What is the best Sunshine Coast wastewater system for your land and your new Sunshine Coast Granny Flat?
The first question to ask would be – is there an existing wastewater system in place? If your new Sunshine Coast granny flat is considered a secondary dwelling, you may need to upgrade the facilities. Even still, if the existing system seems old and is no longer working properly, this may also be a good reason to upgrade.
All unsewered sites generally in a rural and semi-rural situation will require a wastewater system – it is a matter of finding the correct one for you and your property. Lets run through the different types of wastewater systems available on the Sunshine Coast below.
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Conventional Domestic Sewage Treatment Plants
Advanced secondary Sunshine Coast wastewater systems treat all wastewater generated by your household, which is then distributed on site. These waste water treatment systems can have a higher upfront cost, but will be more cost effective and environmentally friendly in the long run. Advanced secondary treatment systems use a variety of treatment methods which will actively treat incoming waste accelerating the natural break down process. The treated water will generally be dispersed of by a drip line or a sprinkler system in a designated area on your property. The waste water dispersment area will need to comply with Sunshine Coast Councils set back rules from water ways, buildings and boundaries.
These systems are favoured by local councils as they are safe and reliable ensuring contamination of water ways and soil is minimised.
Advanced secondary treatment systems require quarterly inspections by a qualified person to satisfy councils compliance requirements and will also require a permanent power source to run the pumps and aerators.
The oldest style of on-site waste water management systems are septic tanks. Featuring a lower upfront cost to install and no on going costs these systems are often favoured by property owners.
Septic tanks work by allowing the waste water to flow into a soak away trench on the property. This process is all done by a gravity feed so no power is required.
Unfortunately councils no longer favour septic tanks with trenches due to the fact the waste water is not treated on site before being distributed.
Only very large properties may still qualify for a system like this. They will require a large flat area where long trenches can be excavated. These trenches have significant setbacks to water ways and other natural ecosystems to ensure the waste water does not contaminate the water ways.
Pump outs will be required occasionally once the septic tank is full of solid waste.
As the name suggests, a composting waste system will break down the waste over time. There are two types of composting systems – dry vault (toilet only, waterless) and wet system (for all household wastewater). There are many advantages associated with composting systems including the cost, environmental factor and maintenance level. However, depending on your particular set up they may not be practical, may require electricity and can emit odour.
Councils do not favour these systems in most cases so ensure you do your research before becoming set on a composting system.
Wastewater Holding Tank
The holding tank is generally not the most preferred option. Special exception will need to be granted from your local council. A holding tank will be installed where there is no other practical option for on-site waste water treatment. This could be due to a number of factors such as low lying land surrounded by water ways or insufficient space on the property to install a compliant distribution area. Holding tanks need to be emptied frequently, based on usage which can become very costly in the long run.
This is a very brief break down of the types of waste water treatment systems available. However if you are seriously looking to build a new home or granny flat you will be required to engage a professional who will write a report for council stating which system will comply.
The Shed House can assist you in gaining a waste water treatment report for your property. Get in touch via email today to get started with your project. If you would like to learn more about our unique build process and inclusions, please click here.