Environmental & Analytical Toxicology

ISSN: 2161-0525

Open Access

On-Site Wastewater Systems: Investigating Dynamics and Diurnal Patterns Impacting on the Performance of Mound Systems


Lucas SA, Coombes PJ, Geary PM and Horn K

Many dynamics and diurnal patterns impact upon the performance of effluent disposal areas. The timing of household water use and conveyance to a septic tank impacts on the available volume for application to an effluent disposal area. The timing and method of effluent application will impact on the performance of the effluent disposal area in assimilating nutrients and maintaining adequate infiltration rates. Rainfall patterns will impact on soil saturation at different times during the year; and threshold rainfall events may increase groundwater levels that will impact on the performance of the effluent disposal area. However, the dynamics and diurnal patterns comprising the “whole-of-on-site wastewater- system” are rarely discussed in the literature. This paper uses data obtained from a study of two allotments in a non-sewered subdivision at Salt Ash (NSW) to highlight these dynamics and diurnal patterns in order to improve the performance evaluation of on-site wastewater systems, in particular Mound systems. Results indicate that under existing septic tank-collection well design criteria the variability in average daily indoor water use and average diurnal water use patterns will impact on the temporal comparative performance of effluent disposal areas (Mound systems) at similar sites.


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