How Septic Tank Systems Work

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Jun

12

How Septic Tank Systems Work

If you live in a rural area or off-grid, then your house is probably NOT connected to a centralized sewer system. Instead, you likely rely on an on-site wastewater treatment facility, usually a septic system. In fact, about 1 in 5 households use some sort of septic system for their waste and wastewater treatment. If you are curious about how the septic tank system works, then you are at the right place. Charlotte Septic Pros is your source for septic services, repairs, and installations, and we are here to explain how these vital structures work.

Three Primary Components

There are many types of septic systems, but we will go over the conventional septic tank system. The standard system consists of three primary components: the pipes, the tank, and the drain field.

Let’s say you handle your business and flush the toilet. The waste and wastewater travels through the drains and into the septic tank. The tank is a large, watertight container usually made of concrete, fiberglass, polyethylene, or a combination of these. The tank also houses bacteria and chemicals, which we will go over later.

While the solid waste sinks to the bottom of the septic tank, the scum (such as oils and greases) floats to the top. The wastewater, meanwhile, exits the septic tank through a T-shaped outlet and travels to the drain field.

The drain field is essentially a shallow pit where the wastewater goes and percolates through the unsaturated soil for treatment. The soil naturally removes harmful bacteria, viruses, and pollutants from the wastewater.

What Happens to the Solid Waste?

So, the wastewater percolates through the soil for treatment. What happens to the solid waste? It stays in the septic tank. The inquisitive among you is probably thinking, "For how long?" Well, that’s a bit trickier.

Fortunately, there is "good" bacteria and chemicals in the septic tank. These break down solid waste into sludge. Sludge is denser and saves valuable space in the septic tank. Still, even the sludge will accumulate. Eventually, the septic tank must be pumped or cleaned.

Septic pumping is like a quick vacuum while septic cleaning is like deep cleaning. Septic pumping removes a large portion of the wastewater and scum in the septic tank as well as some of the sludge. Septic cleaning gets rid of it all.

How often you schedule septic pumping or septic cleaning depends on the size of your septic tank, the size of your household, and the condition of the "good" bacteria in the tank. A good rule of thumb is to schedule a septic pumping once every 3 to 4 years and a septic cleaning once every other septic pumping appointment.

Need Septic Professionals in Charlotte?

If you live in Charlotte or surrounding areas and need septic services, repairs, replacements, or installations, then grab the phone and call Charlotte Septic Pros. We offer quick, affordable, and reliable service. We are happy to schedule a convenient appointment or arrange an emergency septic pumping today. Our live representatives are on standby to take your call.

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