Wastewater

Surface Water Wastewater

Wastewater

Extension at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is actively involved in programming that helps homeowners, industry, and youth audiences understand onsite wastewater treatment systems for handling domestic sewage. Treatment of wastewater using onsite systems, such as septic tanks and drainfields, plays a very important role in protecting the water and environment of Nebraska and supporting economic development. As a result of Extension programming, Nebraskans benefit from improved water quality and a cleaner environment.

Drainfield Size & Design

An important soil characteristic, the percolation rate, measures how long it takes water to drop one inch in a saturated hole dug in soil. Fast: 1 inch in 3 minutes (sandy soil). Slow: 1 inch in 48 minutes (clay soil). If it takes less than 5 minutes for the water to drop 1 inch in a saturated hole, the effluent will move too rapidly to be treated properly, such as in sandy soil.

Read More

What Happens in the Tank?

Anaerobic bacteria begin to break down some wastes in the tank. Wastewater contains suspended solids. Heavy solids settle out and form sludge on the bottom of the tank.

Read More

Septic Tank Design

A septic tank must be watertight. The wastewater has not been fully treated, so it must be contained and prevented from escaping into the environment. Septic tanks can be made of concrete, concrete blocks, fiber-reinforced plastic, high-density plastic or fiberglass.

Read More

Soil & Site Evaluation

The ability of soil to accept water or for water to travel through soil is called soil permeability. Percolation is the movement of water through soil. A soil percolation test is designed to measure the rate of water movement in saturated soil (mimicking conditions that soil treatment systems have) so that one can decide the appropriate type and size of treatment system.

Read More

How does a septic system work?

A system typically has 3 parts: plumbing from the house, a septic tank, and an effluent treatment system.

Read More

Pages

Sign up for updates from UNL Water

Sign Up Here