How Does A Septic System Work?

Posted on: 27 April 2018


Are you considering installing a septic tank on your property? It is important that you know how it works. This will help you know how to use and maintain it so that it can serve you better; for longer.

A septic services system is a sewer system used for wastewater treatment in areas not connected to the municipal or city sewer line. It is typically used in rural areas. The system consists of a septic tank and a drain field. It collects wastewater from the toilet, kitchen, and laundry and channels it to a septic tank.

The Septic Tank

A septic tank is an airtight container typically made of concrete, fiberglass or plastic and placed underground. The tank separates the solids from liquid, allowing liquid and scum to rise to the top of the tank while solids settle at the bottom. Naturally occurring bacteria in the tank will help to break down the solids. The tank has a T-shaped outlet that keeps solids and scum from leaving the tank. The liquid then leaves the tank through an outlet and into the drain field.

The Drain Field

In soil-based systems, the wastewater or effluent is then channeled into a drain field through perforated pipes or leaching chambers where it is slowly released into the ground. Here, through natural processes, the soil treats the wastewater by removing harmful bacteria, pathogens, and nutrients and then passes it into underground water. Alternatively, the waste may be pumped through sand, peat or sawdust which purifies the effluent before releasing it into the ground. Yet other systems will evaporate or disinfect wastewater then release it into groundwater.

Care and Maintenance

An important point to note: You'll need to pump out your septic tank every one to three years. Keep an eye on your septic system to ensure it is working properly. Excessive moisture around your drain field or bright green grass in dry weather is a sign that your drain field is not working properly. This may cause wastewater to back up into your drainage. Any foul odor from the field is also a red flag. Call a septic services company for help. Also, avoid planting trees around the drain field. Do not place any heavy objects on the septic tank or drain field.

A septic system is a viable option if you live off the main sewer line. It works perfectly well and can serve you for many years if you maintain it properly. Knowing how it works is crucial to proper maintenance. In case you notice any problem, attend to it promptly.