ROOTZONE AUSTRALIA'S DOMESTIC ONSITE SEWAGE MANAGEMENT
Australia's system is a variation of a system commonly known in Australia as
reed bed treatment systems. Relatively unknown in Australia but in operation in
large numbers in Europe for over forty years they have the advantage of almost
zero energy usage and extremely low maintenance costs. The principles are
simple and readily understood (see here) the
practice a little more complex.
collected in a septic tank (you may be able to use your old one) and flows by
gravity into a horizontal flow reed bed which treats the septic effluent to a
secondary treatment standard.
The flow through the reed bed is about 150mm below the surface so
no exposure to untreated effluent and no odours.
effluent is further treated in a vertical flow reed bed and the tertiary
treated effluent is stored in the base.
A pump in the base
of the vertical bed pumps to an irrigation area.
original designs (1980's version) the media used was exclusively soil based but
problems with hydraulic capacity coupled with output standards that were not
particularly difficult to meet lead to a movement to gravel media which is
hydraulically much easier to handle. However the performance of soil based
systems, particularly in respect of nutrient removal is far superior and with
suitable amendments the hydraulic problems have been overcome.
Australia's system is based on an improved process flow incorporating two
stages plus an option for a third stage which can be used to further improve
performance if required in particularly sensitive areas. It also utilises a
novel media, which replaces the soil media. The new media, which is an integral
part of the patent, possesses superior qualities both hydraulically and
functionally in the process.
result is a substantial improvement in the quality of the output while at the
same time reducing the area requirement and cost. Rootzone Australia's standard
design for a domestic unit has an active area of 10sqm, a total footprint of
20sqm and can handle effluent for up to 8 persons.
Typical output quality is
BOD<10 suspended solids are <10 and turbidity typically 2-3NTU. The
effluent is almost all of the time fully nitrified and capable of disinfection
System integrated into the garden
system, no energy consumption except for irrigation pump, no moving parts, no
chemicals, fits into the landscape, only one annual inspection
The system is accredited in
Victoria for volumes of up to 4800L/day and in New South Wales and Western
Australia up to 1200L/day. The owner's manual is attached.