Parts of a Septic System You Should Be Aware Of

A septic system is an intricate machine featuring various parts that all work together to make sure that your water waste is being disposed of properly. Each part of the system is crucial to make it function properly. If your home has a septic system, then it’s a must that you learn about it inside and out, so you know how to care for it properly.

There are various types of septic systems but the US Environmental Protection Agency notes that the parts are nearly similar between one another. If you want to know more about your septic system, we’ll help guide you to its most important parts. Let’s start by talking about one of the most essential parts of the clockwork.

Septic Tank

All of your wastewater will be taken down and stored in the septic tank. This crucial part of the septic system is usually buried underground. Experts from say that this part of the system is where the magic happens to say the least. To give you a better understanding of how it works, we’ll detail the process step-by-step.

Once your wastewater goes down the drain, it will flow directly from the pipes and into the septic tank. Inside the septic tank are millions – even billions, of bacteria that will try to break down the solid waste that is floating around the water waste you produce. It will turn the solids into a thick liquid called sludge which will eventually set down at the bottom of the tank.

Then, all the grease and oil will set at the tank and become what’s called scum. The sludge and scum will remain inside the septic tank and the filtered water will be released throughout the drain field. The goal of the septic tank is to filter out as much of the solids as possible. As this process is spearheaded by bacteria, it’s not advisable to let chemicals fall down the drain.

Non-biodegradable products shouldn’t also be flushed down as they cannot be dissolved by the bacteria inside the tank.

Septic tanks are capable of holding gallons of liquid but that doesn’t mean they get full. Eventually, you’ll have to have the tank pumped and clean. Usually, you should have it emptied every 3-5 years. Septic tanks become full of sludge and scum and this is unavoidable so try to avoid putting out too much solid waste down your drain.

Drain Field

The drain field is basically where the water from your septic tank is percolated through. This field is the reason why a septic system is considered as being one of the most environment-friendly ways to dispose of wastewater. The process is natural, safe, and it brings the water you used back to earth.

This part of the septic system is usually placed in a large open area in your backyard. Ideally, the plot of land should be flat as slopes will make the percolation process through the soil much harder. As for the soil itself, the consistency must be sandy and not hard so that the water can pass through more properly.

Distribution Box

By the name itself, it should be clear what the distribution box is for. It is responsible for moving the effluent water from your septic tank and into the drain field. The main purpose of the distribution box is to ensure that the water is distributed equally on the drain field. If water isn’t distributed properly, it could result in major issues such as pools of water appearing around your drain field.

The distribution box is described as having several openings for the septic pipes. These pipes direct the water to the drain field. This is one of the most important parts of the drain field. It’s best to ensure that no non-biodegradable materials reach your tank as they could end up being stuck inside the distribution box.

Main Drain Line

The main drain line refers to the pipe that connects the drains from your house to the septic tank. House amenities such as the sink, tub, bathtub, and toilet are all connected to the main drain line. All water that flushes down the drains of these will get to the septic tank through this channel.

One way to take care of your main drain line is by simply limiting the amount of oil or grease that goes down the drain. These may not seem harmful at first but the oil and grease will build up in your pipes over time. This will make the water go down slowly, and it will also affect the overall performance of your septic system.

Effluent Filter

This refers to a small filter often connected to the pipe that leads to the distribution box. What it does is that it further prevents solid materials from reaching the distribution box. It’s the septic tank’s last line of filtration to ensure that the water coming out of the tank is as free from solid wastes as possible. Not all septic tanks come with an effluent filter as this is often free.

Though optional, effluent filters are highly recommended if you want your wastewater to be disposed of properly. All of the solid items that aren’t taken to the distribution box will eventually be blocked by the filter and dissolved by the bacteria, thus lessening the chances of your system being clogged.

Access Rise

Professional plumbers and cleaners don’t have to dig up your entire septic tank if they want to have it cleaned. They can easily drain the tank of its contents via the access rise. The access rise acts as the small hole through which pumps are inserted. This often looks like a small manhole lid. Septic tanks usually have two access rises.

The parts of a septic system work together like the pieces in a clock. Each one serves a valuable purpose which ensures that the entire system is working properly. To ensure that your wastewater is disposed of as properly as possible, it’s best to take care of your septic tank and pipes as properly as possible.

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