septic system care

septic system care
Septic Systems and How They Work

septic systems
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

Restore Failing Drainfields.
Correct sodium damage to clay soils.
Septic Seep


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 category. 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.

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

1. septic tank -- 2. distribution box -- 3. drain field or leach field

Wastewater and solids exit the home through toilets and drains and end up in the septic tank. The function of the septic tank is to separate solid material from the wastewater. The solids are broken down by naturally occurring bacteria that inhabit the tank.

Septic tanks usually contain two chambers. Scum is the material, which floats on the top of the water in the tank where aerobic (air breathing) bacteria digest it. Sludge is undigested solid matter, which settles to the bottom of the tank. Here anaerobic bacteria digest some of the matter, the undigested part must be removed periodically by a licensed septic system pumping service. Effluent is the clarified partially treated liquid portion, which makes its way from the tank to the distribution box where it is distributed to the various lateral lines in the drain field.

A typical drain field consists of several trenches filled with gravel and a perforated pipe, which sits near the top of the trench. Effluent flows through these lateral lines and makes its way into the soil through the perforations in the pipe. Once in the soil the effluent is treated further courtesy of the billions of anaerobic bacteria living in the biomat. The biomat is a tar like substance that forms on the sides and bottom of drain field trenches. It acts to slow down the passage of water to the soil allowing a longer period of contact with the beneficial bacteria living there the anaerobic bacteria feed on nutrients contained in the effluent. This action filters out viruses, harmful bacteria and parasites before the effluent is returned to the water table.

The treated water is full of nutrients and enriches the earth. It benefits plant growth and helps in maintaining healthy composition and structure of the soil.

Did you know? Very little new water is ever created on earth. All water is recycled, evaporating into the atmosphere from the soil, rivers, lakes and oceans and returning to earth as rain.

Remember: Septic tanks should be pumped by a licensed professional pumping service every 2 to 5 years depending on the size of the tank and the size of the family. Check your local telephone book yellow pages for a company in your area. is an information packed web site, which explains how septic systems work and how to restore failing drain fields.

















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