Conventional Septic Beds
Waste water from the house flows into the septic tank. The purpose of the tank is to hold the water long enough so that the solids can settle out.
About 50% of the
solids decompose in the tank. The sediment settles out on the bottom of the tank as
sludge. Lighter particles form a scum at the top. This process leaves a middle
layer of partially clarified water. An outlet baffle in the tank is positioned
to allow only this middle water layer to flow out of the tank and into the septic bed.
Both the sludge and the scum stay inside the tank.
The phosphorus and dissolved metals is partially bound by the soil. Nitrates and nutrients are consumed by naturally occurring bacteria. Bacteria and viruses are filtered by the soil or die off. This works only if the septic system was properly designed and is properly maintained.
Proper setbacks from the water must be respected. Bylaws and regulations are set so that the impacts on our environment is negligible.
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