French drains/Septic Tanks and Waste water treatment systems

Drain Ratz is masters in the installation and repair of french drains and Septic tanks . We also install waste water treatment systems. as sewage treatment solutions.In some countries, a french drain is called a soak away or a leach field. In most areas where the municipality does not allow for a french drain(leach field or a  soak away), we look at other alternatives. The recent and most popular  scenarios will be to install a  reed bed or a waste water treatment system. These systems are used in areas where we have failing french drains or clay areas. Most people often get confused with a french drain/Septic tank/conservancy tanks/reed beds/waste water treatment plants.

Often enough a conservancy tank is allowed in places where there are no municipal points for sewerage/effluent pipelines. These tanks needs to get desludged or cleaned out when it gets full.With a french drain or a waste water treatment plant, sucking out or cleaning of the tank is very minimal.

French drains:

A French drain must be connected to a septic tank and only needs to be cleaned out/desludged/sucked out periodically depending on the age of your French drain. The lifespan of a French drain could be anything between 15-20 years. The septic tank that is connected to this system is usually a 2 chamber plastic tank, in some cases there are already built tanks. Although build septic tanks are no longer the norm, some do get approved by the a few municipalities. It is better to have a two chamber tank but in some septic tank designs, like the biobox design, only a single chamber is needed. The size of the tank plays a key factor in the effluent settling period. In some cases, French drains are used as soak away pits. The soak away pit allows for the absorption of extra water drainage.

Septic tanks:

A septic tank is normally a 2 chamber tank with baffles that allows for a french drain connection.  A septic tank must be connected to a french drain or a waste water treatment plant.  In most cases like in some farmlands and plots there are many illegal connections in this regard and sometimes the septic tank outlet is just allowed to seep into a hole made of bricks and filled with tyres, stones and covered with a lid. If you have such a connections, please note that this is illegal and will not pass municipal criteria for french drain installations. There are set criteria for this installation and we should abide to the municipal by-laws for this. For the correct installation processes, please contact a company like Drain Ratz or a plumbing company that abides strictly to the municipal by laws. A correct installation will last between 15-20 years. The soil porosity also plays an important factor in the life span of your waste water treatment plant in the case of a french drain connection. With a waste management treatment plant the installation can last forever with periodic sucking outs.

Conservancy tanks:

A conservancy tank is single tank that only has an inlet and outlet. This tank needs to be emptied out periodically when it is full. It is yet once again illegal to allow the grey water pipe just to flow into the ground. We find this illegal connection in many plots and farmlands.

A conservancy tank must be housed to receive both the product as well as the grey water. In more than one occasion there are installations where we are allowed to reroute the grey and product line to water to a treatment plant or through a reed bed. This water is then re-used for recycling purposes.

Waste water treatment plants:

Drain Ratz are installers of Waste water treatment plants.Waste water treatment is purely a nice word for sewerage treatment. The meaning of waste treatment is: Waste management is the “generation, prevention, characterization, monitoring, treatment, handling, reuse and residual disposition of solid wastes”.  When we think about waste water treatment plants, we normally think about recycling of waste water. Water recycling is the end product of waste water treatment plants.

To read more about waste management treatment plants and how it rates at the moment in South Africa, read the following links.

Reed Beds:

Most reed beds in South Africa are designed for the water to flow above the surface. and supplemented by  plant activity, mostly reeds.  Reed beds are used to degrade sewage Micro-organisms  found in the reeds and roots of the reeds are used to metabolise polluting chemicals. This causes the micro-organisms to degrade and mineralise. Gravel and soil allows for a faster throughput of water.The reeds help to keep the water oxygenated. Gravel and soil can treat particular effluent streams because of the deposition of phosphates, sulphate and metal ions.

The construction design of a reed bed very simple but we also have to consider the proper levels being installed.  This can be the tricky part. The norm would be to excavate.  The Excavated void is lined to prevent seepage of wastewater. This void is then filled with gabion or dump rock & riversand in the correct proportions. The reeds are then planted. An inline chlorinator is used for the chlorination processes. The water is delivered either over the surface of the system (vertical flow), or via a feeder trench at the front end of the system (horizontal flow).

Using a reed bed as a sewage solution is the most natural system to use and can thus fit well in with a natural habitat. In a reed bed system, the reeds play an important part in creating a channel for the water to go channel through. The roots of the reeds excretes oxygen into the body of the soil. This allows an environment where aerobic bacteria can thrive.These organisms are necessary for the breakdown of many types of compound, in particular in the oxidation of ammonia to nitrate. The reeds in a red bed system also take up a certain amount of nutrient in from the waste water.

The most common reed used in the reed bed system is the Phragmites Australis. They seem to have a high tolerance for chemicals. These reeds also have the most extensive root system.

Drain Ratz are professional installers of french drains, septic tanks,waste water treatment plants and reed beds.

Get in touch today: 012 9401969

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