Exploring Alternative Sewage Solutions Environmental Sciences Essay

The intent of the undermentioned study was to develop a greater apprehension of the different sewerage systems engineerings that could be used on the Thursday Island development. Over the past few hebdomads I have been making different sewerage systems that would better the waste H2O direction system to the proposed development site.

Discussed within the study will be the different sewerage systems which used right of effluent direction which can assist cut down H2O ingestion, waste disposal volume and significantly cut down the overall C footmark of the development at Thursday Island.

This study outlines a figure of effluent disposal and intervention options including a reappraisal of their major benefits, challenges and environmental effects, reasoning with suggestion as to the most suited system for usage at Thursday Island Development site.

“ Thursday Island, besides known as TI or Waiben, is the administrative and commercial Centre of the Torres Strait Islands. Liing 39A kilometers north of Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia in the Torres Strait, Thursday Island has an country of about 3.5A square kilometers and an estimated population of 3,500 ” ( Wikipedia 2010 ) .

Bing the commercial Centre of all the Islands that make up the Torres Strait Shire the heavy demand for right H2O supply and use demands to be addressed to explicate an result on how this affair can assist the determination on what sewerage system is right for the proposed development on Thursday Island.

“ The H2O supplied to most occupants within the Shire is from the Loggy Creek Dam on Horn Island.A It provides H2O to Wasaga Village, and via a undersea grapevine, provides H2O to the Millman Hill Resevoir on Thursday Island. At present the H2O use is about 600L per twenty-four hours per individual. Torres Shire Council considers this sum to be excessively high, and occupants are encouraged to be cognizant of their H2O use ” ( Shire Torres accessed 2010 ) .

Whilst this information does n’t turn to the different curative sewerage systems for the proposed development, it ‘s deserving observing a mark H2O ingestion of about 600L liters per individual, per twenty-four hours on Thursday Island ( Shire Torres, accessed 2010 ) . This H2O ingestion statistic can hold a direct consequence on what system to utilize for the proposed development. If people are more incline to utilize the H2O supplied from the council instead than recycled waste H2O, so option of what sewerage system to utilize for the development will do it a batch easier for penchant.

2.2 Different Waste Water Types

Water that enters a domestic house clasp starts out as purified H2O, it ‘s the usage of the H2O inside the house and what so happens to the H2O that causes commentated H2O to hold two separate nomenclatures once the continuance which is Blackwater and Greywater. Both Blackwater and Greywater are separated by the clip they are discharged from the house, which depending on the sewerage system in topographic point will be processed harmonizing to the otherwise

2.3 Blackwater & A ; Greywater

Blackwater and Greywater are nomenclatures used to specify H2O that ‘s discharged from a domestic house clasp, after the one time clean H2O has been through the procedures of what its function must execute. Its so either recycled utilizing different sewerage system or processed by the council in a sewerage intervention works. In some instances the contaminated H2O can be used for irrigation intents if the right sewerage system procedure works is in topographic point around the place.


effluent from shows, baths, basins and apparels rinsing

comparatively early to handle

can be easy recycled for non-potable usage

has the possible to be treated for drinkable usage


lavatory sewage and wastewater from kitchen sinks and dish washers

more hard to handle

contains more solids, foods and other chemicals

Black and Greywater are still critical resources to any township or profanes if the right systems are adopted. “ When managed decently and carefully through sewerage intervention processes effluent can be converted into a valuable resource, known as wastewater, and can be reused under certain fortunes ” ( N.S.W Sewage, n.d. ) . The importance to take the right sewerage systems to utilize around domestic occupants can turn out to hold a maximal efficiency towards wastewater direction and environmental benefit in the long tally.

3.0 Different Sewerage System

For the intent of this study three different sewerage systems have been outlined and evaluated on both their advantages and disadvantages to logically find the best system to set Forth for the proposed development. Been that Thursday Island is the cardinal commercial hub for all the Torres Islands Shire it already connected to a sewerage intervention works.

“ Properties on Thursday Island are connected to the Sewerage Treatment Plant ( STP ) , located on Loban Road and operated under really rigorous Environmental Protection Act ( EPA ) Guidelines. ” ( Torres Shire, 2010 ) . It should be note that the people of Thursday Island have been utilizing the ( STP ) for a really long clip now and benefit from the efficiencies of this type of sewerage system procedure.

