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Thread: Septic tanks & well water

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    nickydwuk's Avatar
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    Default Septic tanks & well water

    We have been looking at rural properties and some have septic tanks and use well water. Has anyone any experience of these? How often are the septic tanks emptied and how much does it cost? If the water supply is well water how do you fill up the water tank and how does the water get cleaned for drinking? Also any approximate costs would be helpful.
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    Quite a few rural properties have rainwater tanks which, as the name suggests, collect rainwater . Have a read at this old thread I started about rainwater tanks . I think there's a septic tank as well at our place but perhaps Taffy can fill you in on how often it needs emptying. I don't think it's that often as the liquids drain off into a special area, leaving only the solids behind.

    There's a well on the property, too, but the water is too brackish to use in the house.
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    I had read that thread MB it it didn't seem to answer my questions. I was more interested in well/bore water but the info on rain water was helpful. Anyone help with the well/bore water issue & septic tank??
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    The water from our bore is pumped to where it's needed (in our case it fills the drinking troughs in the paddocks) so I assume, if you want it to feed the house, it will be pumped up appropriately. Taffy is the technical one so let's hope he can fill in the details for you.
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    Can't help much on the well water/bore hole subject. I have rainwater and 'irrigation water', the latter unpotable in its natural state - possibly from a bore hole or reservoir.

    There are two main types of septic tanks. The standard one does not need emptying for about 3-4 years. The bio ones have to be installed on properties with small sections or that are on low ground where rainwater could pool. These should be emptied once a year.

    Hope that helps a little bit.
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    If your supply is bore or well fed, then there will just be a pump to fill up a tank somewhere on the property. Depending on where the house is, the water can be great or awful. Our house is fairly low to the river, so our water from the bore is too high in iron for it to be used by us. Friends of ours have a well supply from a local farm which they can fill their tank from, and that water is perfectly good. If you're worried, the best thing to do is get the water tested by a lab. It costs something like $30 to get it checked out.

    For cleaning, you can get various filters to help clean it up. We've got a 3 filter system, firstly a micron filter, which takes out any fine sediment and other lumps! Then it goes through a carbon filter which removes any odour, colour and taste. Thirdly there's an ultraviolet system it passes through which kills any bacteria in the water. In the end you get pretty good water! It's not cheap to maintain though. The micron filter is $36 per 6 months, the carbon one is $99 per 6 months to a year and the UV lamp is $350 per year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taffy View Post
    It's not cheap to maintain though. The micron filter is $36 per 6 months, the carbon one is $99 per 6 months to a year and the UV lamp is $350 per year.
    Do you pay for your town supply water in the Waikato? I think some parts of NZ have their water metered and others don't. If so, how does your costs (quoted above) compare to the water rates?
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    We're not on town supply, but we still get water rates (for 'run off'!). Added all together, it's not much cheaper to be honest. Waikato have set rates, unlike places like Tauranga which have water meters. And in summer, if you ever run out and need your tank filled, then you would be better off on the town supply!
    Taffy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taffy View Post
    The micron filter is $36 per 6 months, the carbon one is $99 per 6 months to a year and the UV lamp is $350 per year.
    I've just been trying to find out this very info from some suppliers.

    Where does the $350 for the UV lamp come from.?
    Do they need to be replaced, or is that the electricity running cost?

    Thanks

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    The lamps are meant to be replaced every 12 months. I'm not sure why, probably a marketing scam! There is a counter on the power box, and it shuts down after 365 days and just keeps bleeping. I've figured out how to reset the unit though, so I'll keep doing that until the bulb actually blows Not sure if efficiency is affected or not, but at $350 a go I'll take my chances!

    Anyway, it costs peanuts to run power wise.
    Taffy

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