Septic Tanks coupled with a French drain (absorption chamber) are one of the most common sewerage waste treatment processes used here in South Africa.

The solids settle to the bottom, the scum floats to the top and the liquid effluent flows through an outlet pipe into a distribution chamber, where it is directed to the septic field. The septic field is an effluent water disposal system, where the liquid is channelled through perforated pipes to different parts of a field of loose gravel.

Brick built septic tanks and French drains are common on most agricultural holdings, depending on the soil porosity and the local municipality by laws. Systems, like septic tanks and French drains have many variations – all based of course on the basic principle of waste treatment.

Brick Built Septic Tanks Or French Drains

This type of septic tank or French drain only works properly for waste treatment when all factors are considered. Factors like soil porosity, location and what regulations were in place, if any when the tank was installed.

A built system normally comprises of three chambers which allows the solids in the waste water to separate. The solids either float to the surface or goes to the bottom where the decomposition/treatment of micro-organisms takes place.

The remaining waste water would then be either run directly to a soak away/French drain. Many septic tanks have a filtration tank where the waste water is filtered before leaving the system into the French drain.

Plastic Tanks

Polyrib septic tanks or Polyethinine are the norm of the modern day waste water treatment process. Very convenient and built for this purpose. These septic tanks can be easily installed with minimal problems and can easily be connected to a French drain. There are no plastic alternatives for a french drain.

A property serviced by a holding tank system requires an agreement registered on title to notify current and future owners of the servicing restrictions on the property.

Care & Maintenance

With proper care and maintenance, your septic tank and field should provide many years of trouble-free service. There are, however, some important steps to follow to help you maintain the proper operation of your sewage disposal system.

The use of starters, bacterial feeds or cleaners in a septic system is normally not necessary.

The final grade (top soil) over the field should not be altered after it has been installed and inspected, and should be kept grassed after installation. Shrubs, trees or gardens should not be established over the septic field.

Discharge from evestough drains and sump pumps should not be directed into or over a septic field, and lawn sprinkler systems must not be located within this area.