Know your Weather

A POWTS is a decentralized wastewater treatment system which is most commonly utilized for a home, or in some cases for a business and returns the treated wastewater back into the receiving environment. They are typically referred to as septic systems, because most involve a septic tank for primary treatment.
How Does a Septic Tank work?
  • As the POWTS is used, there is an accumulation of solids in the primary tank, which is sometimes referred to as sludge. The primary or septic tank removes solids by holding wastewater in the tank for at least 24 hours, allowing the heavy solids to settle to the bottom and the scum or floatable solids to rise to the top. This is accomplished by a series of baffles inside the tank. Up to 50 percent of the solids which are retained in the tank will decompose by a process of anaerobic digestion of the wastewater over time. This is a very slow process.

The most common and traditional septic systems consist of one or two septic tanks that gravity flows to a soil adsorption field for final treatment and dispersal. Just as common is a single tank that contains two compartments. An effluent filter placed in the outlet of the septic tank is used to filter suspended solids out of the effluent. Final treatment and dispersal of the wastewater takes place in the soil adsorption filed.

A non-traditional system performs the same basic actions as the conventional septic systems. Differences arise when location, space, laws and regulations, soil type, and/or quantity of wastewater being treated become limiting factors. A non-traditional system in this case refers to any POWTS that uses a pretreatment processes; Advanced Wastewater Treatment and/or Disinfection. These systems use technologies that require greater frequency of operation and maintenance.
An POWTS can be divided into 4 main components:
1. Wastewater Source
2. Collection and Storage
3. Pretreatment Components
4. Final Treatment and Dispersal Components

Pretreatment has two main categories:
1. Advanced Pretreatment
2. Disinfection