A septic tank system consists of the tank itself and a drainage field or a water course discharge point. Raw sewage is fed to the tank and the settled sewage is discharged into a drainage field.
Septic tank effluent cannot be discharged into any watercourse or ditch.
Think about where your septic tank discharges, because if it empties directly to a surface water pipe, stream, ditch or river you will need to replace or upgrade your treatment system by 2020 or when selling the property if before this date.
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The sludge settles in the system and has to be periodically removed. The drainage field typically consists of either a soak away, or a system of sub-surface irrigation pipes which allow the effluent from the tank to percolate into the surrounding soil or ideally into an open water course such as a ditch, stream, river or lake.
You should have the legal consent of a governing body to discharge your septic tank. Despite the simplicity of operation and maintenance, it is generally recognised that proper care is rarely given to septic tanks. This is believed to be due to the costs of desludging a septic tank and lack of knowledge of maintenance requirements.