How Does a Septic Tank Work?

If you are new to owning a septic system, you may only know the basics. You know you have a septic tank and a drain field, and you have been told you need to have your septic tank pumped. But what you may not know is why you need to have it pumped and how the tank works. Here is some basic information on how a septic tank works and why it needs routine pumping.

The science behind a septic tank is based on biology. The biodegradable waste that enters the tank from your sewer pipes will attract and breed bacteria. These bacteria feed on solid wastes, slowly breaking them down into liquid form. As water and more solid waste is added, the solids sink to the bottom, water is in the middle and anything that will float moves to the top of the tank.

When the tank becomes full, the overflow of water exits the tanks from a pipe at the top area of the tank and transports it to the drain field. This should be a watery fluid called effluent that is filtered by the drain field before it enters the ground water supply. The solids stay at the bottom of the tank, breaking down with help of bacteria in the water.

Not all solids do breakdown and the solids portion in the tank grows over time. If it gets too high, it will backflow into the home and solids could go into the drain field. Pumping is needed to remove the solids that do not breakdown and have filled the tank, leaving little room for water.

Septic tank pumping needs to be done once the tank is becoming too full of solids and not leaving enough room for waste water. This is usually every 1-2 years, but varies from home to home. The best way to stay on top of your septic tank pumping is to have annual inspections to check the level of you tank, pumping as needed.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

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