So, you recently moved into a home that relies on a septic tank system, and you know very little about what it is or what it does. If nothing else, since you now own one, you should have a general idea of the topic. With that in mind, here’s a good question to ask septic installers in Prior Lake, MN: How do septic systems actually work?
Septic tank overview
If your home or business building is not hooked up to a public city sewer system, then you depend on a septic system to deal with your household’s solid waste and wastewater. Septic systems are not cheap. They must be cared for properly through regular inspections, tank pumping, repairs and maintenance so they last a long time and remain problem-free.
Most residential septic systems are designed as passive systems. An inlet pipe is one of the basic components of this system. It carries wastewater from the home to the septic tank, which then separates out solids before sending the liquid out to the drain field.
Septic system operation and the three main parts of your septic system
Flushing a toilet sends wastewater through the inlet pipe and into the septic tank, where anaerobic bacteria are waiting to breakdown solid waste. The liquid in the tank is held temporarily as the bacteria do their thing, and then it makes its way out to the drain field.
Although there are many different types of septic systems that work well in a range of soils and site location conditions, their main components are similar, if not entirely the same. All of them need to operate properly and safely. For this reason, it’s important for septic tank owners to have a basic understanding of a standard septic system’s three main parts:
- The septic tank: Your septic tank serves a big purpose: it’s where everything that’s flushed and put down the drains goes. Once in the tank, it gets to work separating solid waste from the wastewater, stores the solids and decomposes the solid material as much as possible. As for the liquid, it goes out to the drain field.
- The drain field: After the solid waste has been separated from the water, all of it settles in the septic tank and leaves a liquid called effluent on top. The remaining liquid in the tank is wastewater that eventually gets discharged to the drain field, also known as a leach field or absorption field.
- The soil in the drain field: The soil underneath the drain field is where the septic tank wastewater will settle. It’s the final disposal site of septic tank effluent. Because the effluent will make its way down and out to join the groundwater, there are organisms in the soil that treat the wastewater first. However, the effectiveness of the soil in the drain field depends on the type of soil. For example, hard clay is too packed to let much wastewater through, and soil with gravel may let the wastewater pass through too quickly, before it has the chance to be treated.
Contact the team at Mike’s Septic & McKinley Sewer Services to work with the most reliable and experienced septic installers in Prior Lake, MN!