Nitrogen-Reducing Septic Tanks a Future Possibility

nitrogen-reducing septicJust about all septic systems contain nitrogen, which derives from urine. This wreaks havoc when the tank releases the effluent into the drain field. Fortunately, new technology is now available that may yield nitrogen-reducing septic systems. This breakthrough may be the future of septic technology.

Why Is Nitrogen Harmful?

To be more precise, nitrogen is bad for the environment, not the septic system. Nitrogen encourages the growth of algae, which leach into the groundwater. The effluent eventually makes its way into lawns, farms, and wastewater treatment plants.

Algae may also make its way into harbors and deplete the water of oxygen. This kills aquatic plant life that fish, scallops, and crabs rely on for food and habitat.

How Nitrogen-Reducing Septic Technology Works

Some areas have taken the initiative. The Cape Cod area in Massachusetts started the Buzzards Bay Coalition. In this group several residences receive a new septic installation with nitrogen-reducing capabilities.

The new system uses what is known as a blackwater tank. These tanks don’t actually remove nitrogen. Instead, the system contains the nitrogen in an impermeable tank until the owner removes it via a septic pump.

Another method consists of a septic structure that converts the nitrogen-rich ammonia into nitrate. The septic’s good bacteria remove the oxygen from the nitrate. This leaves behind nitrogen gas, which rises into the air instead of ending up in the water supply.

Unfortunately, neither method is cheap, costing upwards of $10,000 or more per installation. Nevertheless, our team at Woodinville Septic Service is excited at such a development and its environmental implications.

Septic Systems Are Evolving

We wanted to share this breakthrough to keep septic system owners up to date with what’s going on in the industry. Regardless of how septic tanks evolve, they will always require regular inspections. A nitrogen-reducing septic system may be the norm within the next decade or so.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

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