The Evolution Of Septic Systems - Proseptic

The Evolution Of Septic Systems

septic tanks

The flushing toilet that eventually replaced the chamber pot was invented by Sir John Harington (not Thomas Crapper), way back in the late 1500s.

But the first septic tank didn’t follow until almost 300 years later, built by a Frenchman, Jean Mouras.

Since then, the humble septic system has seen much improvement and evolution, to reach its current status as a vital element of drainage health.

Why were septic systems needed?

Prior to the invention of Mr Mouras, we had toilets, sewers and even cesspools in the ancient world – numerous civilisations across the globe saw the benefits.

But in Britain, the middle ages were rife with disease and pollution, as ‘privy’ toilets were typically connected to open cesspools, which were rarely emptied.

As you’d expect, this also led to smell-related problems, as waste would often overflow into gardens and watercourses.

Mouras’ invention comprised a tank that would store waste for later discharge, rather than instant flow into a sewer or river, for example.

The growth in popularity of septic systems

After Jean patented his design for a system with a soakaway in 1881, it quickly became popular internationally.

In the US in particular, septic tank design and manufacture advanced at pace, especially in agricultural environments.

Another factor in the growth of popularity was military operations, as forces abroad introduced septic tanks to overseas territories.

Septic system standardisation

But while the use of septic tanks was becoming more widespread, Britain didn’t specify a required standard for them until 1956.

This code-of-practice (CP302:100) was later updated and renamed CP302 1972 to cover things like sewage treatment by aeration and removal of solids.

After several revisions, it was replaced in 1983 by the British Standard BS 6297:1983 (Code of practice for design and installation of small sewage treatment works and cesspools).

This was last updated in 2007 to cover most of the modern septic systems in use today.

What about my septic system?

If you’re unsure whether or not your property has a septic system that is up-to-date, in working order or breaking any regulations, help is available.

Professional septic tank evaluation services can prove cost-effective in finding out if your system is operating as it needs to.

And it could give you peace-of-mind about the immediate future for your system, regardless of which era of history it was installed during.

Is your septic system up-to-date?

Sometimes, it’s important to know what came before, to help determine what comes next.

Today’s efficient and environmentally friendly septic systems and small sewage treatment plants function well with scheduled professional maintenance. 

If you’d like to know more about septic tank maintenance, or updating your current system, please contact us.

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