A septic tank is typically an anaerobic environment, meaning that the compounds found in the tank do not require oxygen to survive. Some of the pollutants present in septic tanks, like sulfates, react in toxic ways in anaerobic environments. Typically, hydrogen sulfide, methane, ammonia, and carbon dioxide are present in a septic tank.
The use of biofilters can help alleviate some of the toxicity problems associated with septic tanks. Biofilters use living materials to break down the toxins found in a septic tank.
One kind of biofilter for homes is available from Waterloo Biofilter Systems (http://www.waterloo-biofilter.com/). They can be reached at (519) 856-0757 or via e-mail at email@example.com,
Another kind of biofilter uses peat moss. This kind of system is approved in some states, specifically in Pennsylvania, and possibly in others. Information on this kind of system is available from B.F. Environmental Consultants, who can be reached at (570) 675-0253. Peat systems may also be available from Bord Na Mona (www.bnm-us.com).
For more information, see the following:“Impacts of Septic System chemicals on public health, wildlife, and habitats/ ecosystems” (http://web4.msue.msu.edu/4hycc/documents/M4HYCC2005finalPresentation.pdf)The Septic Systems Information Website – Inspecting, Testing, Designing, & Maintaining Residential Septic Systems (http://www.inspect-ny.com/septbook.htm)EPA on septic tanks (http://www.epa.gov/owm/septic/index.html)Homeowners guide to Septic Systems (http://www.epa.gov/npdespub/pubs/homeowner_guide_long_customize.pdf)
Hope that helps!
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