Septic tank how it works
When someone first told me about septic tanks, I thought they were quite complicated, but when you get to know how they work, you can see it is simpler than what most people believe.
A septic tank treats your wastewater, just like a sewage system in urban areas. However, in rural areas, or at least most of them, properties aren’t connected to the main sewage network, which leads to the need of installing septic tanks.
If you are about to buy or build a property in a rural area where you need to add a septic tank, you probably want to know how it works.
- The wastewater leaves your house (toilets, bathtubs, and other drainages) to the septic tank where it will stay enough time until it separates into three layers. One of them is the water, the other one is the solids and the last layer has oil and grease. The bacteria in the tank is what allows the solids and grease to break and separate from the water.
- Once the wastewater is pretreated, it will leave to the drain field where bacteria can thrive and the water can seep into the ground.
- The holes in the pipe of the drain field will allow the pretreated water to seep into the surrounding gravel.
- After the water is clean, it is going to seep down into the aquifer.
There is a more elaborated way to explain how a septic tank works. However, what you need to know, or at least, the most important thing to keep in mind, is that the bacteria is what allows the solids to separate from the water and the same happens for oils and grease.
This process isn’t a fast one, it will probably take a whole day until the water travels to the drain field or leaves the septic tank, but it will depend on how many solids and oil the wastewater has.
Basically, this is how it works and you can have a general idea of what will happen if you add another complement of components: they will help the septic tank to treat the water.