Solving septic tank problems
Does your septic tank smell or is there a wet area
above your leach field?
We can solve your septic tank problems by reducing
the hydraulic loading on it.
Reducing the Wastewater - Managing the Problem
Household water usage has increased dramatically with modern automated
washing machines, dishwashers and waste disposal units. The result
is an increase in the wastewater produced adding to the problem
of wastewater disposal. The recycling of greywater back through
the toilet cistern is a positive solution to the problem. The research
carried out with our water recycling systems lead us to believe
that we have made improvements to wastewater disposal problems and
increased the efficiency of septic tanks systems. By decreasing
the volume of greywater entering the septic tank, and reducing the
outflow to the leach field gives recovery time, and the soil remains
permeable and not blocked with bacterial growth.
Our test site was at Bay View Napier, New Zealand. The problem
our client had was, a sewage smell coming from their property, the
gully traps over flowing with sewage during high rainfall and the
neighbours threatening to sue because of the smell. Although the
house, septic tank and disposal area, were only four years old,
they spent thousands of dollars increasing the size of their leach
fields but to no avail. Whilst increasing the size of the leach
fields, a soak pit was added with a pipe in the center, also a metre
long dipstick for checking the ground water level was added. This
dip stick allowed monitoring of ground water levels before and after
installation of the ECOplus water recycling system.
Since installing the recycling system at Rogers Road the problems
have been resolved. The ground water level has receded from 300
mm below ground level to a metre or more, as that was the length
of the dipstick, all smells have gone as the bacteria are not polluting
the soil and the client has remained satisfied since November 1997
when the system was installed.
Case history on ground water levels at Bay View,
The owners of 89 Rogers Road, Bay View, Napier, moved
into their new house in December 1991. Bay View is a rural suburb
of Napier with most of the houses connected to individual septic
tanks and a reticulated town water supply.
At first the owners did not have any problems with their 3,300 litre
septic tank. This changed as more houses were built on higher ground
next to their property and the problem of ponding and sewage smell
became worse. For a few years, they put up with a septic tank that
overflowed during heavy use, as the effluent was unable to seep
away through the ground due to a high water table. They tried contouring
their ground to create a low bog area and had it planted with suitable
vegetation to minimize the effect of the ponding sewerage, but to
In October 1997 an extra soakage field and pit were
dug, filled with pea metal and topped off with novaflow and larger
sized stones. A metre long pipe was also installed vertically down
into the pit so the water level could be monitored with a dipstick.
The soakage pit, still did not rectify their problem of ponding
and sewage smell.
During 1997 Council dug an open drain, along the fence
line of a field on the western boundary of the property to try to
overcome the problem. This meant that they no longer had to put
up with effluent ponding on their property, as it was able to flow
into the open drain.
The drain solved their immediate problem but caused
the neighbours to complain about the effluent smell drifting past
their houses. This led them to investigate other solutions to rectify
their problem. Perhaps in desperation they then approached us to
see if our system would overcome their problem.
On 22 November 1997 the ECOplus greywater recycling
system was installed and since that day they have not had any further
problems. The smells are no longer a problem and their water consumption
reduced by over 30%. The financial benefit has been that last year,
unlike previous years they did not have to pay any water rates,
as they did not exceed their allowable water limit.
By reducing the wastewater through the septic tank
and reducing the water into the leach fields bacterial action
has not blocked the soil thus maintaining permeable nature and allowing
the water to take its dissipate away from the leachfield.
Figure 1 shows the reduction in ground water level from 330 mm below
ground level on the 22nd November 1997, the day the system was installed.
1 metre or more on the 23rd April 1998 and the comments from the
owners note book for that date were, " Dry sludge, appears
to look more like silt. Septic tank outfall at correct level".
Figure 1. Reductions in groundwater levels after installation
All readings were recorded by the owner of 89 Rogers
Road, Bay View and supplied to us for our documentation and reports.
It should be noted that the maximum length below ground level that
could be measured was one metre, as that was the length of the dipstick.
The graph shows the water level reduced to one metre below ground
level between the 22-11-1997 and the 6-02-1998 and has remained
at one metre or more since the testing finished on 8-04-1998.
We have received hundreds of enquires from people
who are planning their houses or who are having septic tank problems.
New Zealand Patent No 286169
Australian Patent No 708129