septic systems

septic systems and septic tanks, drainfields and wastewater

Septic Systems and How They Work

septic system
septic tanks
soil absorption fields
drainfield soil
hardpan soil
clay soil
soil percolation
bacteria and enzymes
septic system maintenance
septic system care
septic system failure


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Septic Perc

The Septic System

The septic system is a natural method of treatment and disposal of household wastes for homeowners who live in an area where there is no municipal sewage disposal system. It is estimated that there are about 30 million residences in the U.S. that fall into this catagory. If your home has a septic system it important for you to know something about how it works. This often-overlooked part of your home can be very expensive to repair or replace. A little knowledge has the potential to save homeowners thousands of dollars.

Although individual designs vary, a typical gravity fed septic system is composed of three parts:

septic tank

distribution box

drainfield or leachfield

The septic system in the average home, with two baths and three occupants will process over 85,000 gallons of wastewater annually.

All of this wastewater passes through the septic tank, where the solid matter is trapped. The wastewater, or effluent, then passes through the distribution box where it is routed into the drainfield. The drainfield soil filters, and bacteria purifies the wastewater, which eventually makes its way back to the local water table.

Proper treatment of wastewater reduces health risks as it is unhealthy for humans, pets, and wildlife to drink, or come in contact with, surface or ground water contaminated with wastewater. Inadequate treatment of wastewater allows bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing pathogens to enter groundwater and surface water.


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