Household Sewage News

Replacing a home sewage treatment plant or septic

Sometimes a Home Sewage Treatment Plant (HSTP) or septic system needs replacing. It can seem like a daunting task and you might not know where to begin. Luckily, True Water are wastewater specialists, and we can look after all of your needs. We make sure everything is done correctly and with little disruption to your home, while keeping costs to a minimum.

The majority of the HSTPs or sewage treatment systems we install are for a new home build. There is no existing wastewater infrastructure in place, and a completely new system is needed. However, we also do a lot of replacements. There are various reasons a system needs replacing, and a wide variety of replacement options.

A good quality and well installed system lasts a long time and rarely needs replacing. True Water design all of our home sewage treatment systems to last for 30 years or more. Unfortunately, we also see relatively new systems that need replacing too. A poor quality or badly installed system can have a surprisingly short life span. The old saying “if it looks too good to be true…” applies to home STPs as well.

Why would I need to replace my onsite sewage system?

Things like plumbing or electrical wiring, or even windows and doors, can need an upgrade or replacement as a property ages and deteriorates. The same is true for onsite wastewater treatment systems and septic tanks. They do have a certain lifespan and it is important to replace them when their operational life has come to an end.

Sometimes a system needs replacing only part way through its life. It may need replacing due to misuse or an accident. A wastewater system can be damaged through misuse the same as many pieces of infrastructure in your home. Overloading, lack of maintenance, or incorrect use can cause a system to fail. For example, replacing Biolytix STPs is a common replacement we have done over the years. The Biolytix had a serious design flaw. Some failed quickly and others managed to survive for some time. Biolytix are no longer manufactured or sold in Australia so repairing these systems or replacing parts is not viable. Problems with the Biolytix are not easy to fix and replacement is normally the best option.

Storms or accidents can sometimes damage a system beyond repair as well. If your system is damaged by accident or a freak weather event, it is often covered by your home insurance policy. We have done many emergency replacements covered by insurance. A professional assessment by an industry specialist like True Water is important for a prompt insurance claim.

System replacements are not always due to negative events. Upgrading a home or adding an extension often necessitates an upgrade or replacement. Local councils normally stipulate the size of a wastewater system in direct ratio to the number of bedrooms in a house. Adding an extra bedroom will normally trigger a system upgrade.

How do I know that my HSTP needs to be replaced or upgraded?

Some times it is obvious an old system needs replacing, other times not so much. There are a few signs that will tell you if your system is failing or has problems. Things like wet patches or very green spots in your yard, odours, or pipes backing up are common signs. Also your system might be due for an upgrade if it looks old or in poor condition. It is always good to check with a professional like True Water to be sure.

If subdividing, expanding, or repurposing property, your Council will require you to submit a new plan as part of the DA process. If your property has a fairly old onsite sewage system, it is likely that it no longer meets system requirements and will need to be upgraded. This can sometimes be achieved with the expansion or installation of a new Land Application Area (LAA). Other applications require an upgrade for primary treatment (eg septic tank) to at least secondary treatment (eg AWTS).


Will you have to dig up my whole backyard?

System replacement can be varied. As there is existing infrastructure in place, we sometimes only need to replace or upgrade part of the system. Other times it involves decommissioning the entire system and replacing it with a new system. Decommissioning is when either part or all of the system is disconnected or removed. True Water will only replace what is necessary to keep costs down.

Adding an extra bedroom to a house might only need an extension to the disposal area as the treatment system itself might be big enough. With Biolytix replacements, we can often retain the disposal area and just replace the treatment system. At other times, it is much more practical and cost effective to replace the entire system. Importantly, we always communicate with owners to cause minimal disruption and find the best option.

What do I need to do if my system needs replacing?

When replacing or upgrading your home sewage treatment system, it needs to be approved by your local council. True Water provide the reports and designs needed for council approval and our licenced plumbers undertake the installation. This simplifies and speeds up the process, making it much easier for you.

A replacement STP often treats the wastewater to a much higher level than the old system. Local and national regulations are increasing to protect our health and the environment. It is especially important to replace a failing system to protect the health of your family and the environment. A new STP will add value to your home and provide peace of mind as well.

With replacing a system, you may wonder what your options are. As wastewater specialists, we give you expert assessments so you can make the best decision. Our installation team will then decommission and replace your wastewater system. Everything is smooth and hassle free. Then you can relax with years of trouble-free operation to come.

Contact the team at True Water today for your free system replacement assessment.