3.1 Typical Sewage System Breakdown Process

In any sewerage system weather domestic or commercial the procedure are still the same. Larger atoms are extracted from the contaminated H2O and interrupt down in separate phases that take a batch of clip, while the smaller practicals of contaminated H2O have a much quicker procedure to make their degree of purification. The standard domestic sewerage procedure includes all houses that are connected to the chief sewerage line that feeds the Blackwater from the house clasp into the chief sewerage system to get down the purification procedure.

Figure 1 illustrates a typical sewerage processing system from the initial entry of the Blackwater contaminated substance, through its purification phases as the H2O is being transformed from contaminated to purified H2O.

Figure 1: Typical Sewage System Breakdown Process

Beginning: FWR Sewage Treatment. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.euwfd.com/html/sewage_treatment.html ( accessed September 14, 2010 ) .

Figure1 procedure is relied heavy upon usage of strong biological chemicals to interrupt the sewerage down during its purification phases. What is non shown in figure 1 is where the chemical discharge goes one time the chemicals have been used after the procedure has finished. From the above process, it is clear to see that there are a figure of stairss in sewage intervention that may hold negative environmental effects and produce high C emanations, such as the usage of rough chemicals to handle H2O and the unsustainable disposal of ‘sludge ‘ to landfill or by incineration. Further, the procedure does non stand for an efficient usage of resources through the creative activity of unserviceable byproducts.

There are some inquiries that do n’t go evident about the typical sewerage system procedure in figure 1. First there will be a immense consequence within the economic system at Thursday Island as the sewerage system will hold to use people through its buildings phase, but besides its care and general running of the operation when processing of H2O is taking topographic point. There are considerable costs that come with constructing new substructure in such a little township like the proposed development.

3.2 Septic Tank Sewerage System

Septic armored combat vehicles have been around for many old ages now and non all of them are the same in intervention procedure. There existences has seen many alterations of the old ages by agencies of important additions in their efficiency, constructability nevertheless, infected armored combat vehicle systems are merely good when installed right and besides have to vie with of all time demanding engineering alterations to other sewerage intervention systems.

Figure 2 shows a design of the basic infected sewerage system, whereby effluent or sewerage that ‘s generated from the place is transferred to different storage armored combat vehicles that partly treat and purify the contaminated H2O.

Figure 2 below shows an illustration of the basic infected armored combat vehicle sewage system whereby effluent is transferred to a storage armored combat vehicle, partly treated and released – by and large through undersoil irrigation to promote farther natural purification of the H2O.

Figure 4: Base Water Treatment Process – Septic System

Beginning: Dial Septic Tank Service Inc. 2009. Central Florida Septic Tank Service. hypertext transfer protocol: //dialseptic.

com/ ( accessed September 14, 2010 ) .

Treatment of effluent in a infected system utilises a basic subsiding procedure where heavier solids settle to the bottom making a ‘sludge ‘ bed and lighter contaminations such as oils and soaps float to the top forming a ‘scum. ‘ The treated H2O ( or wastewater ) is so filtered and released – by and large through undersoil irrigation. Figure 4 ( below ) shows the typical base procedure of H2O intervention in a infected system. Depending on their capacity, infected armored combat vehicles general require emptying every 12 months, nevertheless, in some more complex systems, emptying may merely be required every 3 – 4 old ages.

Table 1: Advantages and Disadvantages for Septic Tank Systems



Whilst infected armored combat vehicles provide a cost effectual solution to sewerage intervention for Malanda North – peculiarly during the hold in connexion to the extroverted Malanda STP chief cloaca substructure, they are non recommended for usage as a stand-alone individual system at Malanda North due to the site ‘s high environmental significance, close propinquity to waterways and susceptibleness to deluge doing the hazard of pollutant escape/release from the infected systems highly high.

3.3 Natural Reed Bed Sewerage Treatment System

Reed bed sewerage intervention systems provide a comparatively natural option to traditional systems. Whilst by and large used for secondary and third greywater or wastewater intervention, reed beds have besides been used to successfully handle blackwater and a scope of other contaminations ( Black Water Solutions Ltd, 2009 ) . Current research has found that reed beds are able to take every bit much as 90 % of N ( responsible for algal blooms in waterways ) ( Cellulose Valley Institute, n.d. ) .

