Blog

Septic VS Conservancy Tank: What's The Difference?

Septic VS Conservancy Tank: What's The Difference?

Omega Consulting Africa (Pty) Ltd

Septic VS Conservancy Tank: What's The Difference?

If you’re about to design or start on a new build here in the Overberg, you will inevitably be faced with the choice on how to dispose of your building’s sewage. This is quite an important decision if you’re about to settle in one of our smaller towns where there are limited to no municipal sewerage systems available.

Generally speaking, sewage is dealt with in three ways in South Africa:

  • It can be sent to a septic tank and soakaway where bacteria work on it and reduce the volume. 
  • It can be sent to a conservancy tank where the sewage is periodically removed by a ‘honey sucker’. 
  • It can be sent via a reticulation system to a municipal treatment plant.

There are a few subtle yet important differences between septic tanks and conservancy tanks that will affect which of these two options are chosen.

 
Cost isn’t the only factor

Poly conservancy tanks are slightly more expensive than equivalent capacity septic tanks. However, septic and conservancy tanks can also be constructed with conventional concrete and brickwork which is rendered impervious, both inside and out. In that case, the cost will be more or less equal. In both cases, the positioning of the sewage tank should be considered.

 
Size matters

The advantage of a septic tank is that, if correctly sized, it may last for 10 years or more without any intervention. However, for septic tanks and soakaways, you will have to order a compulsory percolation test to be carried out within the area where the proposed soakaway system will be located to prevent groundwater contamination. This percolation test needs to be done in accordance with SANS 10400 PART P DRAINAGE (PP10 Conservancy Tanks, Septic Tanks and French Drains). Another disadvantage of a septic tank is that an arbitrary increase in the number of people per household, may overload the septic tank - with unpleasant results. Also refer to the Ground Water Protocol here.

It is an advantage of conservancy tanks that they can be pumped out regularly, preventing any chance of overloading. However, there must be a dedicated service provider in the area and the cost of this service should also be taken into account. Your conservancy tank should also be positioned in such a way that there is easy access to the tank for the sewage removal truck.

 
Doing the research

Here are a few handy references to assist you in your choice:

Contact Omega Consulting Africa (Pty) Ltd if you have any questions.

Septic VS Conservancy Tank: What's The Difference?

Omega Consulting Africa (Pty) Ltd

Omega Consulting Africa (Pty) Ltd is a Napier-based civil engineering consultancy company. Spearheaded by Kent Georgala, Omega Consulting Africa (OCA) provides professional consulting and engineering services to clients in numerous industries looking for solutions to complex engineering problems. Se...

View Profile

What is Xplorio?

Xplorio is your local connection allowing you to find anything and everything about a town.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Welcome to Grabouw & Elgin!
Read More

Other Articles

Rebuilding a Business - Market and Customer Focus

Rebuilding a Business - Market and Customer Focus

In this article, we will now turn the attention to the market and customers.

Spring Special on our Premium Beach Trail

Spring Special on our Premium Beach Trail

Book a party of four and receive a 30% discount on our Premium Beach Trail.

The Breede, Berg & Between, by Bike, Boat & Boot. (and Beast)

The Breede, Berg & Between, by Bike, Boat & Boot. (and Beast)

Chris Venter otherwise known as the Blind Scooter Guy, went from Buffeljagsbaai to Pearly Beach with Gansbaai & Pearly Beach Horse Trails on his latest adventure...

BUFFELJAGSBAAI to PEARLY BEACH, Monday 24 August 2020

BUFFELJAGSBAAI to PEARLY BEACH, Monday 24 August 2020

The long anticipated day is nearly here, we are finally on track for Chris's horse riding section on his latest adventure...

TripAdvisor, Travelers Choice Award

TripAdvisor, Travelers Choice Award

We are so excited to receive a TripAdvisor, Travelers Choice Award and to be in the top ten outdoor activities in the Western Cape...

#FastTipTuesday - To paint or not to paint!

#FastTipTuesday - To paint or not to paint!

There's no reason that your garage floor should look anything less than showroom condition!

See All Articles