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What is a septic system and how does it work?



A septic system is a series of underground pipes and tanks that are designed to collect and process household wastewater. The system consists of a leach field, which is made up of perforated pipes or trenches that direct wastewater away from your home. A septic tank is located in the leach field and acts as the first stage of treatment by filtering out solid matter before sending liquids through the drain field.


History of septic systems.

The septic system is a relatively new invention. It first came into use in the late 1800s, when households started getting larger and more crowded. At this time, septic tanks were large and expensive to install; they were only used by wealthy families who lived in large houses that needed multiple bathrooms for their many occupants.

In time, however, people realized that smaller-sized septic systems could be just as effective at treating household wastewater as their larger predecessors were--and they were cheaper too! Today's homeowners can enjoy all of these benefits while still keeping costs down because modern technology has made it easier than ever before to build an effective home sewage treatment system right in your own backyard.


What does a septic system do?

A septic system is a treatment system that separates solids from liquids. The process involves the following:

  • Treating wastewater to remove impurities and pathogens.

  • Separating solid waste from liquid effluent, which flows into the leach field.

  • Allowing wastewater to flow through the leach field so that it can be cleaned before being discharged into the environment or collected for reuse as greywater (used for flushing toilets).

What parts make up a septic system?

A septic system consists of three parts:

  • Sewer line. The sewer line carries wastewater from your home to the septic tank. It's typically made up of PVC or clay pipes.

  • Septic tank. This large container holds debris and sludge while allowing liquids and solid particles to settle out over time before being pumped out into the drain field or leach field via gravity flow.

  • Drain or leach field. A drain field is a series of perforated pipes buried in gravel-filled trenches that receive wastewater from your home's drain pipes and leach lines. The gravel provides drainage for the wastewater while allowing air to reach the solids breaking down inside the septic tank so they can decompose and biodegrade. The drain field also filters out solid particles and bacteria from the wastewater before it travels through the soil, where it’s naturally treated by microorganisms.

Septic System Maintenance and Best Practices
  • Keep the septic tank free of sludge by having it maintained by a professional. Avoid putting oils and grease down household drains.

  • Make sure that you have enough water pressure to move waste through your system properly, as well as keeping any pipes clear of roots that may be growing in them so they don't clog up and slow down flow through them!

  • Keep the leech field free of debris.

A septic system is an essential part of your home that can last for decades with proper maintenance. If you have any questions about where your septic tank is or locating the sewer line from the house to the tank, contact us today!


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