How Septic Tanks Work

A septic system has four main components: a pipe from the home or business, a septic tank, a drainfield and the soil. Your septic system is your responsibility. Households and business that are not served by public sewers depend on onsite wastewater treatment system to treat and dispose of their wastewater.

Pipe: Pipes carry the wastewater from your toilet, bath, kitchen and laundry into the septic tank.

Septic Tank: Holds wastewater and allows for the solids to settle at the bottom of the tanks to become sludge and the liquid (such as oil and grease) to float to the top. If not pumped periodically, the sludge can accumulate and cause the wastewater to overflow.

Drainfield: The wastewater exits into the drainfield after being in the septic tank. The drainfield consists of perforated pipes that are in the soil and allow the water to come out slowly and soak into the soil.

Soil: Soil filters the waste by removing harmful bacteria, viruses and nutrients.


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