Understanding Dover’s Sewer System

September 1, 2017

Septic Tank Effluent Pump (STEP) – Septic Tank Effluent Gravity (STEG)

Effluent sewers are a sustainable solution for rural areas, but also a cost effective option to serve fringe development, on the outskirts of towns.

How an Effluent Sewer System Works

In an effluent sewer system each individual site has an underground septic tank which receives all the waste from the dwelling.  The raw wastewater separates into sludge, scum and liquid effluent with primary treatment taking place within the septic tank.   The solids remain in the tank for year, only need to be pumped out about every 5 years depending on the use and care of each household.  The liquid effluent remains in the tank for only a day or two, it is then pumped (STEP) or gravity fed (STEG) to the next treatment point, Dover’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Keep in mind the following recommendations:

  • Try to limit the amount of non-biodegradable matter going down the drain to the septic tank.  Flushing non-biodegradable matter will fill your tank with solids and increase pumping requirements. Don’t deposit coffee grounds, cooking fats, wet-strength towels, wet wipes, disposable diapers, facial tissues, cigarette butts, and other non-decomposable materials into the house sewer.
  • Too much water can upset the delicate biological balance within the tank, defeating its ability to work properly.
  • Don’t use excessive amounts of any household chemicals which could kill the biology necessary for a properly functioning septic tank.
  • Use a toilet tissue that breaks up easily when wet and is noted as “septic safe”
  • Avoid dumping grease down the drain.  Keep a separate container for waste grease and throw it out with the garbage.
  • Pump your septic tank when accumulated solids get too deep and/or the floating scum layer gets too thick.
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