If you own a septic tank, you are responsible for it. That means professional maintenance, vigilant care, and proper treatment. The main benefits of proper maintenance are cost savings and environmental protection.
What is a Septic Tank?
Septic tanks are underground wastewater containers that treat the water coming from your home.
Septic tank synonyms:
- on-lot system
- onsite system
- individual sewage disposal system
- onsite sewage disposal system
- onsite wastewater treatment system
How does a septic tank work?
This is a simplified explanation, but covers all of the basics.
All the water from your home gets funneled into one main drainage pipe. The contaminated water gets transported from a main drainage pipe to the septic tank located in an underground area near your house.
In the septic tank, the water remains until the solids sink to the bottom, where bacteria help to break it down. To prevent too much sludge and scum, you will eventually need to have your septic tank pumped (every 3 – 5 years). Inlet and outlet tees help prevent the sludge from escaping.
Once the oils and sludge has been separated, the wastewater is released into a nearby drainfield, where it percolates under the soil (proper soil is necessary).
Some systems use alternative material to treat the wastewater, such as sand, peat, or plastic. Still in other systems, the water may drain to nearby wetlands, lagoons, or a separate disinfection system. Alternative septic systems should be professionally inspected every year.
Tips for Owning a Septic Tank
- Get a professional inspection
- Watch what goes down your drains
- Use water efficiently
- Care for your drainfield
- Repair leaks
Learn more about what you should do with your septic system here.