Failing systems are potentially a serious source of ground and surface water contamination. Improperly treated sewage contains both pathogens and chemical toxicants. The health threat is two fold. First, there is contact with harmful fecal organisms and chemicals, such as NO3. Second, failing systems produce stress on the environment such that they may inhibit natural cleansing mechanisms and accentuate health risks of all kinds.
Pretreatment is treatment of effluent prior to discharge into a soil absorption field. This eases the burden on the soil absorption area by lowering the chemical and biological strength of sewage. It may serve as a safety net, filtering out most intestinal pathogens. Additionally, it may buffer the soil during short periods of saturation.
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