What is a Septic System and How Does it Work?
- Septic systems are onsite treatment units that eliminate the need for municipal sewers in rural areas.
- Every drip that goes down the drain of a dwelling or building serviced by a septic system eventually filters through the system.
- The most common septic system consists of a septic tank and leaching bed, all of which is hidden beneath the soil.
- All waste is filtered through the septic tank by way of an underground pipe. These waste particles are either trapped in the tank, or filtered through to the bed.
- The leaching bed, which is made up of a network of perforated PVC drain pipes, disperses the effluent, allowing liquid to seep into the ground where bacteria processes the wastewater further.
Do’s and Don’ts of Septic Ownership
- Familiarize yourself with the location of your septic system
- Keep accurate records of septic system maintenance and service calls
- Have your septic tank inspected for sludge and scum buildup on a regular basis (3-5 years) and clean out when a third of the depth of you tank is full
- Divert surface water away from your leaching bed
- Enter a tank – gases and lack of oxygen can be fatal
- Dig without knowing the location of your leaching bed
- Pave over your leaching bed
- Drain hot tub or spa water to the septic system
What Happens When There’s a Problem?
- If you suspect you have a problem with your septic system, it is important to fix the problem quickly
- Malfunctioning septic systems can quickly contaminate groundwater and surface water used as drinking water sources
- If you think there’s a problem, start by having your septic system inspected
The tank may just need a cleaning
- If the problem is with the leaching bed, you will want to speak with an onsite sewage system professional for their advice
A list of certified Engineer’s can be found here