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Septic Systems for Clay Soil, Self Managed, No-ongoing costs

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Hello Permies !

Thank you for this forum.

I am located in Tasmania, Australia. We have an aerated waste water system by Ozzikleen. This uses chlorine to “purify” the water. We would like to get away from this system as its not the best to manage and to escape ongoing costs associated with it. That is, plumber comes around 4 times per year  to make sure water is expelled onto mulched area and not groundcovers (weeds) and of course check operation and remove any particles like hair, fat, seeds. Obviously being chemical-free everything is done by hand, that is weeding the septic area, so it’s up to their standards.

Our soil is heavy compacted clay, so not very good drainage and land often saturated throughout winter. This rules out reed beds as I believe they’re not applicable to clay soils? Unless there’s a work around?

Does anyone know of approved systems for clay? I know of worm systems but they likely need 4 monthly check-ins as well.

It’s pretty hard to draw up a plan to the local council saying: poo = compost toilet = humanure. Urine = lemon tree. Kitchen/Laundry = swale. Everything needs to be “purified” first. Pretty sure it’s illegal to urinate outside. “It’s not treated!!”

In NSW, fortunately I believe, Geoff Lawton has some influence on the Lismore Council. Sadly, we don’t really have such influence here.

Thanks in advance for any knowledge, ideas, thoughts given!
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Location: Gulgong, NSW, Australia (Cold Zone 9B, Hot Zone 6) UTC +10
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Hi Cameron,
Congratulations to your first post.  Looking forward to seeing more contributions.  You have a fabulous lady down your way by the name of Kate Downham who could be a great resource for your Permies journey.

Have a look at this post.  You are not alone
Your  issue is that you have to have to pay someone for something you can do.  There is also the use of the chlorine.  Other chemicals can be used to deactivate the bugs but it is the bugs in the microbiome that ultimately build up your soil. They end up in balance so the good bugs manage the bad.

The first thing is to look at the fine print in the council's regulations.  There is always an out.
Also have a look at what the EPA has on their site.  Councils are required to have their regulations that are not less than the EPA standard.
Often the regulations are based on lack if science and a slick sales pitch by a supplier.
Happy to chat off line via PM.
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Welcome to Permies!

I'm not sure what your local council is like, but I know several councils here in Tasmania have approved the Nature Loo compost loo/greywater set ups. This was a few years ago, so maybe there are more options around now.

Compost loos seem easier to get approved than greywater systems.

I've heard of people getting systems council approved with wheely bin toilets, so depending on your council, and if you can find a good wastewater designer, then you might be able to come up with a really good homemade system for this.

To get our greywater/compost loo system council approved where we are, we had to find a wastewater consultant to do a wastewater system design, we asked Nature Loo for recommendations, and they recommended Strata Geoscience and Environmental - I'm not sure if they are still around, but they got our one approved, without any check-ins needed other than the initial inspection.
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