How Septic Systems Work
What is a septic system?
1. A septic tank
2. A drain field.
Commonly used drain fields are seepage pits or leach lines.
What is a Septic Tank?
Solid, watertight, buried tank made of concrete, plastic, fiberglass or metal. This tank has a way in (inlet), and a way out (outlet). Septic tanks should have one lid per compartment. Most tanks have (2) compartments. So, most residential tanks should have (2) lids about 5′ away from each other.
A septic tank holds all the liquid waste from your home (toilets, sinks, kitchen, bathtubs, floor drains). The septic tank is the first step to the septic system. The septic tank serves the function of a filter, seperating solids from liquids. Although it is only “one” tank it is divided in two by a wall, called the baffle wall. All waste first enters the septic tank through the inlet tee into the primary chamber. All the heavy sludge and solids sink to the bottom of the tank while the grease and oil (from the kichen and bath soap) float to the top. The baffle wall will trap all the soilds and oils from entering the secondary, which in turn will make the secondary comparment mostly water. This water is refered to as effluent water. The secondary compartment of the tank is connected by a pipe to the next component of the septic system: THE DRAINFIELD.
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Drain Field: A drainfield is just as it sounds: A field to drain water. A drain field is an area of soil in your lawn dedicated to the discharge of all the excess water that is used in your home. Since the septic tank is only a filter it is not designed to hold much water. All the excess water is drained into the soil by means of a drainfield. Common drainfields are: Leach Lines, Seepage Pits, Leach Beds, Subsurface drip irrigation fields, Infiltrator Chambers.
The drain field will drain all the water into the soil naturally. You do not have to worry to empty it out or find it unless your system begins to overflow or puddle at the surface, or you’re having a pool built at which you should make sure you dont build over your septic system. Watch out for signs of system failure such as puddling or overflowing. Septic tanks should never overflow they should only be pumped as regular maintenance every 2 years. If a system is overflowing then this usually means the system is starting to fail. All septic systems will fail eventually and will need to be replaced. Average system lifespan is 20 years.
We offer Full Septic Inspections & Preventative Maintenance Agreements so you can leave all the worrying to us!