Audit of septic tank performance

Goonetilleke, Ashantha & Dawes, Les A. (2001) Audit of septic tank performance. In Patterson, Robert (Ed.) On-site ’01 Advancing on-site wastewater systems, 25-27 September, University of New England.


The paper discusses a research project on septic tank treatment performance and an evaluation of factors that influence performance. Outcomes derived lay the groundwork for improved regulatory strategies for on-site domestic sewage treatment in Queensland’s Logan City Council area. Key factors, which influence system performance, such as effluent quality, householder maintenance practices and site characteristics, were evaluated during the study. This research is expected to contribute to providing a rational basis for strengthening regulatory strategies governing on-site sewage treatment and furnish a specific focus for undertaking public information strategies relating to septic tank operation and maintenance.

Based on the outcomes of the study, a number of important conclusions were derived and recommendations made. The householder survey revealed that there is very limited appreciation of the need for regular maintenance of septic tanks. The testing of effluent from the distribution box showed that the performance of a large number of the septic tanks was unsatisfactory. Half of the septic tanks investigated were found to have excessive sludge build up leading to inadequate retention capacity and resulting in plug flow through the tank. The soil and landscape analysis undertaken of the sites indicate that most of the sites had characteristics which are not conducive for conventional subsurface effluent disposal.

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ID Code: 4323
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: On, site systems, On, site sewage treatment, Septic tank performance, effluent renovation, householder maintenance, Septic tank audit
ISBN: 0957943806
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Water Quality Engineering (090508)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Engineering not elsewhere classified (090799)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 Lanfax Laboratories
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 30 May 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:32

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