How do septic systems work?

How do septic systems work? Septic systems, cesspits and cesspools are all considered small individual waste water treatment plants designed to dispose of house hold waste typically generated by a single family residence. These systems are usually located in rural areas too far from the city sewer system hookups. Currently in the U.S. approximately 25% of all homes are located in rural areas and rely on septic systems.

A typical septic system tank and drain field will usually consist of a concrete septic tank usually 1000 to 1500 gallons in size and a drain field consisting of 200 feet or more of perforated drain pipe laid in a bed of gravel making up the septic system drain field. The number of bedrooms and square feet of the home will determine the size of the septic system tank and drain field.

Through normal use, the home generates organic waste and water. This is commonly referred to as black water. The black water flows through a 4”PVC pipe into the septic system tank. The septic system tank is partitioned into two sections. The waste water flows into the tank were the solid material remains in the first section until the solids have had time to digest into effluent. This digestion process is accomplished with the help of bacteria enzyme that are produced by human waste. This bacteria is a coli form of bacteria working to create enzyme that will control odor, break down the solids forming a scum layer on top, sludge layer on the bottom and the effluent will remain in the middle, flowing to the other side of the tank where it will eventually flow into the drain field and leach into the ground.

The effluent leaches into the ground where natural bacteria found in the soil will take over and complete the digestion process, filtering the effluent and returning it back to the water table.

Take care of your septic system, remembering not to use anti-bacterial hand or dish soaps. Cleaning products that contain anti-bacterial properties should be avoided at all cost.

With all the harsh chemicals being used in today’s environment, consider using a bacterial enzyme septic tank maintenance treatment on a regular basis. This will assist your system in digesting the organic matter limiting the amount of solids in your septic tank and extending the life of your septic system.

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