Installing A Waste Water Treatment System

So you are considering installing a wastewater treatment system?
If you are currently living or about to move to an area which is not connected to a reticulated sewerage system, this page is relevant for you.

The following information will aid you in the steps to take before installing a wastewater treatment system.

Depending on the location of your property and local requirements it may prove useful to visit your council to discuss any regulations that could apply to your installation. Before you can begin any work on an installation you will need to apply for approval from your council. One of the primary components of your application will be the results of your site and soil evaluation.

As the site and soil evaluation can require a reasonably technical analysis you may be required to consult with a geological or hydraulic engineer to aid in this process. A site and soil inspection will inform the suitability of the various options available based on certain criteria:

  • Size of property – a larger property will have more treatment options available because there is less of a chance of partially treated effluent from escaping onto neighbouring properties
  • Slope of land – properties on a slope may require higher levels of treatment performance
  • Nature of soil – as some soils are better than others at absorbing the effluent this will also influence the type of system which is suitable
  • Level of rainfall – areas which are prone to a high levels of rainfall may rule the use of systems that require absorption trenches
  • Closeness of waterways or catchments – this influences the environmental sensitivity of your property and may require the installation of a system capable of removing nutrients
  • Height of water table

After performing the above two steps, you will have a good idea of what type of system is suitable for your circumstances. If your site requires your effluent to be treated to a high standard, the installation of a septic tank may be not sufficient. To guarantee high treatment performance levels the installation of an aerobic system may be the best way forward. As part of your application to council, you will need to have selected your treatment system as this needs to be nominated on your application form. If council has already specified that your site requires an aerated treated system you will then need to decide which one to choose. Your choice of system is arguably the most important part of this process because the system you choose will be a fixture of your home for upwards of 15 years. However this can be a very difficult choice given the number of options available but the relative lack of information available to aid in your decision making.

Once you have made your decision on which treatment system is most suitable for you, you can then submit your application for council approval.