A common questions we get asked is how does a septic system work? Whether you just bought a home with a septic system or planning to install a septic tank on your property, it’s natural to want to be sure of how a septic system works.
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how a septic system works in general so that you understand exactly what to expect from flush to flush without requiring a septic science and microbiology qualification.
Septic systems work very differently than what you would expect from a traditional house or residential sewer that is connected to the mains.
That said, a septic system doesn’t have to be complex, and it’s certainly not something that should cause you much concern in the future. In fact, many people swear by septic systems as they can be more affordable than sewer and also have a lower carbon footprint.
A septic system and tank, rather than letting all your waste flow down the public sewers, keeps all your flushable equipment on-site. That means solid waste can accumulate outside of the water unless it can be broken down and digested by bacteria, while the remaining water simply and safely drains elsewhere.
The excess treated water from the septic tank flows over the drain field or soak into the surrounding soil area. These systems help siphon out so your tank largely contains any remaining solids.
A septic system allows you to efficiently and cost-effectively manage waste on-site. Since septic tanks can only collapse so much, owning a septic system can also help breed good habits about what you do and don’t do.
Septic systems effectively neutralize waste before it leaves, meaning you never bring anything bad back into the local environment.
These systems are particularly efficient and certainly worth considering. The science is simple – apart from water, wastewater consists mainly of organic materials. Bacteria in the system, just like elsewhere in nature, break down these organic materials, which are primarily carbon and hydrogen based, to form carbon dioxide and water.
That was it. However, a good septic system is only as efficient as the person using it! If you don’t properly maintain your septic tank and system, you risk causing serious damage, polluting the environment and skyrocketing the cost of emergency pumps and blocked soakaways.
Ultimately, you can’t expect all of your household or natural waste to simply evaporate once it hits your tank.
It will sit there for a while until it biodegrades. However, the key component in biodegradation is bacteria. Bacteria can be nasty and a bit sinister, but they offer an incredible service when it comes to actively breaking down all types of waste.
Bacteria in your septic tank system will ensure that whatever is natural (i.e. anything that has come out of you and everyone else in your home) is crushed and eaten rather than persisting and creating septic sludge at the bottom of the tank.
Plus – if you dump too much fat, oil, and grease (FOG), a septic tank crust can develop on the surface, preventing air from entering the wastewater via the surface and starving the bacteria of vital oxygen
The longevity of your septic system really depends on the type and design of the tank. For example, a metal septic tank is unlikely to last more than 20 years max, while brick and concrete tanks typically last many, many decades.
People always seem to be most concerned about the tank when the more likely component of the system to fail is the soak. Once you have a major problem with the Soakaway, chances are you may need to dig up a new one. Generally they should last 50 years, give or take a few decades – it all depends on how you treat your tank and the excess undigested wastewater you dump into the sack.
Water, the essence of life .. tho it also needs treatment before it can be put back into nature after we used it. All OffGrid-Dwellers must maintain a sewage / septic solution . A simple DIY Offgrid Three stage Septic with attached drain-field Project.
Rotten Roof Beams or rotten/damaged wood in a house or cabin ?!? A Issue where a lot of craftsmen simple call for a replacement and subsequent tons of work.. Check out a more simple solution in our latest video.
Berries.. Simple, Healthy, Tasty ! OffGrid and sustainable Food Production
Summer time means berry time. With a diverse range of aromatic berries, which taste just as good on their own as in juice or compote, on cakes or in desserts. In addition, the healthy and delicious berries provide numerous valuable ingredients. Because berries not only taste good, they also offer a high content of vitamins and minerals as well as plenty of dietary fiber , which promote intestinal activity and thus digestion. At the same time, berries have a variety of secondary plant substances that have antiviral, antioxidant , anti-inflammatory and blood pressure-regulating effects. Read here how healthy berries are and what effect the different varieties have.
Ingredients and healthy effects of berries
Berries are very low in calories, but due to their high fiber content, they quickly fill you up. The following table shows which vitamins, minerals and other ingredients are in the various berries for different types of berries. You can also find out more about the healthy effects of the berries in the list:
Beneficial for the stomach and intestines, antioxidant, digestive, anti-inflammatory
Quercetin, many times richer in vitamin C than citrus fruits
Fortification of various products with vitamin C, pharmaceutical use in skin damage caused by burns and sunburn
Which berries are in season and when?
The following table shows the harvest times of various regional berries:
May to July
May to August
July to August
May to July
June to August
May to July
September to October
August to October
Since the berries are very sensitive, gentle and rapid processing is important.
Look out for plump fruits and dry, shiny skins, as the berries are very sensitive to pressure and quickly become moldy after injury. Some berries, such as ripe blueberries, have a whitish veil that serves as protection and is a sign of freshness.
To clean, briefly dip the fruit in standing water and immediately drain on paper towels so they don’t soak up the water and become mushy or lose their flavor. The leaves and stems are best removed just before consumption.
Store berries in a cool, dark place, for example in the cellar or in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. The fresh berries will keep in the fridge for a day or two.
Freeze berries properly In addition to their diverse uses, for example for juice, compote, muffins, fruit ice cream, berry crumble or as a cake topping, the berries can also be frozen well. At the same time, valuable vitamins are retained, so frozen berries are still healthy. However, due to their high water content, they often become mushy and stick together after thawing. This can be avoided if they are first frozen on the outside in individual layers (side by side on a board, in a flat dish or spread out on foil) and only then put together in a bag and frozen properly. And even if the berries aren’t as crunchy after thawing as they were after they were harvested: the delicious little fruits are always suitable for certain types of preparation such as fruit puree, jelly, jam, smoothies or milkshakes.
Spare tire, tire plug kit and a good air compressor
Ventilation is important , specially if it is more then one person in a vehicle. the humidity of 3-4 exhaling humans that sleep in a closed car can be enough to have condensation water run as little rivers inside on the windows. A simple vent fan can be the difference between a comfortable space and a sauna and/or humid freezer with temp shifts. Vent fans use power too- not much but some- so yet another reason to emphasize having more solar/battery capacity than you strictly need.
Special thanks to Sylfix for providing Pics and Infos to present his “Le Petit Chaque – Little Shack” as Project. This one coming from all the way up in Northern Ontario. Another great Off-Grid Project for reference and ideas. Sharing is caring..
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