Septic System and Drainfield

A septic system is a highly efficient, self-contained, underground wastewater treatment system. A septic system consists of two main parts- a septic tank and a drainfield. The septic tank is a watertight box, usually made of concrete or fiberglass, with an inlet and pipe. Wastewater flows from the home to the septic tank through the sewer pipe. The septic tank treats the wastewater naturally by holding it in the tank long enough for solids and liquids to separate.

The wastewater forms three layers inside the tank.

* Solids lighter than water (such as grease and oil) float to the top forming a layer of scum.

* Solids heavier than water settle at the bottom of the bottom of the tank forming a layer of sludge.

* Middle layer is partially clarified wastewater.

The layers of sludge and scum remain in the septic tank where bacteria found naturally in the wastewater work to break the solids down. The sludge and scum that cannot be broken down are retained in the tank until the tank is pumped. The layer of clarified liquid flows from the septic tank to the drainfield or to a distribution device, which helps uniformly distribute the wastewater in the drainfield.

A standard drainfield is a series of trenches or a bed lined with gravel or course sand and buried one to three feet below the ground surface. The drainfield treats the wastewater by allowing it to slowly trickle from the pipes out into the gravel and down through the soil. The sand and gravel act as biological filters.

** If  you own a septic system, it is important that it be properly maintained. How often you need to pump the solids out of your septic tank depends on three major factors:

1. the number of people in your household

2. the amount of wastewater generated (based on the # of people in the household and amount of water used)

3. the volume of solids in the wastewater (e.g., using a garbage disposal will increase the amount of solids)

Call John Wilson Plumbing and Septic, Inc  (866) 985-5687 for all your Septic System and Drainfield needs!!