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Sewer or Septic System?


A report from Florida Onsite Wastewater Association Member Dominique Buhot

Dixie Septic Tank Inc. is happy to provide information regarding a comparison of the above systems. When it comes to wastewater, the general public has very little knowledge about what happens to their liquid waste once it leaves their premises.

Generally speaking, there are two ways to dispose of it: A “centralized sewer system” or an onsite wastewater system, more commonly called the “Septic System.”

A municipality, county, or private utility company usually manages a centralized sewer. Commonly called “city sewer.” Once the wastewater leaves the property, it drains via a network of gravity pipes, force mains, lift stations to reach a sewer plant. Many times the sewer travels miles before reaching its destination.

It is estimated that the majority of all sewer fees collected are used to maintain this long underground network. Don’t believe this! It is estimated that only 75% to 90% of all sewage from sewers reach the plant. The remainder is lost through cracks, fittings and often penetrates our ground or surface water. It is called exfiltration. According to EPA, the average cost to rehabilitate a force main is $ 590.00 per foot for a 36” diameter pipe, and $ 295.00 a foot for a 24” diameter pipe (2007 prices). This cost does not include the initial installation that can reach thousands of dollars per residence.

Once the sewage reaches the treatment plant, the wastewater is treated at different quality levels depending upon the type of plant, regulations and disposal options. Sometimes, the treated water is redistributed to irrigate public properties, parks, golf courses and agriculture land. It is called reclaimed water. Sometimes it is shipped into canals, rivers and oceans, evaporations ponds, and deep well injection.

Another way wastewater can be treated is with an onsite wastewater treatment, also called a septic system. A typical septic system has wastewater and solids draining from the building to a septic tank located on the property. The septic tank holds the wastewater long enough for the solids to settle at the bottom of the tank forming sludge. Oil, and grease float to the surface also called the scum layer. The tank also allows decomposition of the solids materials. The wastewater without the scum and sludge exit the septic tank to be discharged into a drainfield for further treatment by the soil. It is the macro-organisms in the soil that provide the final treatment by removing the harmful bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. We at Dixie use the rock system; this allows the rock to filter the wastewater one more time before entering the soil. Eventually, once the wastewater is treated, it will partially recharge the ground water.

The cost of a standard septic system can vary depending on the soil type, size of house or type of commercial property. When we consider the cost for twenty years of central sewer fees for a family of four could be the equivalent to five years of college tuition. It is easy to see the great saving that septic systems can offer versus a central system (city sewer).

The drainfield with a rock system will last an average of 20 years or more assuming it is properly maintained, and even much longer for the concrete septic tank itself. A septic system has long been perceived as a temporary option with a bad reputation. The lack of information disseminated to the public regarding how an onsite system works and the importance of maintaining them properly may be the primary factors for this unfavorable view.

The septic system has come a long way in 20 years. From a standard septic system, like a cesspool to a performance based system. The wastewater can be treated at different levels and with today’s technology, match if necessary a centralized sewer plant system purification. In fact the EPA concluded in its 1997 report to congress that “adequately managed decentralized wastewater systems are a cost effective and long term option for meeting public health and water quality goals.”

With this in mind Dixie Septic Tank Inc. with its exclusive and patented “Equal Distribution™ system” we are happy to share with you information regarding our systems, and how they will stand up for years to come. Can our competition say this?

Septic System FAQs

We are pleased to offer a few articles we have written over the past several years. We hope they might offer tips and answers to questions or issues you may have in regards to septic tanks, septic systems and drain fields. Please contact us directly with specific questions for a personal consultation.

Septic System FAQs
Smart Septic Systems
Going Green
Aggregate Rock System
Equal Distribution™
Pre-Contract Checklist
Septic Systems 101
Septic System Maintenance
Bio-Mat 101
Flushing Medication
Facts and Folklore
Pipe and Rock System
Septic Tank Installation
What is OSTDS?
Fat, Oil and Grease
Septic Industry Problems?
Sewer or Septic System?
Time to Take the Gloves Off!
Failing Septic Systems
Eye Opening Definitions
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Dixie Septic Tank, Inc.

335 N. Boundary Avenue
Deland, Florida 32720

Phone: (386) 738-3030
Fax: (386) 740-7666
Lic# SRO991327
Contact Dixie Septic Tank

     
Home Page Failing Septic Systems Septic System Maintenance What is OSTDS?
Septic Services Going Green Bio-Mat 101 Fat, Oil and Grease
Smart Septic Systems Aggregate Rock System Flushing Medication Septic Industry Problems?
Concrete Septic Tanks Equal Distribution™ Facts and Folklore Sewer or Septic System?
Septic System FAQs Pre-Contract Checklist Pipe and Rock System Time to Take the Gloves Off!
Contact Us Septic Systems 101 Septic Tank Installation Failing Septic Systems
Septic Tank Cleaning Eye Opening Definitions
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