Understanding The Different Waste Water Systems And How They Work

Water is a precious commodity that should be conserved at every turn. Unfortunately, a lot of reusable water goes down the drain daily, thanks to domestic processes such as cooking, dishwashing, clothes washing, bathing, toilet flushing, hand washing and gardening. While all these water uses are important, a lot can be done to recycle most of this water and reduce the waste. Below, find a list of the most common waste water systems that you can use at home to achieve this.

Septic tanks

Septic tanks are the most common waste water systems in use. They are especially prevalent in rural areas where there is no connectivity to a government sewer system. These tanks work in the following way. First, the solid matter settles at the bottom of the tank, thanks to sedimentation. At the same time, the waste water is broken down slowly in absence of air (anaerobic action). The decanted waste water then flows into a separate compartment, leaving most of the solid matter behind. Here, it is decanted further as it continues to be broken down through anaerobic action. Finally, the treated clear grey water is released into a leach field nearby.

Aeration systems

These systems work in a similar manner to septic tanks. However, they offer an extra and improved way of breaking the waste down by using air (aerobic action). First, the waste is passed through a tank where it is decanted, allowing the solid wastes to settle at the bottom. In here, the waste water also goes through anaerobic action as well. The semi-treated waste is then passed into a different chamber where air is pumped through the water to enable aerobic action to take place. Aerobic action breaks down the waste water even further than anaerobic action can. Finally, the treated waste is released into a drain field.

Organic systems

Organic waste water systems are somewhat improved aeration systems. As opposed to just using air to encourage aerobic action, they also incorporate worms inside the waste tanks. The worms improve the speed and efficiency of the treatment process by digesting and breaking down the solid wastes and then releasing the resultant gases into the air. These systems can handle additional organic wastes such as vegetables and compost as well. In addition to that, most organic waste water systems are self-sufficient and do not need emptying.

Filtration systems

A number of waste systems utilize filtration to treat domestic gry water. One such system is the reed bed which contains sand and reeds. The sand acts as a filtration material, trapping solid wastes in the flowing water. The reeds, in turn, extract microbial solid wastes and nutrients from the waste water. The reed bed is highly effective and water from this system can be used outdoors for gardening and indoors for toilet flushing and clothes washing.

In addition to the above, grey water reused indoors should be disinfected before indoor use. This is done through application of chlorine or UV treatment. For more information on waste water systems, contact a waste water company, such as Econocycle.