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septic tank

a tank in which solid organic sewage is decomposed and purified by anaerobic bacteria.
1900-05 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for septic-tank

septic tank

a tank, usually below ground, for containing sewage to be decomposed by anaerobic bacteria
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for septic-tank

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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