septic tank


septic tank
a tank in which solid organic sewage is decomposed and purified by anaerobic bacteria.
[1900-05]

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 sewage-disposal unit used principally for single residences not connected to sewer lines. It consists ordinarily of either a single- or double-compartment concrete or steel tank buried in the ground, so arranged that settled sludge is in contact with the waste water as it flows through the tank and thence to a tile drain field. Solids are decomposed by the anaerobic bacterial action of the sludge. After several years the accumulation of sludge interferes with the action, and a scavenger unit must pump the sludge out of the tank for disposal elsewhere.

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Universalium. 2010.

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