The most satisfactory treatment and disposal method of domestic wastewater is through a municipal sewage system. Where municipal systems are available, onsite systems are discouraged. In rural areas, however, some type of onsite system for treatment and disposal of wastewater may be the only option. Primarily, two types of private onsite treatment systems are used in Kansas: septic tank-lateral systems and wastewater stabilization ponds (lagoons). The septic system is the most common form of onsite wastewater treatment. It is the most desirable onsite system to use if soil conditions are suitable. Since the septic tank and laterals are completely covered with soil, the system is not visible and odor is nonexistent, as long as wastewater does not surface. In areas of poor soil drainage and where evaporation rates exceed percolation rates, however, it can be difficult and expensive to build lateral fields that will effectively treat and absorb wastewater. Lagoons should be considered for domestic wastewater treatment in these areas.
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