How Do Septic Systems Work?

Before one may even begin to think about how to care for one’s septic system, one must understand the basic functionality behind it.

In the most basic sense, a septic tank is a type of waste disposal system typically used in rural areas where the cost of installing a city-wide sewer system is too cost prohibitive. In these cases, individuals install their own private systems.

The 4 Components of Your Septic System

  1. The Septic Tank – A septic tank is simply a big concrete or steel tank that is most commonly buried in one’s yard. A typical tank holds about 1,000 gallons of water and consists of three layers:  the top scum layer, the middle water layer, and the bottom sludge layer. Septic Tank Diagram - Septic Maxx
  2. The Secret Pipe System – This is just the transportation system from tour drains, toilets, showers, etc. to your septic tank.
  3. P-traps – These are one-way valves that attach to your pipes to prevent gasses and odors from your septic tank from making their way back up through your drains and into your home.
  4. The Drainage Field – The drainage field is what prevents your tank from overfilling. As the tank fills, gravity pushes water into the drainage field.

How’s This Important?

As the septic tank gradually fills up, the water already in it is displaced out of the tank and into a drainage field as shown by the diagram below. As the water drains, solid waste buildup can occur at the bottom of the septic tank, meaning it needs to be cleaned.Septic System Diagram - Septic MaxxAt each phase of this process, from your drain to your tank and finally out to the drainage field, all three critical components of your septic system are working together to ensure the proper disposal of waste. A properly working septic system provides owners with modern plumbing, a key 21st century convenience. For all these reasons and more, having a working knowledge of proper septic system maintenance is key. For more information on proper septic system maintenance click here.

Normally, a properly installed septic tank is very dependable if maintained well. This is true because septic tanks don’t have many moving parts, they simply work with nothing but gravity.

Septic system cleaning, maintenance, and longevity can all be improved with SepticMaxx products. Keep yourself from having to do costly repairs in the future, contact us now.

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