Most of us probably don't devote a lot of thought to what happens after we flush the toilet. However, occasionally problems do occur and understanding how the waste disposal system works can help us decide how to deal with them. Take this quiz and see what you can do to solve sewage problems.
What is wastewater?
water from a leaking faucet
water from the toilet cistern
Can sewage be simply dumped at sea?
if area is uninhabited within a 10-mile radius
12 miles from the coast
What effect can nitrogen and phosphates have on water in a stream?
cause excessively harmful growth of algae
renew oxygen in water
water dilutes and neutralizes them
What effect will increased bacteria have on stream water?
will supply food for the fish
will kill life forms
will help purify the water
Why would anyone want their own sewage system?
if it is too expensive to install a sewage system
to control their own waste
enjoy the benefits of free fertilizers
What is a septic tank?
a big hole in the yard
a plastic container placed near the drainage pipes of the home
large steel or concrete tank
How many layers are formed within a septic tank?
What causes gases to form in a septic tank?
nitrogen and phosphorous
bacteria breaking down organic matter
bad smell of waste in a sealed environment
If you have a P-trap, what is it?
something to separate liquid waste from solid
filter for the vent trap
loop of pipe preventing gasses from entering house
What is a drain field?
hole with perforated pipes
open field irrigated by filtered wastewater
container that catches rain
What is the typical size of a drain field?
8 to 9 feet deep and 3 feet wide
6 to 8 feet deep and 5 feet wide
4 to 6 feet (about 1.5 m) deep and 2 feet (0.6 m) wide
How do you determine the size of a drain field?
ability of ground to absorb water
size of backyard
Is a pump necessary for a septic system to work well?
only if it is a large system
not if there is gravity
Is the saying "the grass is always greener over the septic tank" true?
only when the septic tank is particularly active
How big is a sewer main?
at least 1 to 3 feet (0.3 to 1 m) wide
3 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 m) wide
6 to 7 feet (1.8 to 2.1 m) wide
Where is a wastewater treatment plant usually located?
in a low area to utilize gravity
in any uninhabited area
on a hilltop to allow gasses to rise
Why are manhole covers round?
no particular reason
so the can easily be rolled away
so they can't fall down the hole
What usually happens when geography prevents gravity from moving wastewater?
A tunnel will be dug through the obstacle.
Wastewater will be pumped over the obstacle.
Wastewater is transported around obstacle in tankers.
How many stages are there in a sophisticated treatment plant?
Why should the effectiveness of a treatment plant be monitored?