Treating Wastewater From Your Home Or Building Through Public Sewer Or A Septic System

Posted on: 9 June 2016

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The two most common forms of wastewater treatment options for residential and commercial buildings are septic systems and an attachment to the public sewer system. In septic systems, the sewage is contained within the property until such time the waste is removed through a septic system pumping. The liquid waste filters through the system, slowly going back into the groundwater after being filtered by soil and rocks. In the public sewer system, the wastewater coming out of the residential or business property is transported through a series of pipes to the closest wastewater treatment plant. Both methods work well in removing sewage from the water supply so that it can return back into the water cycle. 

Septic Systems are More Common in Rural Areas

A septic system is self containing, and works by collecting all of the wastewater from a building into an enclosed septic tank. Solid waste settles to the bottom of the tank, while liquid waste is transported out of the tank through a pipe to the leech field. In this field, the liquid waste slowly leeches out of the perforated pipe, seeping down into the soil beneath.  This is buried deep in your yard, and the wastewater slowly seeps back into the ground water supply.

Sewer Systems are in More Urban Areas

In areas with large apartment buildings and plenty of homes, it's impractical for every building to have their own septic system. An area with a public sewer system relies on a complex series of pipes that brings sewage from every building all the way to a water treatment plant. In general, gravity works best, and pipes are set at a small decline in order to transport wastewater from one home to another. 

Much like a septic system, treating the wastewater begins by separating the liquid from the solid materials at a wastewater treatment plant. The wastewater arrives at the plant through an extensive series of pipes that make up the public sewage system. The first treatment is the primary treatment, which removes about half of the solids and bacteria from the wastewater. It is possible for a treatment plant then simply chlorinate the water that remains to kill bacteria that are left and discharge the water into the system. The water can go through a secondary treatment, which is done in an aeration tank. Bacteria takes care of up to 90% of what remains in the water after the first treatment. The water is then left to settle, and the bacteria settles out of the water.

To learn more, contact a water treatment center like Waterman911.