Have you ever asked yourself how your septic tank functions? Whether you realize it or not, your septic system provides an essential vital function in your life and the life of everyone around you. If you are not connected to the municipal city sewers, than you most likely have a septic system with either a septic tank and drain field or cesspit. The waste water you use in your home makes its way out to your septic tank. Waste water is then treated in your septic tank converting it into effluent before it flows out to the drain field and leaching into the soil surrounding the system where the effluent goes through a further treatment process before it returns to the water table.
Privately owned and maintained sewer systems require inspection on a regular basis. As long as they are maintained and taken care of, their upkeep and operational cost is minimal.
Septic tanks were made out of and are presently manufactured from a variety of materials. In the past septic tanks were manufactured from steel or wood. Depending on when your home was built, you may have a steel septic tank. You may want to check for rust deposits that may have formed. Steel septic tanks rust and will eventually require replacement. If your home has a wood septic tank, the structure more than likely has decayed. In both cases you will eventually need to invest in a new septic tank system. Beware of septic tank cave-ins. The old systems deteriorate to the point that they become dangerous and a hazard to all. Falling through an old septic tank can lead to bacterial infection and even death in some cases.
Now, septic tanks are manufactured using concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, building them to be impervious to the elements. Fiberglass septic tanks are becoming more popular. Fiberglass tanks are not as heavy as concrete septic tanks and secondly deep roots are not usually able to penetrate a fiberglass septic tank.
Septic tanks are located beneath the surface of the ground and their size will be determined according to the size of your home and the amount of waste water generated by the home. There are inlet and outlet baffles located in your septic tank which control the passage of solid waste into the drain field. Solid waste is digested in the septic tank holding area by healthy bacteria found in the septic tank environment. This bacterium is referred to as coli form bacteria and is produced by the human body.
There are pipes leading out from your septic tank into an area called the leach field or drain field. The surrounding soil absorbs all the fluid that flows there by way of perforated pipes and if your system is functioning well, no solid waste should end up in the drain field. These perforated pipes are buried in trenches below the frost line and surrounded with gravel and soil. The leaching field passes the sewage effluent into the surrounding soil where it is absorbed.
If you are experiencing a problem with your septic system or do so in the future such as odor or blockages, you may want to consider adding a bacterial supplement to your septic system. By adding a natural product enriched with good bacteria, you will aid in the digestion of the solid waste produced by the home. The use of anti bacterial soaps, toxic cleansers and excessive water usage are the reasons septic systems clog up and create unpleasant odors.
Hopefully you have a better conception of septic tank systems and are more educated on the topic than you previously were. Keep in mind, proper maintenance goes a long way in preserving your septic tank system.