How A Septic System Works

Dated: 02/01/2016

Views: 1724

When you rent a home and the toilet backs up, you call the landlord. The landlord will usually handle it from there [based on your lease agreement] and often with the local ordinances governing their response on repair plus time frame. BUT when you own a home, you need to handle the problem yourself or look to your local YELP or internet search to find a contractor. While this can be a consuming task at times, fixing and repairing the problem is essential to maintaining your homes value. Some of the most expensive issues are plumbing related especially for those that use a septic system.

A septic system refers to a special type of home waste disposal system where sewage and wast is all processed within the home's property. Typically septic systems use a septic tank and drain field designs with waste from the home flowing out of a large pipe into a special tank buried in the ground. The tank then allows for solid waste to separate from water, with the water flowing out of the tank and into a drain field. These designs are under the guidance of an engineer and the local, county or state Health Department. Image title

Drainage field, also referred to as seepage pits or fields, extends from the tank, is constructed with perforated PVC pipe and is often buried with rocks and sand below it. Water flows out of the perforated pipe and into the ground, allowing for natural filtering and return to the water basin. Both the size of the septic tank and the length of the drainage field are most often dictated by local government health and building codes in conjunction with the number of bedrooms a home has.

Even though much of the solid water will break down naturally by bacterium in the tank and other natural processes, over time waste will build up. Eventually it will need to be drained by a professional septic tank cleaning service. Failing to do so can cause damage to the system, including the drainage field. There is no exact time frame when a septic must be cleaned out but factors like the age of the system, number of people living in the home, and the size of the system itself. Some companies suggest every 2 to 3 years depending on the stress placed on the system; it should be checked regularly.

Not only it is important to check and drain the septic system at regular intervals, one must be very careful about what types of materials are introduced to into the system. Unlike a home that is serviced by city sewer, owners need to be cautious about what gets put down the sink or flushed down the water closet. Getting into the habit of putting cooking great and other foods down the sink or certain paper products down the toilet significantly increase the risk of damage to the sewage system.


photo source: geo.sunysb.edu

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