Nitrogen from onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems can pollute groundwater and surface water. This contamination can lead to eutrophication, which causes excessive algae growth and depletes the water’s oxygen.
Conventional septic systems allow nitrogen to leach from waste into the soil and move through groundwater to surface waters.
Reduces the Risk of Algae Growth
As nitrogen flows through a septic system, it contaminates groundwater and can leach into lakes, streams, and coastal waters. An overabundance of nitrogen can lead to toxic algal blooms, which lower water quality and decrease oxygen levels. This process is known as eutrophication and can affect human health. It also harms aquatic plants and wildlife.
Conventional Title 5 septic systems are not designed to remove nutrients from wastewater discharged into the environment. However, an innovative or advanced onsite waste treatment system can significantly reduce nitrogen pollution from residential septic systems and help protect our water resources.
The first step in a nitrogen-reducing septic system installation is having a professional evaluation site. This includes examining factors such as the size and slope of your property, the type of soil, proximity to bodies of water, and more.
Then, the professional can design a nitrogen-reducing septic system that best fits your property. Depending on your site and situation, the professional may recommend using a Performance-based Treatment system (PBTS) or in-ground nitrogen-removing biofilter (INRB). Both technologies reduce the amount of nitrogen and other contaminants in household wastewater.
Reduces Nitrogen Pollution
Many homes rely on septic systems or cesspools. When these septic tanks or cesspools fail to function correctly, they leach nitrogen pollution into groundwater and contaminate local water sources. This includes lakes, rivers, and oceans.
For both plants and animals, nitrogen is an essential nutrient. However, too much nitrogen causes algae growth that depletes oxygen levels in the water. This can lead to fish kills and deteriorate coastal marshes.
Traditional septic systems and cesspools are not designed to remove nitrogen from wastewater. Instead, they let nitrogen seep into groundwater, which can travel miles to a nearby waterway.
Reduces the Risk of Nitrate-Induced Diseases
The leading cause of nitrate pollution is septic tanks. When these nitrates reach high levels in groundwater, they can increase the risk of colon and rectum cancer for adults and lower oxygen levels in water, a process known as eutrophication.
The result is that public water supplies can be unsafe for drinking, and the local marine environment suffers from losing eelgrass and other vital habitat.
Thankfully, scientists are working hard to develop new commercial septic system engineering that can significantly reduce the nitrogen they discharge into our soil and groundwater. These innovative nitrogen-reducing onsite wastewater treatment systems can replace outdated septic tanks and cesspools and restore local water environments and animal habitats.
Reduces the Risk of Groundwater Contamination
In conventional septic systems, wastewater seeps slowly through the soil in a drain field. These systems do an excellent job of removing bacteria, but they do not remove nitrogen, which is very harmful to marine ecosystems.
Nitrogen-reducing septic systems can be installed in new homes or replaced in existing onsite septic systems. The first step to implementing this technology is to create a consistent funding stream that would encourage builders and homeowners to choose these systems. Another critical step is legislation that would require the installation of these systems upon the sale of a home.