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Septic tank – design and procedures

In some parts of Australia, a septic tank will be sold with a PG warning.  Pretty grim. septic tank Loyd Khan has brought out an informative volume in which the septic tank procedures are unraveled.  In this clearly written and wittily illustrated guide the need for consideration at start-up is emphasized. The book also describes conventional septic systems powered by gravity flow, filtering through soil, and the natural soil organisms that biodegarde sewage. The book discusses maintenance, what to do if things go wrong, and alternative systems such as mounds and sand filters. Attention is given to graywater systems, composting toilets, and a unique history of water-borne waste disposal.

Septic tank

For many houses, water born sewage disposal is not an option.  The septic tank is a sub-surface sewage retaining vessel that serves several functions.  Water exiting the septic tank can hardly be described as treated, although it is relatively solids free.  In almost all cases, overflow from a septic tank will pass into a sub-surface drainage arrangement, often referred to as a french drain. Perhaps due to Anglo/French rivalry, it is generally assumed that the French drain was a continental innovation.  That might be so, but there is also an American origin.  Henry French, a lawyer by profession and part-time inventor made his mark with his 1859 publication - Farm Drainage. septic tank Here is an excerpt from this volume;

"In the year 1763, Elkington was left by his father in the possession of a farm called Prince-Thorp, in the parish of Stretton-upon-Dunsmore, and county of Warwick. The soil of this farm was so poor, and, in many places, so extremely wet, that it was the cause of rotting several hundreds of his sheep, which first induced him, if possible, to drain it. This he begun to do, in 1764, in a field of wet clay soil, rendered almost a swamp, or shaking bog, by the springs which issued from an adjoining bank of gravel and sand, and overflowed the surface of the ground below. To drain this field, which was of considerable extent, he cut a trench about four or five feet deep, a little below the upper side of the bog, where the wetness began to make its appearance; and, after proceeding with it in this direction and at this depth, he found it did not reach the principal body of subjacent water from which the evil arose. On perceiving this, he was at a loss how to proceed, when one of his servants came to the field with an iron crow, or bar, for the purpose of making holes for fixing sheep hurdles in an adjoining part of the farm, as represented on the plan. Having a suspicion that his drain was not deep enough, and desirous to know what strata lay under it, he took the iron bar, and having forced it down about four feet below the bottom of the trench, on pulling it out, to his astonishment, a great quantity of water burst up through the hole he had thus made, and ran along the drain. This led him to the knowledge, that wetness may be often produced by water confined farther below the surface of the ground than it was possible for the usual depth of drains to reach, and that an auger would be a useful instrument to apply in such cases. Thus, chance was the parent of this discovery, as she often is of other useful arts; and fortunate it is for society, when such accidents happen to those who have sense and judgment to avail themselves of hints thus fortuitously given. In this manner he soon accomplished the drainage of his whole farm, and rendered it so perfectly dry and sound, that none of his flock was ever after affected with disease."