Understanding How a Septic Tank System Works

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Protecting Your Home

When we moved into a more rural part of the country, I was surprised by how many things were different. In addition to having a septic tank, we also had a water well that we had to figure out how to service. However, we quickly learned everything we needed to know, and before I knew it, I was moving in to a place that I felt really good about. Now I can see that all of those little services are a serious benefit, since they help to reduce our monthly costs. Read more on this website about protecting your home and using off-the-grid technologies like septic tanks.


Understanding How a Septic Tank System Works

23 January 2024
 Categories: , Blog

Do you live in a home that is not connected to a municipal sewer system? If yes, then you most likely have a septic tank system installed to handle your household wastewater. As a homeowner, understanding how your septic tank system operates is essential in ensuring that your system runs efficiently and you avoid costly repairs.

Understanding the septage process

The septage process is the core mechanism behind a septic tank system. It's a biological process that breaks down organic matter in the wastewater coming from your home. The process leads to the production of three distinct layers: the top scum layer, the middle effluent layer, and the bottom sludge layer. The top scum layer floats on top of the effluent layer, while the bottom sludge layer is heavier and sinks to the bottom. The effluent layer sits between the two.

The septic tank process

The process starts when wastewater enters the tank and starts to accumulate. Over time, the solids will start to settle on the bottom to create the sludge layer, while the lighter waste particles will stay in the effluent layer. The effluent layer passes through the outlets and into the drain field, where it is distributed into the ground and naturally further treated.

Maintaining your septic tank system

To ensure your septic tank system operates efficiently and effectively, homeowners must ensure their tanks are regularly pumped out by a professional. The professional will remove all the sludge and reduce the risk of any clogs or overflows. Additionally, homeowners can also take some measures to ensure their system is functioning correctly. For instance, avoid flushing down the drain non-degradable or inorganic items, such as plastics, chemicals, and other substances that can clog or damage your system. Check for leaks, slow drainage, or backups and address them promptly.

Signs of a failing septic tank

If your septic tank system is starting to fail, several signs may indicate it. For instance, sewage backups, slow drainage, or strong odors around your septic tank or drain field. Additionally, waterlogged or overly lush fields and gurgling sounds, running toilets, and standing water are all tell-tale signs that your system needs attention.

A well-functioning septic tank system is essential to homeowners who rely on it, understand how it works, and ensure regular maintenance. Homeowners can do their best to reduce the risk of any blockages or clogs by avoiding putting inorganic or non-degradable products into their septic tank and addressing any problems attendance promptly. Proper installation and professional inspection of your system will ensure it runs at peak performance, providing you with trouble-free wastewater management for years to come. 

Learn more about septic tank system services near you today.