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Your Complete Guide to Septic Systems

Septic tanks are a primary treatment system for wastewater, mostly used where there's no access to sewerage mains. They are watertight tanks, usually made of concrete or plastic, installed underground. But let us unpack this further for you…

101 Series Septic

For properties unable to access a sewerage connection, having a reliable and well-suited septic system is an absolute must. You rely on it to effectively handle the contents of your toilet, shower, bath, washing machine and dishwasher, and any issues will cause major inconvenience and be costly to fix.

Before you purchase an unserviced block, it’s a good idea to have a chat to your builder to get a rough idea on the type of costs and potential challenges you might face, to avoid any surprises. Our team have plenty of experience helping clients in rural, coastal and outer urban areas navigate the process of installing a septic system, so if you’d like site or location-specific advice, please get in touch with the Tasbuilt team.

So, how does a septic system work?

A septic system consists of a septic tank and a drainfield, or soil absorption field. The septic tank digests organic matter and separates floatable matter, for example oils and greases, and solids from wastewater.

There are three types of septic systems and the type you will need for your block of land will largely depend upon the recommendation or requirements from your local authorities and the soil engineer. The soil engineer will design a system that is suitable to the site, including the secondary treatment area.

Types of Septic Systems

Standard Septic System (Dual Purpose)

This septic system generally consists of an inground concrete or plastic tank in which all effluent passes into and is treated (primary treatment) by bacterial activity. The out flowing effluent is piped to a system of underground absorption trenches or soakage beds (secondary treatment). This septic system is usually used on larger sites at least 10,000m2 and sites with good soil absorption capacity.

Advanced Enviro – Septic System (AES)

This septic system is like the above standard system. However, the out flowing (primary treated) effluent is piped to a special underground sand bed and pipe system in which it is treated (secondary treatment). It can be used on smaller sites than the standard septic system and with poorer soil quality. This option is generally more expensive.

Aerated Wastewater Treatment System (AWTS)

The AWTS consists of a more complex (generally in ground) tank where the effluent is treated both at primary and secondary stage by use of a system of chambers, with air and chemicals added. The outflowing treated effluent, which is relatively clean water, can then be piped to a system of in-ground soakage beds, or alternatively can be used on gardens or lawns via a suitable watering system. These systems require power connections to operate and will require regular maintenance by an approved person at least quarterly. These systems are preferred by councils and engineers and are more suitable for smaller sites less than 5,000m2 or sites with poorer soil absorption qualities.

Cradle Mountain

That was your quick 101 guide to all things septic. While it may sound daunting and complicated… but we have an experienced team here at Tasbuilt Homes and we’re more than happy to conduct a free site inspection of your property to discuss services and connections, slope vegetation etc. Please reach out on 1800 639 310 – we’d love to help you start the journey towards your dream home!

And if you’re in the market for a septic tank, we highly recommend chatting to our fellow Tassie business, Orion Australia.

Orion Australia

If there’s anyone that knows the ins and outs of a septic system, it’s them!


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