Septic tanks are a common solution to wastewater treatment and disposal. With proper maintenance, they can be cost-effective and reliable systems. In this guide, you’ll find out everything you need to know about septic tanks, like how septic tanks work, how to maintain them, and what the regulations and safety issues are.
What Is a Septic Tank?
A septic tank is an underground structure that holds wastewater and other liquids to be treated by natural processes. Wastewater from a household, such as toilets, sinks, showers, laundry machines and dishwashers enters the tank and separates into three layers. The solid material sinks to the bottom as sludge, while lighter materials like oil, grease and soap float to the top as scum. In between is a layer of clarified liquid that flows out of the tank through pipes for further treatment or disposal.
Types of Septic Tanks & Systems.
Septic tanks come in several different types and sizes, depending on the size of your home and the amount of wastewater being produced. Traditional septic tanks are made from concrete, fiberglass or polyethylene, while alternative systems such as aerobic/anaerobic units or sand filter systems may be more appropriate for certain situations. It’s important to research the best type of system for your home and ensure it is installed properly to ensure it operates correctly.
How Does It Work?
A septic system operates by treating wastewater from your home in an environment that is oxygen-free, so bacteria can break down the organic matter. This occurs in the tank where liquids and solids separate. The liquid then filtering through the walls of the tank into a distribution line or pipe connected to the drain field near your house. This is where soils and natural organisms further treat and destroy any remaining waste before returning it safely back into the environment.
Maintaining Your Septic System.
Regular maintenance of your septic system is critical to keep the tank and drain field functioning properly. You should have your septic tank pumped every five years or so, depending on its size and the number of occupants in your home. Inspections are also important, as they can ensure that your tank isn’t leaking effluent into the surrounding environment and could identify any potential problems with the drain field.
Regulations for Septic Systems.
Regulations for septic systems vary from country to country. Before you move a septic tank, be sure to check laws and follow procedure as required by the destination country. Some countries require tanks to be pumped out and inspected prior to transport while others may require new permits and installation plans. Prepare ahead of time so that your move goes as smoothly as possible.
And that’s just about everything you need to know about septic tanks!