Life in the Countryside

Sewage Treatment Plant

So back in winter we had some problems with our septic tank. A septic tank that is the appropriate size for the property (which ours is) should need emptying once a year. Ours was emptied over the summer and it needed doing again before Christmas, a bit early but then it had been raining a lot so we didn’t think too much of it. But then it needed doing again a month later which sent alarm bells ringing. Now as I think I’ve explained before our septic tank had a soak-away attached. A soak-away is basically a big pit of gravel where the waste water drains into and it then trickles down the gravel and disperses into the ground. However, a soak-away can fail if it anything other than liquid gets into it. The liquid will then fail to drain and the septic tank will become backed up and filled with water. This is what had happened with our system. A soak-away is not a perfect system and most end up failing at some point. In fact nowadays they aren’t installed anymore and instead you require a sewage treatment plant instead. This will filter the waste water before draining it into a ditch. As our soak-away was failing we took the plunge back in spring and had a sewage treatment plant installed. Unfortunately this coincided with my being home with tonsillitis for the first part of the week and having a digger digging up your garden to lay new piping is not exactly conducive to resting. In order to install the new plant they had to dig up and remove our old septic tank, install the new sewage treatment plant and then dig up and place pipes to run the treated clean water into a ditch.

A right pain in the backside to have done but it does now mean that we’re set up and shouldn’t need anything doing to it for the next 25 or so years at least now. Ours is one of the smallest tanks available as there are only three of us in our house but I was still surprised by how large it was.

It did result in a huge number of diggers and crane type vehicles at our house which delighted C but most people aren’t really that interested in septic tanks and now it’s installed and working neither am I really. But in case you are here are some photos from during and after the work.

One thing which did really impress me was how well the guys cleared up. They had had to move some of the bark area edgings in order to get the digger around as they had to manoeuvre around a forty-odd year old Acer tree. They removed them carefully and placed boards down to protect the ground and then replaced them carefully and relaid some grass seed where the ground had turned into mud around the tank. Now you wouldn’t really know that the tank was there as it blends in fairly well, all you hear is the occasional noise where the electric motor (goodness only knows what that does but it keeps it all ticking away nicely) is activated.

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