Alternative septic system

OK, third time I try to upload this reply hope it works this time.

My served waters (sewer) system for Chris. It works! Been useing it for the last 30 some years. This one is workig for 2 years now, sense it´s high density plastic, it must work for at least 50 or more years (I hope). The last stage is a digesting pond that is so healthy that it has frogs! …and from there it goes to a plantation of a type of potatoes we use to feed the pigs. It´s envioromental, an achievement. The gray waters from bath tub, shower and sink, go direct to the final pond AFTER the digestor systems, previous a grease trap.
I almost forgot: the first and second tanks, have a “breather tube” straight up with a mesh on top (to prevent insects to go in). This allows gases to come out and prevents over preasure.

This is it, I hope it’s useful for Chris and others.

Digestor 1

Digestor 2

Digestor 3

Digestor 4

Digestor 5

Digestor 6

Digestor 7

NOTICE; before the first tank is a Y conection with a cap. This is to “cure” the system with sodium bicarbonate (first day) and fresh cow manure diluded in water (second day). You repeat has needed. It works like rumiant´s stomach.

Digestor 8



How do you deal with sediment accumulation?


Very interesting but I seriously doubt I could get it approved here and being on a main road i have to play by the rules. I suspect it is far healthier then what we can get approved.
When I was reading about permaculture designed gray water systems one of the tests of purity was to have ducks at the final pond if the water is still dirty and soapy the ducks will refuse to swim in it. I thought that was a great test.


Hi David,
sediments are mostly in the first tank, and almost nothing in the second one. For thoes sediments is what the cow manure is for, it digests almost anything. I only had to clean sediments in my other system once in about 18 years and it was another more traditional systems. This system is supose to serve for a family of 4, if it was of two (2) tanks; you add one (1) tank for every 4 members, so ours is good for a family of twelve (12). Sediments are, anyhow, easy to clean (1/2 a day labor) because these are 500 liter tanks and they are all or mostly in the first tank. I´ll try to take some pictures of the digesting pond and post them.


Interesting. It’s the same principal as my septic system. The pond is replaced with an engineered bed of sand and aggregate and perforated pipe. I’ve had my tank emptied twice in 10 years. It’s required every 5 for insurance purposes. Talking to the septage guys they say if you are not using bleach and trap the majority of greases you are good for a decade at least.


David the only thing you have to worry about with a system like your which is what I have it is code around here is the baffle breaking and stuff floating into the field. That is what happen to the system in the house I grew up in. The risk you run into is if you wait too long and solids float into the field you have to replace the field as it will plug. Strong cleaners are definitely a problem around here some towns will let you use a dry well for the gray water it is worth while to keep the washing machine soap out of the system that tends to be harsh stuff on the bacteria in the system.
I never thought of putting cow manure in to prime the system that is a great idea.


Cow manure to prime is a good idea. I don’t use chlorine bleach myself and stay away from the hardcore cleansers as well. I looked into a gray water system at first but my property is basically all swamp so I have 10 acres of grey water filtration!:joy::grin::sunglasses:


We always separate the gray water from the toilets. It’s amazing how little you need to deal with sewage if you keep the gray water out of it.

Abner, I really like your system. Thanks for posting it. I’d appreciate more pics if there is more to it. Very good…

We are doing a training here tomorrow and wednesday. I have one of your fellow countrywomen here for the class. One of those old friends I posted about before. She came to learn more AT to help with the situation there. We continue to pray for your country…


Thanks Billy for your interest in this almost apocalptic situaton in our country. It´s apreciated


Venezuela has a piece of my heart. It was the first place I went out of my own country. At that point I had not even travelled much within my country. I was 16 the first time I went there. Kind of a wild place for a wild kid. It hurts me that the peoplel in charge have messed it up so badly. :slightly_smiling_face:


Chris, everything looks great. At least, you know how much work you are in for.

For those of you who don’t know about the situation in Venezuela… Chaves’s daughter has a net worth of $4.3 billion and is the richest woman in Venezuela. The combination of the Maduro kids and the Chavez kids is costing the State $3.1 million a DAY. They have no money to pay the oil engineers.
They have no money to buy light crude to mix with their heavy crude. Now, there is very little they can sell.
It is a very sad state of affairs brought on by corruption.