One of the most difficult problems that cities and towns face is dealing with all the sewage that people generate. Raw sewage is typically collected in a treatment plant where the waste is treated for contaminants and the effluent (liquid waste water) is filtered. This can be a massive project, but it isn’t the only way that sewage is handled. In areas where there is no municipal treatment plant, the homeowners will need to use a different option. The original method for dealing with sewage used a cesspool or pit to contain the waste. However, Hawaii legislation has banned the installation of new cesspools since 1993. This leaves the alternative method of sewage treatment in Hawaii known as the septic system.
The septic system consists of a large tank used to collect the sewage and a series of leach lines that return water back to the soil. The purpose of the tank is to hold the solid waste while allowing the effluent to seep out through the pipes. This is known as percolation since the waste water filters through the soil before it reaches the local water table. A septic system is anaerobic. That is, the system works through bacterial action and enzymes that consume the proteins left in the solid waste. The remaining sludge settles to the bottom of the tank until it can be vacuumed out.
Unfortunately, the cleaning of cesspools and septic systems results in a lot of raw sewage that must be dealt with. The problem of Sewage Treatment in Hawaii requires dedication and no small amount of resources. The typical wastewater treatment system works with large tanks of bacteria kept at optimal conditions. The bacteria are fed a diet of sewage and break down the waste in the water. This is similar to the process in the septic system but on a much larger scale. The end products from this cleaning system are more bacteria, various gases and clean water. To ensure the final result, these plants operate twenty-four hours a day and are constantly supervised. This is important for protecting the bacteria and its required biological environment.
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