Septic Tank Replacement Schemes
Why Vacuum Sewer Systems are the preferred choice in most projects around the world
The choice for most communities converting from septic tanks or cesspools is either a septic tank effluent pump, a grinder pump pressure sewer, a vacuum sewer, a gravity sewer or a combination. The terrain or power stability will usually dictate what system is installed. Grinder pumps are more able to handle large changes in elevation or very low density rural areas but become a much more expensive option when looking at clusters of more than 50-100 houses. Or where power supply is unstable.
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Vacuum sewer systems are nearly always found in flat areas where there is a high water table or very difficult ground conditions. The three main reasons why vacuum sewer systems are increasingly the number one choice is Cost, Impact on Residents and the Reduction of Infiltration into the system.
Low Cost Solution
Vacuum sewers are lower cost than other other technologies for both capital costs and operational costs. Shallow trenching, fast installation, and broad coverage (up to 3,000 houses to a single pump station) reduce upfront costs while low energy costs and full system monitoring reduce operational costs.
Low Impact on Residents
During power outages and major storms the only place where power is required is at the Vacuum Pump Station, it is not required elsewhere within the network. No collection pits require electricity. Residents have no loss of service. Residents also have no valves or pumps on their property and operations staff will not need to enter their property.
Construction time is short and residents will still be able to enter their homes and local businesses during that period.
Reduction of Infiltration
Flows from either storm water or ground water (I&I) cannot get into a vacuum sewer system without detection.All vacuum mains remain pressure tight and monitoring can detect when homeowners have broken laterals or direct excess flows into the system. Manholes are not used so it is a no-leak system. This reduces the load on the treatment plant especially during storm events. Read about flood affected projects here
An Australian Example
Many coastal councils around Australia have naturally chosen vacuum sewerage systems as the sewerage system of choice. The decision has repeatedly been made due to the obviously reliable nature of the systems, their ability to naturally prevent overflows into sensitive areas and their ability to easily handle unusual peaking conditions and a sandy environment.
Kempsey Council decided on a vacuum sewerage system at the coastal town of Hat Head on the Northern NSW coast in Australia after an in-depth study of alternatives. It was obvious that the system would give immediate benefits to the town that was still using septic tanks and included a large caravan park. The town goes from an off season load of 500 people to well over 5,000 in summer and is well known for its pristine fishing areas and beautiful beach.
The installation of the vacuum system accorded all of the benefits they were looking for with no disruption for home owners during construction and more importantly home owners could easily see the many benefits of having a safe and reliable system that would ensure that the obviously beautiful area would have none of the potential risks that previously existed there. Finally after two years of operation Council has found immediate benefits with low operations costs and problems and that there is an easy capacity to grow the system as more growth occurs in the area. Peter Anderson the Head of Operations has said that the system has been easy to maintain and has many obvious benefits.
Among the obvious benefits of choosing a vacuum system in place of septic tanks and cesspools is the lower capital cost and the immediate underlying environmental benefits from using a clean smart technology. Behind any decision you need to consider the reduced risk, lower cost, reliability, health and safety and time saving in addition to the immediate benefits you have made to the environment.
Experience how the future of sewerage collection could be through further knowledge of the use of vacuum technology. Realizing what is possible and by seeing the benefits you can see how easy and effective Flovac systems are to install, maintain and operate and beyond that, the benefits to the environment and customers.