Types of on-site sewerage facilities transcript
  • Last updated:
  • 12 Oct 2020

In this series of videos I will be talking to you about on-site sewerage facilities. On-site sewerage facilities are basically a mini sewerage treatment plant in your backyard and we all have a responsibility to ensure that they are working properly to protect both the health of your family and the community and also the health of the environment.

All properties that are not connected to a council sewer system, have to treat the wastewater on the property and to do this we use on-site sewerage facilities.

An on-site sewerage facility consists of two basic parts; a treatment plant to treat the wastewater and a land application area to dispose of the wastewater.

There are several different types of on-site sewerage facilities and it is worth learning a little bit about them as they all work differently and some properties are much better suited to some types of systems than others.

Septic tanks break down the wastewater using micro-organisms. These micro-organisms break down the wastewater into a layer that floats called a scum layer and a layer that sinks to the bottom of the tank called a sludge layer.

Septic tanks need to be monitored (pumped out) every three to five years to ensure that these layers do not become too large to effect the way that the tank works.

All on-site sewerage facilities require land on the property to dispose of the wastewater. These land application areas can be in a variety of forms. They can be trenches below the ground, or beds below the ground, they can be sprayed by irrigating the effluent above the ground or they can use sub-surface irrigation. But by whatever means, the water must remain within the property boundary.

Another on-site sewerage facility option is the use of composting toilets. Composting toilets are a great solution when you have a limited water supply available.

Aerated wastewater treatment systems are another option and provide the added benefit that the effluent can be irrigated and reused around the plants in a designated garden area.

Fact sheets about the various types of on-site sewerage facilities are available on council's website.