There are three main types of waste control or septic systems available in South Australia; the conventional soakage system, an aerobic wastewater system or connection to a community wastewater management system. Choosing the correct and most suitable system for your property is dependant on many factors such as the soil type, available allotment space and the availability or not of a community wastewater management systems connection (CWMS).
All waste control system installations must comply with the 'On-site Wastewater Systems Code'.
Application for an On-Site Wastewater Works can be found here
Conventional On-site Waste Disposal Systems
A conventional septic tank system consists of two components, the septic tank and the soakage trench. The tank is installed in the ground with an access shaft over the lid opening to allow access to the tank for the purposes of maintenance and pumping out. Tanks are required to be pumped out at least every four years. If the tank is not pumped out regularly then solids build up and begin to migrate to the soakage trench and the system will fail to operate efficiently. Once the efficiency of the soakage trench is compromised the effluent may break through to surface level and create an insanitary condition and health hazard.
Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Systems
An aerobic wastewater treatment system is comprised of a primary treatment tank and a secondary treatment tank. The first of these tanks acts like a traditional septic tank where solids and liquids are separated. The secondary tank incorporates an aeration pump to promote further breakdown of the effluent. It then progresses to a pump chamber where it is disinfected and pumped to a designated above ground irrigation area. These systems require quarterly maintenance servicing by an accredited agent or trained personnel to ensure the reclaimed effluent complies with the criteria stipulated by the Department of Health.
Community Wastewater Management Systems
These systems are designed to collect and treat wastewater from each property using a common network. Household effluent passes through a septic tank on the property and into a connection point to the common network. The wastewater treatment may include systems utilising various technologies with the reuse of reclaimed water. These systems are currently available in the townships of Quorn and Hawker. Note that not all allotments in these townships are serviced by these systems.