Why are septic tanks needed instead of outhouses?

I know feces has e coli and other bacteria, but what is wrong if it goes into a hole in the ground such as in an outhouse?

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  • 9 years ago
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    "Outhouses" are a hole in the ground that are sometimes lined with concrete that over time will break and leak raw sewage into the ground and in some cases groundwater...

    Modern septic systems are also exited into the ground but the sewage is purified to some degree with clorine tablet and distributed over a wide area...Old type septic tanks also used chemicals to purify the sewage to some degree and filtered into the ground thru gravel also over a wide range ...Didn't actually work all that well but thats all there was at thet point in time

    Source(s): mech
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Septic tanks and outhouses are two different things and have different purposes.

    An outhouse is used where there is no running water to flush a toilet.

    A septic tank is a part of a septic system, who's main job is to disperse the water used to flush toilets and empty sinks, baths, showers, washing machines, etc.

    An outhouse is basically an open pit. It smells and is nasty to look into. With proper maintenance and the use of some pulverized lime, an outhouse can last for several years without needing cleaned out or buried and the building moved.

    A septic tank is a sealed concrete tank that is buried under ground. There is basically no smell, you don't see it and if working properly has it's own eco system that will last for many years without needing any maintenance at all. A septic tank should be pumped about every 7 to 10 years to remove the accumulated solids.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    The bottom and back of the outhouse is exposed to the open air and is accessible via a door so that the refuse can be shoveled out periodically. Nothing wrong with that out in the country, but probably not in the city, hence city codes requiring the septic tank.

    Source(s): Just my opinion
  • 9 years ago

    If you've ever had to avail yourself of an outhouse you wouldn't even have to ask this question. Any person must have a high 'gag' factor rating to be able to stand them ... not to mention the fear one must tamp down when entering the one-seater or the most grand two-seater. Fear of wasps, snakes, being spied upon, being tipped over while sitting, fear of freezing to death in the winter if you've been brave enough to face the elements to get there in the first place. 'Course all of this is said tongue-in-cheek because those glorious buildings are still in use in some parts of our country.... but I'm old enough to remember the real McCoy .. give me a septic tank and indoor conveniences !!!

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    An outhouse only deals with human body waste. Nowadays we have wastewater from baths, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, etc. all of which MUST go into a wastewater treatment facility of some kind. It could not be piped to an outhouse 'soakaway' because it would flood it and you would be up to your ankles in something you would rather avoid.

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