septic tank

noun
a tank in which solid organic sewage is decomposed and purified by anaerobic bacteria.

Origin:
1900–05

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
septic tank
 
n
a tank, usually below ground, for containing sewage to be decomposed by anaerobic bacteria

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

septic tank

sewage-disposal unit used principally for single residences not connected to sewer lines. It consists ordinarily of either a single- or double-compartment concrete or steel tank buried in the ground, so arranged that settled sludge is in contact with the waste water as it flows through the tank and thence to a tile drain field. Solids are decomposed by the anaerobic bacterial action of the sludge. After several years the accumulation of sludge interferes with the action, and a scavenger unit must pump the sludge out of the tank for disposal elsewhere.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Do not use a garbage grinder or disposal, which feeds into the septic tank.
The change in chemical composition is due to fertilizer run off, run off from a
  pig farm and from septic tank overflows.
In one of these, the septic tank has been out of order for several months.
Stucco abounds, pastels are the rage and every where you turn are fliers for
  septic tank pumping or driveway repair.
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