How Your Septic System Works

 

Conventional Septic System:

When you flush the toilet or put water down the drain, it flows through the pipes and into the septic tank through the inlet tee.  The top layer of “scum” is made up of light solids that have floated to the top.  The heavy solids that settle to the bottom is called “sludge”.  At working level, the wastewater filters out into your leaching field, leaving the solids behind.  The wastewater then disperses into the ground.  There is always bacteria in your tank that helps to break down these solids.  Pumping your tank is necessary to get rid of the solids and keep your system working as it should.

 

Main Septic Tank

 

If your system is fairly new, there will be a filter at the outlet side of your system.   This filter helps to keep solids from escaping into your leaching field and prolongs the life of the system.  A typical residential filter need to be cleaned every 6-12 months.  You can easily clean this filter yourself by hooking it, pulling it out and rinsing it off with a garden hose.

 

Tight Tank Septic System:

With a tight tank septic system, the main septic tank does not have a leaching fieldas in a conventional system.  Your septic tank is a holding tank and once the tank is full, it needs to be pumped.  All tight tank septic systems have an alarm that goes off when you reach a high level in the tank.  Once the alarm goes off, you only have a few more days of usage.  You should call and schedule a pump for your tank as soon as your hear the alarm to avoid any problems such as backups in your yard or home.

 

Pump System:

With a pump septic system. It work almost like a conventional system except that there is a pump that will pump the water out of your septic tank to your leaching area.  Pump systems are usually found in areas with a high water table and you may see the leaching field above the normal grade of your yard. 

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