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This document discusses the design and use of Foam Cube Septic Media Filter systems in alternative wastewater treatment systems. Foam cube and other special septic effluent treatment media (discussed at this website) can permit wastewater treatment on very small lots or even completely above ground where space or soil conditions do not permit a conventional tank and drainfield system.
Media filter septic systems use a conventional septic tank followed by any of several methods to further filter and treat septic effluent before it is discharged to the soil, soil surface, or waterway. Citation of this article by reference to this website and brief quotation for the sole purpose of review are permitted. Use of this information at other websites, in books or pamphlets for sale is reserved to the author. Technical review by industry experts has been performed and is ongoing - reviewers welcomed and are listed at References.
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Two-inch open-celled polyurethane cubes are placed into a container to form a packaged or "pre-fab" septic media filter system which is used in either single pass or recirculating effluent mode.
Packaged foam cube septic effluent (wastewater) treatment systems may be placed entirely above ground (but of course will not work in an area of hard freezing climate).
Septic effluent is passed into the foam filter in small doses (1/10 gallon to 1 gallon per cubic foot per dose) using spray nozzles which dose the system from its top.
An advantage of the foam cube septic media system for wastewater treatment is its easy maintenance as the (clog prone) top few inches of foam cubes are easily removed and replaced.
A typical media filter system is designed using a flow of 50 to 65 gallons per day per occupant of the building served by the system. This number, cited by several authors including Jantrania, Minnis, and Kahn, Allen, and Jones, is less than other total wastewater load estimates but is considered by these authors to be realistic and is consistent with a number of studies performed on typical wastewater flow rates and quantities.
The system design maintenance required of the media filter system as well as its operating characteristics vary considerably depending on the media selected, with open cell foam and textiles providing higher gallons per day loading ability than peat and other media.
"Maintenance" in this case will refer to inspection of the media bed to determine when the media needs to be cleaned or replaced. Some systems, such as sand filter beds, are raked or agitated rather than replaced, but ultimately all filter systems will become clogged and face media replacement.
Septic filter media maintenance and replacement cost should be factored into estimates of alterative septic system costs when comparing alternative septic system designs.
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Product Source List for Filters, Septic Filters & Wastewater Treatment Systems Using Filtration Methods
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