A reed bed system is by and large coupled with a infected or greywater storage armored combat vehicle. Effluent is fed into the constructed ‘wetland ‘ which contains reeds planted in a bed of crushed rock, dirt or sand within an impermeable enclosure. Micro-organisms and works uptake take pollutants from the wastewater through a series of procedures including aerophilic, anoxic and anaerobiotic activity ( Black Water Solutions Ltd, 2009 ) .

Figure 3: Water Treatment Process within Reed Bed System

Beginning: Lismore City Council. n.d. The Use of Reed Beds for the Treatment of Sewage & A ; Wastewater from Domestic Households. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.aila.org.au/canberragarden/water/Reedbed.pdf ( accessed September 10, 2010 ) .

Table 2: Advantages and Disadvantages for Reed Bed Sewerage Systems



Reed beds provide a figure of benefits nevertheless, they are really infinite intensive and if non

positioned right can ensue in pollution release during deluging. Figure 7 depicts a exposure

illustration of a reed bed system. The finished merchandise can be rather aesthetically acceptable and

integrated into community hubs rather efficaciously.

3.4 Biomass Composting Toilet Systems

Composting lavatories rely on natural procedure of decomposition to cut down wastes to compost. They do non nevertheless play any portion in handling Greywater or Blackwater other than toilet waste. Compost Chamberss are installed below the floor degree to roll up human waste

from the lavatory. Other organic stuffs should be added ( such as wood shaves, paper or lawn

cuttings ) to assist keep the micro-organisms which break down the waste.

Air drawn through the system reduces smells and helps scatter the C dioxide and H2O vapour byproducts. Waste by and large takes about 12 months to be converted to compost which can be buried and finally used on gardens.

Figure 8 shows a cross-section of a typical composting lavatory apparatus. Gravity is used where possible to help in the composting procedure. Excess liquid is removed and treated through the Greywater system.

Tables 7 on the undermentioned pages describe some of the challenges and benefits of the usage of composting lavatories.

Beginning: Hawkesbury City Council. 2006. Your Arid Composting Toilet. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/files/24253/File/yourWaterlessCompostingToilet_Dec06.pdf ( accessed September 14, 2010 ) .

Table 3: Advantages and Disadvantages of Biomass Composting Toilet Systems



Whilst composting lavatories require a comparatively high degree of single system care, the frequence of care is likely non a prohibiting factor to their usage as they produce many good results such as decreases in both H2O use demands and volume of effluent produced. Managed right, composting lavatories provide a valuable fertiliser resource and technological progresss have overcome the bulk of traditional expostulations to their usage.

4.0 Recommendations and Decisions

This study has identified that there is no 1 clear system that will alone supply a holistic and finite solution for effluent intervention at the proposed Thursday island Development. This study alternatively recommends the usage of a combination of systems which are suited to specific intents across the development. Using a combination of systems besides allows for the monitoring and testing of each system ‘s effectivity within the specific state of affairs of Malanda North. This monitoring provides an chance to do farther betterments and alterations as necessary throughout the progressive development of the Malanda North community therefore encouraging development of the most effectual and efficient result for the undertaking and the chance for Malanda North to take advantage of future technological progresss.

Table 04: Application Specific Recommendations for Sewerage Systems


Recommended Sewage System

Traditional Huts

Biomass Composting Toilets

Effluent by reed bed intervention, pending suited site location for reed bed intervention country

Temporary infected armored combat vehicle and so mains connexion to Malanda STP one time operational

Further to the above sewage intervention recommendations, it is recommended that each edifice ( for chief plaza edifices ) or group of single abodes ( independent populating units – upper limit of 8 ) be fitted with a Biolytix or similar gray H2O intervention system, plumbed to edifices for all non-potable utilizations ( lavatory flushing, wash usage and external lacrimation ) – capacity to be determined by the undertaking ‘s hydraulic services advisers.

It is hoped that these recommendations will supply a footing for farther research and development, leting for future technological promotions to be increasingly incorporated into the undertaking, therefore supplying an chance for Malanda North to germinate and stay at the head of sustainable development good into the hereafter.