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 Pringle Bay & Rooi Els!
Read More

Other Articles

Spam and Phishing Email Alerts

Spam and Phishing Email Alerts

Please note that a scam involving an email purporting to come from the Overstrand Municipality and the Department of Justice is doing the rounds.

GANSBAAI/STANFORD: FLEET OF NEW WHEELS

GANSBAAI/STANFORD: FLEET OF NEW WHEELS

On a mission to improve service delivery, the Gansbaai - Stanford Administration was fortunate to receive an allocation of just more than R10m...

Service Delivery and Emergency Numbers for Overstrand Municipality

Service Delivery and Emergency Numbers for Overstrand Municipality

Be sure to save the number on your cellphone.

28 FEBRUARY 2021: STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

28 FEBRUARY 2021: STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

This coming Friday will mark exactly one year since the first case of coronavirus was reported in South Africa.

Food Technology and Beverages Incubators

Food Technology and Beverages Incubators

Call for funding proposals that support and develop start-ups and entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry.

OPPORTUNITY FOR Hermanus residents to apply for UIF

OPPORTUNITY FOR Hermanus residents to apply for UIF

Free transport will be provided on each of the days for the first 65 people from Mount Pleasant and Zwelihle.

See All Articles