How Do Septic Tanks Work?
Updated: May 26
Everyone is familiar with the thought, that when you flush the toilet or take a shower, the water from the tub/bowl goes somewhere. But have you ever stopped to think about the process that goes on with it? What most don't know, is that as long as you aren't living in a large city, you most likely have your own septic system somewhere on your property.
What is a Septic System?
A septic system is a private (usually onsite) functional, sanitary waste water treatment. Basically, your septic system will receive all the water waste that leaves your home's plumbing and will treat it to extract the useable water waste that can be absorbed by the soil. Long story short, it will separate the solid waste form the liquids for your soil. Solid waste can exist in two forms...first a top layer of grease referred to as "scum" and also a bottom layer of solids commonly referred to as "sludge." Your septic tank takes water from your household plumbing and treats it until it is safe for the environment. The safe waste will be left for the surrounding soil of the property.
An Outline of the Septic System
Below is a general outline of the main components of any septic system: - Sewer line - this is the main waste line leading from your home's plumbing to the septic tank - Septic tank - this is the underground tank that receives and treats your home's water-waste - Leaching system - this is the drainage system that allows for waste effluent to be dispersed into the soil
If you are a new homeowner, or looking to invest into a new home, make sure your home inspector inspects the septic system properly before you are stuck with an extremely expensive problem. If your home is older than others, than you may want to check to see what your septic system is made out of. Some houses have tanks made of steel and others have some made out of wood.
Tanks made out of steel will eventually rust and be needing to be replaced. Tanks made out of wood will end up rotting and be replaced as well. The most up-to-date septic systems are made of concrete or fiberglass. These have been proven to be the most durable and efficient. If you are looking to upgrade your septic system, talk to the experts to find out which material will be best for you.
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