to apply the wastewater from your home after it has been treated.
In this case we have a garden area planted with some shrubs to reuse the wastewater. You will notice that the land application area needs warning signs stating that; "Warning reclaimed water not for human contact/consumption".
You will notice that the drops coming from the sprinklers are quite large, this is to prevent the spray from misting and being breathed in, to make it safer for the inhabitants within the house.
The land application area will also need adequate maintenance. This one is in great condition but it is relatively new. What happens as land application areas get older, the trees grow and there is more shading and it is harder for the wastewater to be transpired to the atmosphere. So what we need to do is keep the area well mowed and the trees and shrubs clipped and pruned.
You will also notice that the sprinklers are well away from the boundaries so that they do not affect any neighbouring properties.
Fact sheets about maintaining your on-site sewerage facility are available on council's website.