Wastewater is contaminated water produced in homes, businesses, commercial and public facilities.
We produce wastewater when we use:
- washing machines.
What's in wastewater
Wastewater is made up of things that end up being flushed down the toilet or put down the drain such as:
- human waste
- solids like toilet paper
- food scraps
- fats and oils
Types of wastewater
There are two types of wastewater that we produce:
- greywater – from showers, baths, sinks and laundries
- blackwater – from toilets.
What happens to wastewater
All wastewater has to be removed in some way.
Wastewater from most households ends up in sewerage.
The sewer transports the wastewater to a sewerage treatment facility where it is treated and managed.
Some properties aren’t connected to sewerage and rely on other ways to remove wastewater.
If you are not connected to sewerage
If your property isn’t connected to sewerage, you will need to install a wastewater management system (WMS).
These systems store, treat and dispose of domestic wastewater on the premises.
Types of wastewater management systems
Wastewater management systems include:
- septic tank systems
- secondary treatment systems
- recirculating evapotranspiration systems
- holding tank with pump out
- wet composting toilets
- greywater treatment systems
- waterless composting systems.
How to install a system
If you want to install a WMS in the Northern Territory (NT), you must engage a licensed plumber and drainer.
A WMS must meet certain standards to minimise public health and environmental risks.
Before you begin, you should speak to a licensed plumber and drainer to decide which WMS is best for you.
The installation process may involve different government agencies and hydraulic consultants depending on:
- where you want to install the system:
- scale of the system
- type of system.
Rules and guidance for industry
If you are designing, installing or maintaining a WMS in the NT, you must meet certain codes and guidelines.
Last updated: 30 November 2020
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