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Septic tank system for on-site wastewater treatment

This page is no longer updated. The information presented here formed part of our previous areas of research. This has included research carried out on behalf of our research partners, commerical contracts and also the Scottish Goverment's Strategic research programme during the period 2011 - 2016.

Scottish Goverment LogoWe have left these pages here to provide background information on our previous areas of research. Further details on the RESAS strategic programme of research (2016-21) will be made available.

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Rural house and farm
This study aims provide analytical and statistical information to assist septic tank owners.

A PhD study on septic tank systems in Scotland is being conducted to understand the role of septic tanks in household sewage treatment, the treatment processes and the effectiveness of soakaway systems in removing nutrients and contaminants from wastewater. The project will also explore how maintenance and general household activities can affect septic tank system performance.

The ultimate objective of this project is to provide analytical and statistical information to generate new knowledge that can assist septic tank owners in prolonging the life time of their septic tank systems and to make sure systems function as efficiently as possible.

The study is in two stages and householders with septic tanks can participate in one or both stages. The first stage is completing the online survey which includes questions about household activities, numbers of occupants and brief information about your septic tank system. 

The second stage of the study involves a smaller selected number of sites for sampling effluent and soils from septic tank systems at intervals over a set period. There is an option within the survey to find out more about participating in this stage of the project and we would then contact you to discuss it further.

Any information specific to individual households is confidential but our summary results, taken from all survey results together, may be reported in publicly accessible forms (research thesis, scientific journal or reports). Participants can withdraw from the project at any time.

You can complete the septic tank online survey now or if you have further questions please contact Samia Richards.


Areas of Interest

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.