TUTORIAL – How to DIY build your own sewage system

Hi, I'm Jacob, and this is a tutorial video for how to build an aerated wastewater treatment system for a tenth of the price of the commercial systems That's right, this system cost me under $1500 and it does exactly the same thing as a fifteen thousand dollar commercial system

I've had this system going for fifteen years treating the sewage of my whole family which has got six people The system is based on IBC's or intermediate bulk containers which are used to bring chemicals into the country like detergents and surfactants but then become a waste product and so you can get them for about a hundred dollars each in Australia When setting this system up it's very important to set them up on the level I made a timber frame on the ground and then I put gravel in there and I made that level and then I put my seven tanks onto that level surface All of my sewage comes in from the house through this pipe here and what I find is that the solids settle and then the fats and oils rise and so the sewage flows to the next tank via this T piece, it's a T piece so that if there's a blockage one side the sewage can still flow in the other side and the sewage comes from about halfway down so this pipe, the outlet, is about halfway down so it takes just the liquid

I've just used the screw fitting like so and I'll put a hole through the side wall of the IBC container, put some silicon there, some silicon here, and then I've just screwed it through the wall like so and I found that makes a perfect waterproof seal So from tank number one to tank number two we've just got a simple flow straight into the next one Now for tanks one, two and three it's anaerobic bacteria that does the work Anaerobic bacteria doesn't require any oxygen, they'll use the phosphates and nitrate sulfates from the sewage to actually get their energy and so they will break down a certain part of the sewage So tank one, two and three I just left plain, the sewage just flows from one to the other to the other and you let the anaerobic bacteria do the work

Tanks four, five and six are a totally different story They require aerobic bacteria and aerobic bacteria require oxygen and so I've got a pump that is blowing air through this blue tube down the tube to the bottom and at the bottom I've got a tubular membrane diffuser Now the tubular membrane diffuser ejects the air with very fine bubbles and so it has good interaction with the water and so the oxygen can flow to the water Don't go cheap on your air blower you need to actually spend up and this is where you need to spend your money has to be reliable and it has to have a high output Now it doesn't actually use too much power this is a 240 volt one which uses fifty-one watts continually which is not too bad

That's about, it's about 12 kilowatt hours per day so that would probably cost me about 30 cents a day to run something like that I'm in Australia by the way It's worth spending your money on good diffusers, now the reason I use tubular ones and not flat plate ones was that the flat plate ones didn't fit through the hole in the top Whatever you put in has to actually fit through that sized hole

I've actually got some growth media in these tanks which just gives, just gives the bacteria a place to stay on, I guess a bit of a habitat, a bit of an ecosystem I've had some people tell me that it's not necessary but I guess my systems been working for 15 years and so in some ways I'm the expert It's also very important to have taps on to control the airflow I find that every 2 or 3 weeks I just have to come down and adjust the taps to make sure I've got an even distribution of air through tanks 4, 5 & 6 Now this pipe at the back that you can see that's merely there to take away the the gases and to eject them into the atmosphere away from the house You could actually put the gases through maybe a charcoal air filter to remove any smells but we don't find we have any smells anyway

Tank number seven has got a chlorine tablet floating in a pool chlorinator and the outlet is just the pipe which flows to the garden, goes through an underground gravel bed and it just waters the grass and the plants and the trees and that sort of thing Normally I've got a tarp over this system so that no light can come in, it's very important that these are kept in the dark so that algae doesn't grow You might need to even paint them black so that light can't get in I know there's so many of you now going ohhh thank you thank you thank you you've solved the massive problem for me I didn't know how I was gonna treat my sewage and now you've got the answer, so all the best with your building, it took me one day to install this system All the sewage flows into tank number one the solids settle the fats rise and then the take off the outlet is about midway down the tank flows into tank number two that's where we have anaerobic bacteria then flows into tank number three again we have anaerobic bacteria tank number four we have air blowing down the bottom we have some growth media in there as well it goes through the tubular diffuser then flows to tank number five and tank number six which are all the same, four, five and six are exactly the same and then finally it flows to tank number seven and tank number seven then outflows and flows into the garden

Thanks for watching this video I hope you find this tutorial video very helpful All the best with building your system, when you have built a system please be sure to take a photo and send it to jacob@makesciencefuncomau The link is found in the description, I'd love to maybe one day go on a world tour and visit all of the systems around the world that I've inspired, so all the best, and bye for now you

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