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close this bookA Guide to the Development of on-site Sanitation (WHO; 1992; 246 pages)
View the documentPreface
close this folderPart I. Foundations of sanitary practice
open this folder and view contentsChapter 1. The need for on-site sanitation
open this folder and view contentsChapter 2. Sanitation and disease transmission
open this folder and view contentsChapter 3. Social and cultural considerations
close this folderChapter 4. Technical options
View the documentOpen defecation
View the documentShallow pit
View the documentSimple pit latrine
View the documentBorehole latrine
View the documentVentilated pit latrine
View the documentPour-flush latrine
View the documentSingle or double pit
View the documentComposting latrine
View the documentSeptic tank
View the documentAqua-privy
View the documentRemoval systems for excreta
open this folder and view contentsPart II. Detailed design, construction, operation and maintenance
open this folder and view contentsPart III. Planning and development of on-site sanitation projects
View the documentReferences
View the documentSelected further reading
View the documentGlossary of terms used in this book
View the documentAnnex 1. Reuse of excreta
View the documentAnnex 2. Sullage
View the documentAnnex 3. Reviewers
View the documentSelected WHO publications of related interest
View the documentBack Cover
 

Septic tank

A septic tank is an underground watertight settling chamber into which raw sewage is delivered through a pipe from plumbing fixtures inside a house or other building. The sewage is partially treated in the tank by separation of solids to form sludge and scum. Effluent from the tank infiltrates into the ground through drains or a soakpit. The system works well where the soil is permeable and not liable to flooding or waterlogging, provided the sludge is removed at appropriate intervals to ensure that it does not occupy too great a proportion of the tank capacity.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Gives the users the convenience of a WC

High cost

 

Reliable and ample piped water required

 

Only suitable for low-density housing

 

Regular desludging required, and sludge needs careful handling

 

Permeable soil required

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