There are quite a few different sorts of waste management products on the market. It is always best to inquire what is already being used in your area and then look at the other options available to you. But, always do think about the environment when you make your decision.
New Septic Tank Regulations Ireland
The purpose of a septic system is to dispose of the waste generated by occupants in such a manor that the soils on the property can disperse it without causing an adverse effect on ground water and in turn on public health and the environment.
To accomplish this a septic system consists of the following:
A sewer line that connects the house’s plumbing to a septic tank.
A septic tank that allows for the setting of soil and provides the initial treatment of the seepage. A properly functioning septic tank will reduce pollutant levels and produce an effluent of fairly uniformed quality. This is accomplished by providing inlet and outlet buffles to reduce the velocity of liquid moving thorough the tank and to prevent solids from leaving. Tanks installed since 1991 have been two tank systems.
A distribution system that directs the flow of the effluent from the septic tank to the leaching system in such a manner to ensure full utilisation of the system (e.g. gravity).
A leaching system, which disperses the sewage effluent into the surrounding natural soils. Most domestic installations utilise stone-filled leaching trenches, but galleries, pits and reed beds have been used historically, some of which are as follows:
Reed beds can be used to treat domestic sewage, this involves first breaking down large solid materials into liquid (e.g. in a septic tank), then passing the liquid portion of the sewage through one or more reed beds. The resulting water discharge is said to be clean enough to drink. However these are not systems that can be left alone to get on with it, they need constant maintenance especially in the early years.
Horizontal (flat) beds is just a name given to the direction that the liquid flows across the bed, as this is flat the liquid sits on the bed and slowly sinks down. Different types of plants are put down to form a thick root-mass, which transports oxygen from the atmosphere to the root zone and so aids the microbial digestion. A complex microbial population develops, which competes with the eliminates human pathogen and removes organic nutrients. This biological filter also removes particulate solids, dissolves organic and heavy metals. A number of products can be used in the bed depending on the situation and quality of the effluents coming in. Gravel, soil, gravel/soil mixes and gravel/soil/organic fibre are all possibilities.
These beds are free flowing, they can receive large amounts of sewage. After the solids have been broken down the resulting liquid flows over the surface of the ground (e.g. gravel) and percolates downwards and out. This system is full of air spaces even when in use, so it is good at oxygenation the water. You do however need more than one bed that one bed can rest while the other is in use.
These incorporate one or two stages of vertical flow followed by one or more stages of horizontal flow and large single stage vertical flow reed-bed, when this system is properly designed it can used for full treatment of domestic sewage.
Eco-Flo Mineral Recovery System
This is one of the most environmentally friendly systems on the market. It does require you to make a pro-active stance on waste management by installing source separation toilets and a dry compost tank, in place of a septic tank.