Residential Wastewater Treatment It is becoming clear that centralized sewage systems will become artifacts of the past. They are generally expensive, energy intensive, require a lot of chemicals and contaminate rivers, lakes and oceans.
Wastewater or sewage is divided into two categories. All the wastewater without the toilet and food laden kitchen sink is considered greywater. Any waste water containing toilet effluent and kitchen sink effluent is considered blackwater. The simplest method to treat waste water onsite is to install a septic system that utilizes bacteria to breakdown the total sewage. The liquid overflow provides safe irrigation by a leachfield for surrounding trees. However, there are many better ways to handle sewage. First of all, it is advisable to separate greywater from blackwater as greywater typically provides the bulk of residential waste water and can be processed with less effort than blackwater. There are various ways to treat greywater including low profile landscape irrigation or to be reused for specially designed indoor planters tolerant to greywater known as botanical greywater processors. Our preferred choice of treating greywater is to integrate it into a system for residential water recycling to conserve water consumption which utilizes every drop of water four to seven times as described on our water page. This system integrates greywater and blackwater into one system with maximum efficiency. Blackwater by itself can also be treated by septic systems as described above. Another method is to use especially designed outdoor botanical processing units however they are not very efficient and can be problematic in colder climates. Anaerobic biodigestion is Green New World’s preferred choice of treating blackwater which integrates well into the water recycling system and the energy generation system of a residential household. Please see relevant sections for more detail.