There are various septic systems available, and it may be worth speaking with an Environmental Health Officer at Council or a septic system specialist before making a decision on what to buy. Factors that will influence which system you install include:
- Where the system will be located – soil type, the slope of the ground, available area for dispersal, proximity to bodies of water, etc
- What the system will be used for – waste from toilets only with separate grey-water facilities or for all waste-water, whether or not the intention is to use treated waste-water for any form of irrigation, etc
- Who will use the system – how many people is the residence capable of housing, how often is the premises occupied, etc
- Water supply – is the residence connected to reticulated water, tank-water, bore-water, etc
The most commonly used setup in Australia is the basic septic tank and trench system. This can be expanded to include sand filters, wetland treatment areas, and evapotranspiration beds, instead of the trench(es) where soil conditions make trenches less suitable.
Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems are also available, including a second tank that treats the effluent further through aeration and the use of chlorination or ultra-violet light before being pumped to an irrigation area. These systems are required to have a strict quarterly servicing contract and need to be closely monitored and maintained.
Composting systems, both wet and waterless, are also becoming increasingly popular. As with any on-site sewage management system, it is important to make sure that what you purchase is accredited by the NSW Department of Health.
For more information on which system will meet your needs you can refer to The Easy Septic Guide or speak with qualified plumber/septic system specialist or an Environmental Health Officer at Council.