500 Gallon Tank
How Does My Septic System Work?
Most homeowners have little knowledge of their septic systems. Out of sight, out of mind, right? But the proper operation of a septic system is essential to public & private health, property values, and the environment.
All septic systems have two parts. The first part is the septic tank and the second is the absorption area or drain field. These parts work together to take the waste water from your home to treat it so that it can enter the groundwater.
The septic tanks are the first part of the treatment process. Any and all waste from the home goes directly into this tank. This includes toilets, showers, sinks, and laundry. These tanks are usually made of precast concrete and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. An inlet and outlet baffle is in place in these tanks to ensure the solid matter stays at the bottom of the tank and does not enter the absorption area. This septic tank is designed to be full all the time, that is how they operate! The pumping & cleaning removes the solid matter from the bottom of the tank, ensuring it does not enter the absorption area.
To properly pump a septic tank, the manhole cover must be exposed. This cover is about 24" in diameter; there is one on most tanks.
Pumping through the white PVC pipes (inspection ports) can damage the baffles and does not allow for a proper cleaning.
1000 Gallon Tank
With regulations from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, there have been increases in more complex absorption areas. For example, sand mounds and subsurface sand filters are newer options to suit the needs of different areas.
1500 Gallon Tank
After the waste leaves the septic tank, it moves on to the absorption area or drain field. There are perforated pipes that run under the soil and on top of gravel (aggregate); these stretch the entirety of the area so ensure the waste water is evenly distributes. The liquid slowly trickles from the pipes into the gravel and down through the soil. The gravel and soil act as biological filters. This waste water is treated and enters back into the ground water.